Arts Fest Friday Presents: Gotta Dance!

Come out and enjoy Arts Fest Friday, March 31st from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the National Museum of Dance. We’ll be featuring incredible dance performances in the School of the Arts and Riggi Theater, a fashion show, swing and salsa dancing to the sway of the Joey Thomas Big Little Band in the main hall, and dedicated Shirley Temple station, just for kids! Stay for the Film After The Fest, in the Riggi Theater, where we’ll be showing a classic Hollywood musical from the golden age of film at 8:15 PM. This event is free and open to all!

SaratogaArtsFest Welcomes New Production Director Nicole Coady

January 2017–SaratogaArtsFest, a not-for-profit organization that presents the ArtsFest Friday series of collaborative community arts events, recently welcomed Nicole Coady to its production team. Ms. Coady will serve as production director for all Arts Friday programs, providing both creative direction and project management services. An accomplished film and event producer, screenwriter and novelist, Ms. Coady serves on the boards of the Saratoga Springs International Film Festival and Upstate Women in Film in addition to volunteering for several regional arts organizations.  She has taught screen writing and film production as a guest lecturer for Skidmore College. She received a BA from Vassar College and trained with the Joffrey Ballet.

ArtsFest Friday Light the Night Coming September 9, 2016

BL_ProgramGuide.inddLight the Night at ArtsFest Friday

Be here on Friday, September 9th for the region’s first glimpse of the “Breathing Lights” public art project, coming to Albany, Schenectady and Troy in October 2016. Artiist Adam Frelin will be here to greet visitors and “turn on the lights” during the free Arts Fest Friday LIGHT THE NIGHT event.

For additional information call Maureen Sager at (518) 587-6433 or


Farm Fest Friday (AFF) Coming June 3, 2016

Apple-licious-1000“Farm Fest Friday 2016” Brings Together Arts, Farms and Fun

On Friday, June 3, Farm Fest Friday 2016 will bring together a wide range of Saratoga’s arts organizations, business partners, musicians and artists into a festive evening of dancing, music, foods, arts and fun.

Featured activities and entertainers include:

  • The Gaslight Tinkers, a modern, danceable band whose sound is built around a core of old time and Celtic fiddle music, AND the Whippersnappers, a trio of regional folk superstars including George Wilson, Peter Davis and Frank Orsini,
  • The Flurry Festival will provide contra dancing activities
  • Saratoga Farmers Market Association will stage a “mini-market” where attendees can browse, shop, sample and sip a wide variety of fresh produce, drinks and handmade goods from over 20 vendors
  • Northshire Bookstore will have storytelling and activities
  • Saratoga Arts will have artists Noah Savett and John Van Allstine on hand to discuss their High Rock Park sculpture “Tempered by Memory,” constructed from steel beams recovered from the World Trade Center
  • Sweet Chickadee School will have live animals, a tractor and farm activities
  • Children’s Museum of Saratoga will have farm-themed activities for young children
  • Saratoga Springs High School Fiddle Club will bring their irrepressible energy and talents
  • On Deck Saratoga will have a sidewalk chalk activity for all ages
  • Saratoga Springs Mineral Water Tours will give insight into the history of the High Rock Park springs
  • Native Farm Flowers will have a flower arranging activity
  • Oliva Vineyards and Slyboro Cider will provide samples of their wares

In addition, all children who attend the Farm Fest event will be given a $2 token to “purchase” fresh vegetables, kicking off a season-long program at the Saratoga Farmers Market, encouraging kids to make healthy food choices.

“Arts Fest Fridays was a big success in 2015,” said Saratoga Arts Fest Board Chair, Dee Sarno. “The arts and business communities really rallied around these new events, and enjoyed presenting out-of-box, collaborative entertainment.” The 2015 Arts Fest Friday events were the Vintage Beekman Street Fest (September), UPH Goes Avant Garde (October), A Vaudeville Circus at the Tang Museum (November), and Holidays at Home Made Theater (December). Over 2,000 people attended the Arts Fest Friday events.

2016 events will be presented at High Rock Park, National Museum of Racing, the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, and Spring Street Gallery. Dates and details for the other events will be released shortly.

For additional information call Maureen Sager at (518) 587-6433 or

High resolution photos available at, photo credit Sarah Pezdek-Smith.

Full Release

Universal Preservation Hall Goes Avant Garde for Arts Fest Friday

A Free, Family-Friendly Event Filled with Gospel and Electronic Music, Modern Dance, Abstract Art and Much More

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Following the success of its September inaugural event on Beekman Street, Arts Fest Fridays moves to Universal Preservation Hall on Friday, October 2nd from 5:00-7:30 p.m. with “UPH Goes Avant Garde,” the second of four free programs taking place in Fall of 2015.  The event – co-presented by Saratoga Arts Fest and Spring Street Gallery – is presented free-of-charge and features music ranging from a gospel choir to a DJ set, with modern dance, abstract painting, and wine and beer tastings, and many other elements brought into the eclectic mix.

In keeping with Arts Fest Friday’s premise of a different venue and a different team of producers each month, the UPH evening will be produced by Dee Sarno, Chair of the Arts Fest Board of Directors and a longtime supporter of the Saratoga arts scene, and Bob Carlton, co-founder of JetPack Promotions and singer/guitarist of the local indie-rock band Dryer.  These two producers had never met before working together on the UPH event.  “Each of our events start with a production team of disparate interests, ages and experiences,” said Maureen Sager, Executive Producer of Arts Fest Fridays.  “It helps keep things very fresh and exciting.” Sarno and Carlton were inspired by the improvisatory nature of jazz music, and are presenting a program that will appeal to music lovers of all ages.  The current running through the night will be an unconventional and unpredictable spin on things. Carlton says, “We want to create a night of music and performance that reflects this idea of avoiding the typical. We’ve really encouraged our artists to embrace this idea.”

Among these artists are the Capital District-based gospel choir Heavenly Echoes, electronic performer DJ Jennifer Haley (Jennifer Maher), Skidmore College Dance Department Music Director Carl Landa, and dancers Joan Kilgore Anderson, Kelly Polhemus, Erika Pujic, and Christy Williams, under the direction of Debra Fernandez, the Chair of the Skidmore College Dance Department and solo violinist Suzy Chhim-Parisi. Paul Coleman will provide video effects, and artist Nancy Magnell of AMP Gallery will present a participatory abstract painting project. Additionally, there will be a photo booth on premises run by regional photographer Megan Mumford, and FREE beer tasting from event sponsor Shmaltz Brewery and wine tasting by sponsor Saratoga Winery

“The concept is thinking outside of the norms inside the beautiful space that is UPH,” says Sarno. And the immediate setting of Universal Preservation Hall, which was built in 1871 based on Gothic architecture, isn’t the only thing ideal about the evening. Sarno explains, “The location, right in the heart of Saratoga Springs, is great. You can attend Arts Fest Friday, and then wander downtown for entertainment, arts, drinks, dinner, or coffee.”

Food and beverages will also be available from gourmet truck Fitzy’s and/or apples and cider from Saratoga Apple.

All Arts Fest events are presented free of charge.

Next month’s Arts Fest Friday event will be “A Cabinet of Curiosities: A Vaudeville Circus at the Tang Museum” on Friday, November 6th, from 5:00-7:30 p.m. Produced by Megan Hyde (Museum Educator for College and Public Programs at the Tang), Dianne Winter (Associate Director of Caffe Lena), and Paul Calhoun (Skidmore’s Dean of Special Programs), the evening will feature performances by nationally renowned one-man band The Suitcase Junket, Skidmore Circus Club, Saratoga Jazz Tap, and more. Arts Partners include Caffe Lena, the Waldorf School of Saratoga, Skidmore Circus Club, Home Made Theater, and the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College.

For more information and photographs for press use, please visit:

Saratoga Arts Fest Announces 2015 Line Up for New “Arts Fest Fridays”

New entertainment-filled, single-location events feature dynamic mix of artists, art organizations, producers, and venues September through December

Saratoga Springs, New York: Saratoga Arts Fest and Spring Street Gallery announce the lineup for the 2015 Arts Fest Friday Series, four entertainment-filled events set in a different venue each month, featuring performances and offerings from a wide range of Saratoga arts organizations and businesses. The events, which are designed to appeal to multiple generations of interests, are presented free of charge and will take place on the first Friday of the month from September through December 2015.

The new Arts Fest Fridays marks a change from previous Saratoga Arts Fest’s yearly festival model. “The four- day Arts Fest weekend event in June was much loved and attended by the community and we are grateful for the vision, support and enthusiasm of the leadership that was evident in this program,” says Dee Sarno, Chair of the Saratoga Arts Board of Directors and a long-time leader in the Capital Region’s arts community. “Through the years there were some challenges, and for the benefit of our arts partners and others, we felt it was appropriate to look at a different concept for Arts Fest. So after many months of meetings and input from our partner arts organizations, sponsors, and member artists, the Arts Fest Board of Directors is thrilled to debut a new monthly Arts Fest concept.” The new Arts Fest events will be produced in partnership with Spring Street Gallery.

“The once-a-month Arts Fest Friday model helps us to really shine a spotlight on the featured venue and featured arts groups,” said Maureen Sager, Executive Producer of Arts Fest Fridays, and Executive Director of Spring Street Gallery, a not-for-profit arts and performance space in Saratoga Springs. “To keep things fresh and reflect multiple perspectives and tastes, we tapped a different production team for each event. We tasked them to create events that are suited to the venue and to their particular – and very interesting! – tastes and interests. We’re really thrilled with the variety of programming our producers have come up with!”

This year’s series will include:

Friday, September 4, 2015 | 5:00 until 8:00 PM


Click the image to download the TIF version

VINTAGE BEEKMAN STREET FEST: The series debuts with a celebration of the city’s Beekman Street and its colorful and diverse ethnic and cultural history. Vintage Beekman Street is designed to transport visitors back to a time when change was in the air and the neighborhood was alive with an evolving and diverse tapestry of Irish, Italian and African American communities. Part street fair, part street performance, the event offers an energetic mix of period music, costumed performers, antique cars, and great ethnic food served up by Beekman Street restaurants.


  • Corey Aldrich – Owner / Founder at 2440 Design Studio : FP & NFP Brand Consulting and Production work. Owner / Founder at Electric City Couture.
  • Belinda Colón – Installation Manager, Spring Street Gallery; Founder, On Deck Saratoga, a not-for-profit organization advocating for recreational and cultural activities in the local community, including the Saratoga Skate Park.
  • Cecilia Frittelli Lockwood – Co-Owner, Textile Studio, producers of luxury, retro-inspired handwoven clothing and accessories for men and women.

Friday, October 2, 2015 | 5:00 to 7:30 PM

UNIVERSAL PRESERVATION HALL GOES AVANT GARDE: On Friday, October 2, Arts Fest Friday presents an Evening of Avant Garde Entertainment at Universal Preservation Hall. This eclectic, all-ages, multi-genre event kicks off in the Chapel with a set by the Heavenly Echoes Gospel Singers, and is followed by a collaborative performance between composer/instrumentalist Carl Landa, DJ/electronic music producer/singer Jennifer Maher, and modern dancers choreographed by Skidmore professor Deb Fernandez. The electrifying evening closes with an uplifting DJ set, sending revelers off in a party mood, to the arts-rich streets of Saratoga Springs.


  • Dee Sarno – Retired Executive Director of Saratoga County Arts Council and founding director of the 320 Broadway Arts Center, Sarno is the Current Chair of the Arts Fest Board of Directors.
  • Bob Carlton – Co-founder, Jet Pack Productions, a Saratoga Springs-based music promotion company; rock musician and member of the band Dryer.

Friday, November 6, 2015 | 5:00 to 7:30 PM

TANG TEACHING MUSEUM VAUDEVILLE CIRCUS: On Friday, November 6th, Arts Fest Friday rolls into town and pitches a stage for its one-night-only Vaudeville Circus at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. The festivities feature a very special and delightfully unusual performance by Suitcase Junket, a nationally- touring, slide-guitar-playing, throat-singing one man band. Circus performers and tap dancers mingle with visitors while they tour the Tang’s “Affinity Atlas” and Mark Allen visual art exhibits.


  • Paul Calhoun – Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore College.
  • Megan Hyde – Museum Educator for College and Public Programs at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College where she works with the Skidmore community and the broader region in making the museum an integral place for learning.
  • Dianne Winter – Associate Director for Caffè Lena where she is responsible for attracting financial sup- port for the non-profit arts organization and overseeing its annual budget.

Friday, December 4, 2015 | 5:00 to 7:30 PM

BEHIND THE SCENES AT HOME MADE THEATER: On Friday, December 4th, Arts Fest Friday brings you “backstage” to the magical process of theatrical production with the Home Made Theater at Saratoga Spa State Park. Experience the thrill of auditions, costumes, set-building, rehearsing and more, and tour the wonderful back stages — and perhaps even meet the legendary ghosts — of Home Made Theater.


  • Lezlie Dana – Television and stage actress, producer, director, model, acting teacher
  • Cynthia Fiorini – Painter and visual artist, social media consultant
  • Carol Maxwell – President of Saratoga Film Forum
  • Stacie Mayette-Barnes — Executive Director of Home Made Theater
  • Jael Polnac – Former attorney, Saratoga Arts Fest board member.

All events are FREE and open to the public. This year’s series is made possible through the generosity of Skidmore College, Stewart’s Shops, Ayco, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, Saratoga Arts Fest patrons, and each event’s Arts Partners.

Download the PDF version of this press release here.
Download the TIF version of the above image here.

SaratogaArtsFest to celebrate the city’s centennial

News Release from SaratogaArtsFest

 Date: May 22, 2015
Release: Immediately
Contact: Bob Kimmerle, 518-580-5744

SaratogaArtsFest to celebrate the city’s centennial


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—SaratogaArtsFest will offer an arts-filled lineup of events June 12–14 and on June 17 to commemorate the centennial of the signing of the Saratoga Springs city charter in 1915. The celebration brings together an eclectic mix of music, visual art, film, and dance at venues across the city’s downtown.

Paint Out

Paint Out

“The arts have always played an important role in Saratoga Springs,” says Dee Sarno, chair of the SaratogaArtsFest board. “To celebrate the town’s centennial, we want to shine a spotlight on the organizations, artists, galleries, and museums that continue to enrich Saratoga Springs. The goal is to give residents and visitors alike a taste of the diversity and creativity of the arts in our community.”

The events kick off on Friday, June 12, with a meet-and-greet cocktail party at Universal Preservation Hall on Washington St. The gathering will serve as a welcome to members of the renowned Orchard Project, a theater “laboratory” that will be taking up residence this June at Universal Preservation Hall. Guests will enjoy a “Taste of Saratoga,” with dishes from some of the Spa City’s well-known restaurants, such as the Olde Bryan Inn, Longfellows, Gaffney’s, and more. Music will be provided by Garland Nelson’s Jazz Ensemble. Reservations are required and can be made at

John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli

The ArtsFest activities continue indoors and out throughout the weekend, including an en plein air Paint Out on Broadway, in which artists will demonstrate their craft as they paint downtown cityscapes. On Saturday, after the Flag Day Parade, which runs noon–2 p.m., families will want to check out a “Happy Birthday Saratoga Springs” party in Congress Park, which will offer birthday cupcakes from SaratogaArtsFest and children’s games organized by the Children’s Museum of Saratoga. Congress Park will also be the scene of a concert by the Ballston Spa Community Band. Other Saturday events include a “Saratoga Sings the Centennial” performance by Opera Saratoga, in which members of the opera’s Young Artist Program will perform music by Scott Joplin, Enrique Granados, Claude Debussy, Irving Berlin, and other composers.

On Saturday evening, ArtsFest partner Skidmore College will present renowned guitarist John Pizzarelli and his jazz quartet at the Arthur Zankel Music Center at 8 p.m. Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, infusing his work with the cool jazz flavor of his guitar technique and vocals. For tickets go to

Fermata Nowhere

Fermata Nowhere

Highlights for Sunday, June 14, include a performance by LeMoyne College’s Fermata Nowhere a cappella singers and the Saratoga Springs High School Jazz Band, as well as a reception for winners of the SaratogaArtsFest short story contest, an annual competition for area high school students. The day will also feature a performance by the Saratoga Chamber Players at the Methodist Church on Fifth Ave. (to purchase tickets call 518-584-1417).

Other Sunday activities include a program at the National Museum of Dance on South Broadway. The program will feature “Dancing Through Time,” with choreography by Skidmore professors Mary DiSanto-Rose, Denise Warner Limoli, and Debra Fernandez, and a diverse selection of dance genres performed by students from the Dance Museum’s School of the Arts, under the artistic directorship of Raul Martinez. The Saratoga Film Forum will presentSaratoga 20X20X100,” a PechaKucha™-inspired event in which each presenter shows 20 images for 20 seconds each, with commentary. An ArtsFest reception will follow the PechaKucha™ event.

Finally, on Wednesday, June 17, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, an ArtsFest partner, will present the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company as a kickoff for SPAC’s 2015 classical season. Lubovitch has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the ten best choreographers in the world,” and the company has be called a “national treasure” by Variety. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 518-584-9330.

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

“SaratogaArtsFest has always been about making the arts accessible for all, supporting our artists and arts organizations in the region, and encouraging artists and art lovers of all ages and interests to sample all the talent we have right here in our community,” says Sarno. “We’re proud to showcase this year’s events as part of the Saratoga Springs centennial celebration.”

For a full listing of events, venues and times, visit

SaratogaArtsFest Presents 2015 Arts Star Award

Accepting the Arts Star Award were four representatives of Yaddo (from left): Candace Wait, Steve Dennin, Tristan Kirvin, and Lynn Farnenell. To the far right is Dee Sarno, chair of SaratogaArtsFest board.

NEWS RELEASE from SaratogaArtsFest
May 12, 2015
Contact:  Bob Kimmerle

SaratogaArtsFest has presented its Arts Star Award for 2015 to Yaddo, the famed artists’ community located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs. The award was presented on April 30 at the ArtsFest Prelude event at the Saratoga National Golf Club.

Yaddo was founded in 1900 by the financier Spencer Trask and his wife, Katrina, a poet.  Its mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment. Over the years the community has housed more that 5,500 artists.

“SaratogaArtsFest is proud to honor Yaddo for its amazing support of artists for over a century,” said Dee Sarno, chair of the ArtsFest board. “We applaud the staff at Yaddo for their dedicated work, passion, and daring commitment in giving artists the freedom and power to create.

Four members of the Yaddo staff were on hand to accept the award: Lynn Farenell, director of annual giving; Tristan Kirvin,  communications and event manager; Steve Dennin, development director; and Candace Wait, program director.

Farenell read a statement from Yaddo President Elaina Richardson, who was unable to attend the event.  The statement read, in part, “This is an exciting time for Yaddo, full of promise as well as a challenge or two, and given coherence by our commitment to two resonant themes: preserving our past and building a vibrant future. We’ve just broken ground on five new live-work studios, an exhilarating and highly visible way of communicating Yaddo’s dedication to providing the highest-quality environment for creative endeavors.”

Proceeds from the Prelude benefit will help support the ArtsFestFriday events beginning in September. Said Sarno, “SaratogaArtsFest thanks the many businesses and patrons who supported the Prelude event, especially our major sponsors, Marcia and Jerry MacDonald, Denise Polit and Alan Janosy, and Camelot Copy and Print Center in Albany.”

Prior to the fall events, the ArtsFest will celebrate the Saratoga Springs centennial with varied arts events in downtown Saratoga Springs on Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14.    For more information, visit


SaratogaArtsFest Short Story Contest

stewartsSaratogaArtsFest will again this year hold a short story contest for area high school students.

Theme: Celebrating the Saratoga Springs Centennial – 1915-2015

Guidelines and Other Information

  1. Contest open to high school students grades 9-12.
  2. Maximum Word Count – 1,000 Words.
  3. First Prize Finalist will receive a $350 Stipend.
  4. 2nd, 3rd and 4th prize Finalist will receive a $75 Stipend.
  5. 4  There will also be Gift Certificates for Honorable Mention Finalists
  6. Finalists will be notified by June 1.
  7. Winners will be announced at a reception on Sunday, June 14.

Suggestions from the Judges

  • Think about topics you could write about:
  • Write a short story about an experience a Saratoga Springs student may have had in that time period
  • Go Back in time to 1920, 1930 or 1940
    • Receiving good news or bad news;
    • Meeting a stranger from another state or country;
    • A unusual situation during summer vacation;
    • Or any other scenario that you may come up with.
    • Think Creatively!

A winners’ reception will be held during the Centennial Celebration on Sunday, June 14 at 12:30pm at Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

Our Judges

Jennifer Armstrong

Award-Winning Author of more than 100 books for pre-school children through young adult.  Ms. Armstrong is also a frequent speaker at schools, conferences and children’s literature events.

Sarah Dervan

Youth Services Librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library who supervises programming in the Children’s Room and the Teen Room at the library. Ms. Dervan also works closely with the district schools presenting book talks.

Steve Sheinkin

Award-Winning author of several fascinating books on American History. Mr. Sheinkin’s recent book Bomb: The Race to Build-And Steal-The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon was a winner of the Sibert Award, as well as the YALSA Award for excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

Download: Short Story Guidelines

Download:  Short Story Entry Form

For further information:  Call 518-339-0636.

SaratogaArtsFest to present “Prelude” benefit, April 30

Primrose Lane

Primrose Lane

SaratogaArtsFest will hold its annual fundraiser, Prelude, on Thursday, April 30, 6–9 p.m., at the Saratoga National Golf Club. This year’s event is titled Celebrating the Saratoga Springs Centennial: 1915–2015, to mark the 100th year since the signing of the city’s charter.

Music and dance performances at the event will reflect various decades from the past 100 years. Featured entertainers will be the barbershop quartet Primrose Lane and the Saratoga Savoy dancers. In addition there will be a live painting demonstration by artist Tom Myott and a photo booth with vintage props.

A complimentary signature cocktail, “The Centennial,” will be offered for the first hour, with a cash bar running throughout the evening. The event will offer food stations, passed hors d’oeuvres, and fabulous desserts.

A live auction will feature getaways with deluxe accommodations at Bromley Mountain, Vermont; the beaches of South Carolina; and Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. Other auction items include a special day at the Saratoga Race Course and tickets to the classical series at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

As part of the event, the ArtsFest’s annual Arts Star award will be presented to Yaddo, the Saratoga Springs artists’ community founded in 1900 by financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, a poet. “This historic arts community offers residencies to professional creative artists from all nations and backgrounds,” said Dee Sarno, chair of the SaratogaArtsFest board. “For over a century, Yaddo has nurtured the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment.”

Tickets to Prelude are $75. Proceeds from the evening will support the monthly ArtsFestFriday events, to begin in September. “Each monthly event will be unique and exciting, and presented in a different venue,” said Sarno. “The progams will be multi-genre and multi-generational, always with an element of surprise. ArtsFestFridays will be an enriching experience for all.”

To make a reservation for Prelude visit