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.

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