The mountains, nature and waterways are just part of what makes our time in the Adirondacks so unique. The other part is the artists, musicians and performers that make the Adirondacks their home while sharing their creativity with the rest of us. Though the numerous Adirondack professional and regional theaters are offering a variety of entertainment, it’s the unique opportunities that these theaters have on the docket that I’d like to highlight.
Though most of us don’t talk about experiences regarding suicide, Producer and Film Director Kathy Leichter is bringing her film, Here One Dayto Lake Placid and Whallonsburg. She hopes that her own family’s personal tragedy about her bipolar mother’s suicide will help end the stigma of mental illness and suicide.
The film Here One Day is told through the intimate, emotional audiotapes left by a bipolar Nina Leichter (the filmmaker’s mother) after her suicide. This raw film unearths the effects of mental illness, family relationships and the indelible mark that suicide leaves on those left behind.
According to Director/Producer Kathy Leichter the Here One Day screenings are combined with community education nights to create a safe space to share stories about mental illness. She wants to help link the audience to local support. » Continue Reading.
Lake Placid Center for the Arts, celebrating over 40 years of Arts in the Adirondacks, is presenting a mix of events for both adults and children this summer. For information on these, or any other LPCA program, visit our website at www.lakeplacidarts.org or call the box office at 518.523.2512. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Shakespeare Company troupe is teaming-up with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts to present a new “Sunday Shakespeare Series” this month with three original mash-ups of the Bard’s greatest hits.
ADK Shakespeare’s company of professional actors presents selections from the best of the Bard on different themes each week: true love, villainy, and “kings and things”. Each show will run about an hour and touch on such beloved classics as: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, Henry V, and many more. These shows are fast-paced, light-hearted tours across Shakespeare’s canon. » Continue Reading.
For the second year the not-for-profit organization Reason2Smileis hosting an all day music festival with workshops and children’s camp on March 8 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. The festival focus is to introduce the Lake Placid and surrounding areas to an eclectic group of artisans sharing their love of music, art and movement.
According to Reason2Smile Founder and Executive Director Keela Grimmette the event has grown since its first year, with groups coming to hold classes and perform from as far afield as Plattsburgh and Watertown. She would like workshop participants to walk away from the Reason2Smile World Festival with an understanding of all the diverse groups that are located near by and what each one has to share. » Continue Reading.
Celebrate Women’s History Month on March 21 and 22 with a program of stories and music by acclaimed Adirondack singer-songwriter Peggy Lynn and author/performer Sandra Weber.
On Friday, March 21 at 7:00 pm Peggy and Sandra perform at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall. On Saturday, March 22 at 6:30 pm at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts there is a reception to benefit the Adirondack History Center Museum followed by a performance at 7:30 pm. The Wild Spirits: Songs and Stories of Remarkable Adirondack Women program highlights the contributions and journeys of famous (and not so famous) women of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) will present the new documentary Ready to Fly which chronicles the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team’s fight to be recognized as an Olympic sport on Sunday, October 13 at 8:00 PM. Immediately following the film, members of the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team will take questions from the audience.
Ready to Fly follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van (not to be confused with apline skier Lindsey Vonn). Even though Van out-jumped the world’s best men at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic venue, the International Olympic Committee forbade women from competing in ski jumping, the only Winter Olympic discipline to do so. » Continue Reading.
Nancie Battaglia—well known for her photography of the Adirondacks and the Olympics—will be exhibiting more than two hundred examples of her work at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LCPA) through June 22.
Titled “inPRINT,” the exhibit focuses on photos that have been published in newspapers, magazines, and other media, such as book covers, brochures, and even cereal boxes. Her photos have appeared in national publications such as National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, andthe New York Times and in regional publications such as the Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Life.
The public is invited to an opening reception at the LCPA from 5 to 7 tonight. » Continue Reading.
We understand who we are and we imagine who we want to become by telling stories through the interrelated mediums of art, prose, music and spirituality. The shapes that these narratives take are influenced by the places where they, and we, are rooted. Influence is a subtle and often implicit force. It is the stuff beyond mere representation, or the explicit reference to particular geographies (this mountain or that stream). Influence is ephemeral and as the poet Rilke wrote, it falls on me like moonlight on a window seat. » Continue Reading.
The 7th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival (RPFF) will be making its way through the Adirondacks this spring and summer with showings in Lake Placid, Old Forge and Tupper Lake. The Reel Paddling Film Festival highlights the best paddling films for the year in ten categories: Instructional Paddling, Environmental Paddling, Kayak Fishing, Sea Kayaking, Stand-up Paddling, Short Paddling, Canoeing, Whitewater, Documentary Paddling, and Adventure Travel Paddling. » Continue Reading.
My Adirondack family has finally stored the winter gear and is getting ready to take out the canoes for a paddle. Safety is always a concern when paddling with children so we want to take whatever precautions necessary to assure a fun experience.
Adirondacks Lakes and Trails Outfitters owner Steve Doxzon says, “This time of year it’s the cold water that is the biggest issue. People need to dress for the water temperature not the air temperature. It may be 70 degrees outside but the water is still only 37 degrees.” Doxzon especially urges a person kayaking to dress accordingly as there is a greater chance for capsizing and hypothermia. He reminds paddlers that sudden changes in conditions, like windy days, are something to be wary of when getting out on Adirondack lakes, rivers and ponds.
He also reminds boaters that from November 1 to May 1, it is NYS law that life jackets must be worn by all people on a boat under 21feet in length. Though he recommends all his clients to wear Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) at all times, the law only requires boaters to have approved wearable life vests for each person available during those months. After May 1st, pleasure vessels must have US Coast Guard approved wearable PFDs on board for each person on the vessel. All children under 12 (aboard boats 65 feet or less)are always required to wear a PFD.
“We didn’t get a lot of snow this year so there isn’t the snow pack from the mountains. The rivers are not running as high as usual,” says Doxzon. “That may give people a false sense of security. It is really the water temperature people need to be prepared for. It has been getting down into the 20s each night so the water is going to be cold.”
According to Doxzon a person can reach exhaustion or unconsciousness in water temperatures below 32 degrees in less than 15 minutes. He reminds paddlers that in these cold-water temperatures to stay close to shore where they can get back to shore or in their boat in that 15-minute window.
If this is a bit early to be out on the water, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters is hosting the Reel Paddling Film Festival on April 27that 7:00 p.m. at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. With a mix of paddle sport films, door prizes and silent auctions, all proceeds will go to support the Northern Forest Canoe trail.
With over 50 stops throughout Canada and the U.S., the Reel Paddling Film Fest showcases the best paddling films with the hopes of encouraging more people to explore the world waterways.
Doxzon says, “The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a 740-miletrail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. This festival supports efforts to maintain this trail.”
So whether you’re just starting out or an experiencedpaddler, be careful during this seasonal transition into the summer paddlingseason. Enjoy yourself and explore those Adirondack waterways!
Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time Lake Placid and the High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 activities. Her second Adirondack Family Activities book for the Champlain Valley will be in stores summer 2012.
As odd as the name sounds – like it must be some kind of misprint from Facebook – “Social Faceworking” is a dynamic, exciting exhibit of the works of 19 creative individuals, with 170 connections between them, at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. It will be on display until February 11.
Organized by Nip Rogers, Lake Placid artist and designer, the main connection is that Nip is friends with all these artists and has created a unique portrait of each one. Each artist has their own exhibit area which includes their own work. The portraits hang throughout the gallery. It’s up to the viewer to make the connections. Quoting from the exhibit program “with the advent of social networking, it has become easier for artists to come together and share work and inspiration online”. Just think of what these advancements in communication have done for artists. It wasn’t that long ago that working artists often felt they lived and worked in isolation – that’s the stereotypical image of the artist, working away alone in their studio. Probably with weird personality traits and anti-social behavior. When an artist attended an exhibit or hung out in a coffee shop, they might meet and interact with other artists. In between those events maybe they wrote letters or talked on the phone. Or not.
Fast forward to 2012. Artists have web sites where they post images of their work to share with the world – not just discreetly showing their friends at the coffee shop They write and illustrate blogs where anyone can go online and see just exactly what their favorite artist is currently working on. Or maybe you can find a YouTube video of the artist actually at work! Or a Tweet! When I am out plein air painting I often take a photo with my smart phone and post it directly onto my Facebook page – “here is what I’m working on right now”. Artists can have fans and patrons without ever having even met them in person! A finished work of art doesn’t have to wait for the paint to dry, the frame to be put on, and months or years for a gallery owner to propose an exhibit – it can go on display online in an instant.
The immediacy and world wide connectivity that artists have right now is both changing the image of the artist and is probably affecting changes in what they create. Artwork is no longer subject to being hidden away in a closet until the artist is “discovered” – or dies. For artists in the Adirondacks, there is no longer any reason to feel isolated – unless you want to be.
“Social Faceworking” taps into all this connectivity and instantaneous sharing that exists via the internet. There’s even a Facebook page for it! The variety in techniques, subject matter, and style are fun to see and surely will provoke some critical thinking. Participating artists are: Andrew Dehond, William Evans, Brooke Noble, Cal Rice, Carol Vossler, Charles Stewart, CJ Dates, David Fadden, Eric Ackerson, Jenny Curtis, John Ward, Ken Wiley, Peter Seward, Sandy Edgerton Bissell, Sara Mazder, Shaun Ondack, Susan Stanistreet, Vicki Celeste, and Nip Rogers.
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is located at 17 Algonquin Ave. Gallery hours are Tues. – Thurs. 1 – 5, Fridays 1 – 9, and it’s usually open when there are other performances or events. 518-523-2512.
Tim Fortune explores the natural world with delicacy combined with a hungry appreciation for the minor miracles we walk past every day. His work astonishes the senses with its simplicity and grace, and offers up a feeling of awe that resonates long past your first peek into Fortune’s world, splayed out in glorious, wall-sized watercolors. His upcoming one-man show at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) at 17 Algonquin Drive in Lake Placid, “Watercolor Encounters” opens on Friday, August 12th with an artist’s reception from 5-7PM. The show, which continues there until September 17th, includes more than a dozen of the large scale watercolors―along with another 20 midsized works―that reflect a uniquely gentle view of the natural world, Fortune style.
These days, Fortune works almost exclusively in watercolor, painting the simple elements of life on a scale that defies you to try to walk past it without having to stop and stare. Using a delicate and refined approach, he turns an analytical eye on the finest details, exposing the complexity of even simple subjects like rocks under water with tremendous skill. “I like the idea of fractals,” he says, “of breaking up nature, almost like a puzzle.” His studies include wild roses, impressions of tree branches in winter, leaves in fall, and several of his marvelous examinations of water in motion. His Adirondack vantage points are uniquely personal and beautiful.
It’s been many years since Fortune has mounted a solo show of this magnitude, and the combined impact of so many of his ingenious large works is a rare treat. For more information, go to the LPCA website, or visit the Fortune Studio at 76 Main Street in Saranac Lake, NY.
Photo: Top, Green Frog; Below, Fallen Pine both by Tim Fortune.
Linda J. Peckel explores the Adirondacks by following the arts wherever they take her. Her general art/writing/film/photography musings on can be found at her own blog Arts Enclave.
On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is presenting “desert blues” musician, Bombino, live and in concert, at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. performance. Omara “Bombino” Moctar is a young Tuareg singer from Niger, Africa, on his first North American tour. He has received advance praise as a “guitar wizard” likened to Jimi Hendrix (KCRW), who plays “some of the most sublime guitar licks you’ll hear in 2011” (NPR).
The concert is an outgrowth of JBL!’s Dreaming of Timbuctoo Exhibition detailing a black settlement effort in the Adirondacks in the mid-1800s. It is also inaugurates the Timbuktu Sahara * Timbuctoo Adirondack Project, a cultural exchange initiative John Brown Lives! is developing to link schoolchildren and communities in the Adirondacks with a Tuareg village on the outskirts of Timbuktu, Mali. A share of proceeds from this concert will benefit the Scarab School in the desert village of Tinghassane. The Tuareg, often called the “Blue Men of the Desert” by outsiders, are a nomadic people descended from the Berbers of North Africa. In his short life, Bombino, and many Tuareg, have endured drought, rebellion, tyranny, and exile. Fusing traditional rhythms of nomadic peoples of the Sahara and the Sahel with the drive of rock and roll and songs about peace, Bombino plays an influential role today in educating the Tuareg about the importance of the fragile democracy in Niger while maintaining their rich cultural heritage.
John Brown Lives! is a freedom education project founded in 1999 to promote social justice through the exploration of issues, social movements and events, rooted mainly in Adirondack history, and their connection to today’s struggles for human rights.
Individual tickets are $18 in advance or $20 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted for $5. Sponsor tickets are also available at $160 for a book of 10 tickets. Tickets are available at the LPCA Box Office 518-523-2512. For sponsor tickets, please call 518-962-4758 or 518-576-9755.
For more general information, contact John Brown Lives! at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-962-4758. To learn more about Bombino and the Tuareg, check out these links (1, 2).
To live the life of a poet, says the actor Chris Noth, “is the ultimate political act, one of incredible bravery.”
At the very least, it’s an act of resistance or dissent, and one of last great dissenters, Peter Kane Dufault, will join Noth at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on September 23 for a conversation, a poetry reading and a screening of a new film about Dufault, What I Meant to Tell You: An American Poet’s ‘State of the Union’.
Noth, best known for his roles in Law and Order, Sex and the City and The Good Wife, is the film’s associate producer. In the 1970s, he was a student at the Barlow School, a small, progressive boarding school in the Hudson Valley, where Peter Dufault was a teacher.
Dufault was the best teacher he ever had, said Noth, who later attended Marlborough College and the Yale School of Drama.
“He opened up a way of life to me, a life of the imagination; he showed us through his example how that life can be developed and explored through poetry,” said Noth.
What I Meant to Tell You: An American Poet’s ‘State of the Union’ was directed by Ethan Dufault, the poet’s son, and is based on Dufault’s conversations with his father.
The title of the film, What I Meant to Tell You refers not only to what a poet might tell his country, were it willing to listen to poets, but what a father might tell his son.
“The title suggests what it is we wish we had said and heard from the people we love,” said Dufault, whose parents separated when he was a child.
But according to Michael Thomas, the film’s producer, What I meant to Tell You transcends the merely personal.
“Peter Dufault is a World War II veteran, a boxer, a musician, an environmentalist and a political activist as well as a poet. You can chart our history through his life,” said Thomas.
For Peter Dufault, poetry is the constant in his life.
“Everything else is secondary to poetry; poetry is the touchstone for every move I make,” he said.
“I concluded early in life that time was of the essence; it’s a non-recouperable commodity; every job I took was something that gave me time to squeeze out whatever poetry was in me,” Dufault said. “To be a poet means to live my own life.”
“His embattled status as a poet and a political activist is part of his strength,” says Ethan Dufault.
But, he said, his father’s “contentiousness” has hurt him professionally.
“He’s refused to play the game, but his life has not been an easy one,” said Ethan Dufault.
(Or, as Peter Dufault himself says, “I ain’t venerated, I’m resented. In England, I’m considered a great American poet. The English like my politics.”)
In 1968, Dufault ran for Congress on an anti-war platform; shortly thereafter, he began teaching at Barlow, where he taught a course in American history.
“It was unlike any other history course they were likely to take,” recalls Dufault. “It was a matter of life and death for these kids, who were either going to be drafted or find some dodge to avoid the draft. How did this nation get to the point where we were incinerating villages in Southeast Asia? That’s what I wanted them to understand.”
Politics has never been far from the center of Dufault’s life, nor for that matter, from his poetry, which makes him a rarity among American poets.
“What’s bothered me most about the majority of American poets is that they are less and less engaged; while the United States, this great millenial experiment, is crumbling at the joints, they’re undisturbed,” said Dufault. “They seem to be suffering from an attention deficit disorder.”
Dufault was first exposed to left-wing politics as an undergraduate at Harvard, when a classmate took him to a meeting of the campus chapter of the John Reed Club, then dominated by party-line communists.
Not one to adopt any party’s line, Dufault never returned. Nevertheless, in the 1950s, he found himself blacklisted from New York newspapers. He headed north, becoming editor of the Catskill Daily Mail. He then found his way into teaching.
“For me, he was a sage,” said Chris Noth. “He was always interested in what you had to say. When you showed him a poem or an essay, you always went away with a kernel of something to work with. He didn’t treat us as school boys to be talked at.”
But Dufault’s “vivacity, his capacity for enjoying life, whether it was through a soccer game, chess or a conversation,” was also a lesson in living in the world, said Noth.
“Chris Noth has done more for this film than I could have asked,” said Ethan Dufault.
In addition to helping win attention for the film, Noth also played a role, albeit an indirect one, in its inception, said Dufault.
“My father and I are both birders, and we happened to run into one another on a bird walk,” said Dufault. “He mentioned that Chris Noth had approached him about making a film about Robert Frost, but some how that fell through. So I suggested that I make a film about him.”
Of the film, Peter Dufault says, “Film is not my medium; I don’t have any personal, aesthetic or political stake in it. When Ethan first asked me to look at the footage, I was astonished by how good it was. The piece of film that I saw was of a person reciting a poem; it didn’t register as me, it was just some agreeable old fart speaking poetry; it sounded good. It was a collaboration of film and poetry which I’d never seen before. I agreed to sign on but to back off; I’ve remained outside of it by choice. Ethan has his own agenda.”
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is located at 17 Algonquin Drive in Lake Placid. The program, which is co-sponsored by the Lake Placid Institute, starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 per adult and $2 per student. People under 18 will be admitted at no cost.
The film makers are especially interested in attracting young people to the event, hence the low prices for tickets, said Michael Thomas.
“Peter Dufault is an 87 year old volcano,” said Thomas. “The kids are open to his message. They get it. We’ve held Question and Answer periods wherever we’ve screened the film, and the questions have been fantastic.”
Chris Noth will screen the film at NYU, Columbia, Yale, Middlebury and other schools.
“I talk to a lot of kids, and I’m chagrined when they say they want to study business or communications; those years of high school and college should be the time of intellectual awakening. My hope is that this film about Peter Dufault will have the same effect on them that he had on me,” said Noth.
“Today, poetry is an endangered species,” Noth said. “Peter made you feel that poetry was a noble and worthwhile endeavor, and I still feel that.”
For more information about the event , contact the Lake Placid Center for the Arts at 518-523-1312. Photos: Noth and Dufault in New York courtesy of Lake Placid Center for the Arts; Ethan and Peter Dufault courtesy of Ethan Dufault.
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