Arts notes (6/3/20)

Olana in the spring (photo by Peter Aaron)

Hudson River Skywalk grant

A $14,400 matching grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund’s park and trail partnership grants program has been awarded to the Olana Partnership. The grant will help “reimagine and reactivate Olana’s historic North Road entrance” by funding the design of the trailhead for pedestrians entering the historic site from the Hudson River Skywalk from State Route 23, according to Olana Partnership president Sean Sawyer.

Constructed in 1869, North Road served as Olana’s main entrance from Hudson. Olana’s 2015 design plan included a trailhead here, and the opening of the Hudson River Skywalk in 2019 made it the pedestrian entry point. The trailhead design is meant to create a more visible, accessible and attractive entrance and integrate the Hudson River Skywalk with Olana’s historic carriage-road network. Nearly 100,000 visitors are expected to enter Olana via the Skywalk annually.

No Ulster County Fair

The Ulster County Fair won’t be happening this year, according to its fair-board organizers. The impact will be felt beyond the loss of the annual celebration. Concessionaires, family farms, competitors, and exhibitors will be affected. “Most of all,” said the organizers, “we will miss our young exhibitors and our 4-H family who prepare all year for the fair.”


Wait until next year.

Bard postpones Boulanger fest

While “the performing arts are a necessity and that their continuity will be critical to our survival,” the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and the Bard Music Festival have announced that “current detailed guidance from federal and state officials have made it clear that we will not be able to present SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival as initially programmed.”

This summer’s planned offerings, including Chausson’s opera “King Arthur,” theater production “Most Happy,” and Bard Music Festival’s “Nadia Boulanger and Her World”  will be postponed to the summer of 2021.

Since the students were sent home in March, Bard has been making archival performing arts programming available to the public for free, via a virtual-stage platform it calls Upstreaming.

Patrons who have already purchased SummerScape or Bard Music Festival tickets can now request a refund via the original payment method. Bard is also urging those who can afford it to convert the value of the tickets to a tax-deductible donation. Unclaimed tickets will be converted into house credit, which expires one year from issue date.

To manage tickets online, visit If you have questions, contact 758-7900 or online at

Oblong Books author event

For avid readers, staving off boredom while cooped up at home by the coronavirus isn’t exactly hardship duty. But some of the pleasures of the literary life, such as author readings and signings, remain off-limits. Some mid-Hudson booksellers are striving to fill that gap with virtual events in which we can listen to authors read passages from and discuss their works via the Internet.

Oblong Books & Music of Rhinebeck and Millerton has scheduled four “intimate” author events for the month of June. Preregistration, which is free, provides the opportunity to participate in a book group-style question-and-answer session, as well as to hear the featured author in conversation with another writer or with an Oblong staff host. All talks begin at 7 p.m.

On Thursday, June 11, Danielle Trussoni interviews Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning local author Carol Goodman about her new Gothic novel The Ancestor, On Tuesday, June 16, Oblong’s Dick Hermans chats with local author Scott Spencer, whose An Ocean without a Shore is getting its virtual launch here. The new book is described as “a beautifully rendered exploration of that most timeless of human dilemmas: the one in which your love is left unreturned.” Thursday, June 18 will bring in local award-winning poet Sharon Charde, in conversation with Martha Toll regarding Charde’s new book “I Am Not a Juvenile Delinquent: How Poetry Changed a Group of at-Risk Young Women.”
These events, Oblong Books notes, lend support to authors whose new books have unfortunately been scheduled for release during the pandemic. Signed books are available from Oblong’s website at Free shipping or contactless curbside pickup options are available.

Debuting September 5, Kingston Annual 2020 arts exhibition seeks entries

A Call for Artists has just been announced for a brand-new annual fine arts exhibition and competition, to be held for the first time this September. Regional in scope, Kingston Annual 2020 will be hosted jointly by the Kingston Midtown Arts District (MAD) and Arts Society of Kingston (ASK).

Works will be exhibited at the ASK galleries at 97 Broadway in Kingston (if COVID-19 permits) and will simultaneously be shown in an online gallery. Both galleries will open on September 5 as part of Kingston’s First Saturday hoopla and remain up through the weekend of September 26/27 (Art Walk Kingston). If the ASK galleries are open to the public, onsite opening and closing receptions will be scheduled for September 5 and 26. The online gallery will be active for one year and then archived for subsequent viewing.

“The show, which will be curated by Kingston’s Distinguished Artist awardee Julie Hedrick, will undoubtedly be the first public art show since the pandemic,” predicts Anne Bailey, co-founder of Bailey Pottery and president of the MAD Board of Directors. “It will allow us to showcase the outstanding talent here in Kingston, alongside other artists from the [mid-Hudson] region.” Kingston, according to Hedrick, “is now the epicenter of the arts in action.”

The deadline for artists to submit work is July 1, and prizes will be awarded for first- ($500), second- ($250) and third-place ($150) entries. For more information about Kingston Annual 2020, including eligibility, application and submission guidelines for artists, e-mail or visit