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Caroga Arts to host winter performances

GLOVERSVILLE — Area residents longing for summer fun will get their wish this week when an organization known for producing summer entertainment, the Caroga Arts Collective, hosts its first Winter Residency with a week of interactive performances culminating in an artists showcase at the Gloversville Public Library Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Caroga Arts Collective is a not-for-profit organization seeking to bring interdisciplinary artists together to collaborate on innovative projects and performances, while working with community members to focus on revitalizing local culture, business and life by providing unique artistic experiences and educational opportunities.

Caroga Arts produces and facilitates a number of projects including the Caroga Lake Music Festival, Your Body is Your Strad, InterArts Symposium, MyHil Film Series and more.

The InterArts Symposium has become an annual residency since its launch in 2017, featuring resident artists from across the country coming together for a week in Caroga to explore their various disciplines through individual and collaborative works, culminating in a showcase performance at the end of the week.

Kyle Barrett Price, artistic and executive director of the Caroga Arts Collective, explained Tuesday that the collective is looking to expand their artist residencies, launching their first winter program this week featuring 15 musicians, visual artists and poets or spoken word artists.

“This is the inaugural run of this new program, it’s focused on bringing artists from all over the country to Caroga and the Johnstown and Gloversville area to collaborate on projects,” Price said. “Some artist ‘start from scratch,’ others will have pre-formed groups. In addition to working with each other, there is a strong initiative on working with the community on different things that the town wants us to be a part of.”

Caroga Arts is committed to providing opportunities for community members and artists through their projects and events and the winter residency will see artists working collaboratively with area residents throughout the week during free community classes and performances and three “dine and listen” events that are $30 per person at the door, including the cost of a meal.

“Seeing how artists engage the public throughout the week creates a connection for the artists and the audience,” Price said.

Price said resident artists were gathering for the first time Tuesday evening to begin formulating concepts and rehearsing before their first event, an educational workshop for students at the Wheelerville Union Free School District today.

Artists will present an interactive workshop on the theme of “winter,” allowing students to explore a variety of artistic mediums and engage creatively with each resident artist, followed by a performance incorporating some of the artistic works created by the students.

Later today, the first interactive dinner will be held at Pleasant Lake Inn at 7 p.m., allowing audience members to enjoy a meal and learn about the creative process for poets and musicians, while participating in a postcard poetry project.

“One of our poets will be taking old postcards that relate to the area to do a form of poetry on the postcard and relating that to music, with people creating music that fits the poem and postcard that you picked,” Price explained.

On Thursday, an interactive dinner will be held at the Pine Lake Lodge at 7 p.m., allowing audience members to discover the secrets behind the creative process for both visual artists and instrument makers.

Price explained that instrument maker Thomas Dunn and piano technician Marc Wienert will talk about the inner workings of instruments, giving those in attendance an up close look at various instruments, before participating in a visual arts exercise.

Also on Thursday, Caroga Arts’ winter resident, Dr. Sam Lee Fielding of High Peak Acupuncture, will lead a group lesson on Tong Ren, a Chinese energy healing modality developed by Tom Tam, at 146 Jung Road in Caroga Lake at 9 a.m.

Then on Saturday, Geoff and Rob Saunders will perform a few songs and lead an Adirondack sing-a-long at Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market at 10 a.m., before the winter residents come together for an artists showcase at the Gloversville Public Library at 1:30 p.m.

Price said the artist showcase will be similar to a TED Talk, with each group or individual taking roughly 10 minutes to discuss and perform or display projects they have been developing and rehearsing throughout the weeklong residency.

“Artists will be doing this for the first time on Saturday, for most of them these will be premiers,” Price said. “I think seeing something that hasn’t been done before will be a big draw and when artists are displaying their passion it’s really infectious to watch.”

Price added that he is excited to perform in the library’s renovated Carnegie room.

“The library is an organization that has been very important to many people in this area and has been extremely supportive of local organizations and showcasing these organizations. I’m eager to play there,” Price said. “I encourage everyone to join us for that really fun performance.”

The winter residency will conclude with an encore performance of the artists showcase served with a side of brunch at the Nick Stoner Inn on Sunday at 11 a.m.

For anyone who misses this week’s winter residency, Price said Caroga Arts is committed to continuing the winter program and introducing spring and fall residencies.

“Dates are still to be determined, but it’s likely that those will begin this year,” Price said. “It’s something artists want to participate in, because having an opportunity to engage with a project of personal importance is crucial to their artistic ability and to be able to share that with the public.”

“We’re grateful to be a part of this community,” he added.

More information on the Caroga Arts Collective Winter Residency and the visiting artists can be found online at carogaarts.org/winter-residency. Advance tickets to “dine, listen and learn” events are available for purchase at a reduced rate of $25 per person for each event or $65 per person to attend all three events by calling (516) 712-8494.

Donations to support the Caroga Arts Collective’s artist residencies and other projects will be accepted at free performances this week and are greatly appreciated. Donations can also be made online at carogaarts.org/personalgiving.

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