Arts

This weekend: Halloween in the Catskills, Part 1

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Above: A promo for Haunted Huguenot Street, New Paltz's annual spookfest, featuring "Mrs. Gertrude Deyo-Brodhead’s infamous Murder Mystery parties at the Deyo House." Tours, spirit readings and ghost stories all weekend.  

It’s the darkening evening of the year, and the veil between the worlds has thinned. Venture out into the mountains and valleys for some resonant Halloween fun, costumed or otherwise, beginning this weekend. There’s a little of everything going on, whether you’re looking for pumpkins and not-too-scary spirits for the little guys, contemplative historic ghost-walks, or smokin’ hot dance parties into the wheeee hours.

Here’s our guide to the fearsome and frolicsome times for Oct. 24 - Oct. 26. We'll have another one next week, to cover the many festivities scheduled across the Catskills for Halloween itself. 

DELAWARE COUNTY  Read more

Fall blazes in the Schoharie Valley

Photographer Caleb Jacobus took these photographs of the blazing fall colors in the Schoharie Valley this morning, Friday, Oct. 17.

He was hiking on the cliffs in the town of Middleburgh, looking out towards Vroman's Nose and the Catskills. Below, there is a shot of the trail.

Caleb says that the colors of the shots are enhanced slightly by a filter on his camera, but are otherwise unaltered.  Read more

This Weekend: The Woodstock Film Festival

Above: A trailer for I Believe in Unicorns, a film that was partially shot in the Hudson Valley. It is a featured film at this year's Woodstock Film Festival. 

The annual Woodstock Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 15, bringing big names -- actors Natalie Portman, Jennifer Connelly, Courteney Cox, and Melissa Leo, playwright Tony Kushner, director Darren Aronofsky (who directed Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan), and jazz musician Hugh Masekela -- to the Catskills and the Hudson Valley to talk film.

Lots of this year's events and panels are already sold out, including tonight's premiere screening of East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, a documentary about Israeli musician David Broza’s new album, made against the larger backdrop of tensions between Israel and Palestine. (Broza himself will be playing a set after the screening, along with singer-songwriter Steve Earle.)   Read more

O+ leaves its mark on Kingston

Last weekend's O+ Festival filled the city of Kingston with artists, musicians, and healthcare professionals, who swapped checkups for performances.

Some of the creativity was permanent: Singer-songwriter Jack Dishel and graffiti collective Vor138 left a permanent mark on the side of the Keegan Ales building on Saint James Street. Thanks to the O+ Festival for letting us share their photo.

Columbus Day Weekend in the Catskills: Fests, food, fiddlers and foliage

Can you flip a tractor tire? Test your mettle at the Farm Olympics, happening this weekend at the annual Taste of the Catskills festival in Delhi. Photo by Eamon Queeney.

Columbus Day Weekend is coming up, and the Catskills are making the most of summer's last hurrah.  

If you're a Catskills local, you've been living in a slow-mo fireworks display for a couple of weeks now, as maples, beeches, birches and oaks erupt in a dazzling riot of fall color. This weekend brings peak foliage to the lower elevations of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley -- and while the high-elevation slopes are just a little past peak, there is still plenty of brilliant color all around.

Lark in the Park, a ten-day, Catskills-wide celebration of the great outdoors, wraps up on Monday. Between now and then are dozens of guided hikes, paddles, outdoor volunteer opportunities and more, ranging from family-friendly woods walks to off-trail bushwhacks for experienced outdoorsfolk. Choose your own adventure from our special Lark in the Park calendar  Read more

WIOX employee fired for sending offensive station emails to candidate

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Above: A segment on the Fox New Channel's Fox & Friend's talk show about inappropriate emails sent from WIOX 91.3 FM's email account to Republican Congressman Chris Gibson, who is running for re-election. The segment ran on Friday, Oct. 3.

WIOX 91.3 FM, a community radio station in the Delaware County town of Roxbury, has fired its office manager for allegedly using the station's email account to send personal attacks to Republican Congressman Chris Gibson. Gibson is a retired Army colonel running for re-election to the 19th Congressional District of New York against Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge.

The incident has thrust the tiny Catskills public radio station into the center of a national political kerfuffle, and has drawn the attention of conservative opponents of public radio.

The fired employee allegedly sent multiple emails containing personal attacks over a period of months to Gibson's campaign staff using the official WIOX email account. The employee has not been named by the station or by WSKG, a nonprofit media company from Binghamton that merged with WIOX last year.  Read more

En pointe en plein air: The Ballet Project

Above: A ballerina in a hay field in Liberty. Part of "The Ballet Project," a series of portraits of ballerinas in Catskills and Hudson Valley vistas by Erik Christian.

In the right light, the landscapes of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley can take on a kind of mythic quality. Mountaintops, forests, ponds, cliffs, caves—and it helps if you throw a ballerina in the mix.

That's the concept behind “The Ballet Project,” a photo series by Monticello photographer Erik Christian in which he captures his dance-inclined daughters against a dramatic variety of natural surroundings. His dreamlike images transform the Ashokan Reservoir into Swan Lake and the Neversink Gorge into Giselle's forest glade.

We caught up with Christian to talk about the project, which he’s been creating in collaboration with his kids (now 13, 10 and 7) for three years and counting. (Christian asked us not to identify his children in this story.)

Q. Where did the idea for “The Ballet Project” come from?  Read more

This Weekend: Big Eddy Film Festival

Above: "Dig," a short film about a man who digs hole while his neighborhood watches, will screen at the Big Eddy Film Festival in Narrowsburg this weekend. 

The third annual Big Eddy Film Festival kicks off Friday night and runs all weekend long in a 1930s-era Art Deco movie theater in the Sullivan County hamlet of Narrowsburg.

Twenty-seven new indie films will be screened at the festival, including a documentary about Jewish comedians, a short film about digging a hole, several documentaries about dementia and memory loss, and whimsical Japanese feature about a recluse who is obsessed with the movie "Fargo."   Read more

Tannersville bets big on arts; launches third season of Jazz Factory

Above: Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts at the 2013 Catskill Jazz Factory. Photo courtesy of the 23Arts initiative.

Piers Playfair and his wife Lucy believe that the arts are the key to economic development in the Catskills.

“It’s important we have a strong artistic spine,” Playfair said.

The couple decided to bring renowned jazz musicians to the Catskills two years ago, when they founded the Catskill Jazz Factory -- a series of performances, workshops, and master classes -- in the Greene County hamlet of Tannersville.

The Jazz Factory, which kicks off its 2014 season tomorrow night, was such a success that the Playfairs are making it the highlight of new organization that plans to run year-round arts programming in and around Tannersville.

The new initiative, which launched this summer, is called the 23Arts Initiative (23Ai for short), and is named after Route 23A, which runs through Tannersville.  Read more

TMI Project: Voices in Action plays Rosendale

Above: TMI Project stage manager Erica Pivko, left, talks with founder Julie Novak. Photo courtesey of the TMI Project. 

"I had constructed these pants when I was in one of my nuthouses," Joanee Tarshis says in a video produced by the TMI Project. "I had been refusing to make a wallet in occupational therapy. Only crazy people make wallets."

Stories like this, from mental health patients, at-risk teens, and domestic violence survivors, are the heart of "Voices in Action," a monologue show produced by the TMI Project that comes to the Rosendale Theatre on Tuesday, July 29.  Read more

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