New Paltz

Life Drawing Intensive

November 15, 2014 - 10:30am

Unison Arts Center offiers a Life Drawing Intensive on Saturday, November 15th from 10am-4:30.

This one day life drawing intensive event gives professional artists and students an opportunity to work with experienced models for an entire day. Participants should pre-pay over the phone (845-255-1559) or online at Registration will close at 3pm on Friday, November 14th.

The cost is $35 for Unison members and $45 for non-members.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.


Singer/Songwriter David Roth

November 1, 2014 - 8:00pm
See video

Cape Cod singer/songwriter David Roth will bring his many talents to Unison Arts Center on Saturday, November 1st at 8pm.

David Roth strikes many chords, hearts and minds with his unique songs, offbeat observations, moving stories, sense of the hilarious, and powerful singing and subject matter.  He has earned top honors at premier songwriting competitions (including Falcon Ridge) and has taken his music, experience and expertise to a wide variety of venues in this and other countries full-tme for more than two decades.

David's songs have found their way to Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, the Kennedy Center, Peter, Paul & Mary concerts and NASA's Space Shuttle "Atlantis."  He is featured on many of Christine Lavin's compilations. Peter Yarrow has raved, "David has reached into our hearts, With voices like his still singing, the candle will remain lit . . ."

Tickets to this event are $21 in advance ($18 for Unison members) and $26 at the door ($22 members). Students are half price with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 845-255-1559.  Read more


Family Fun at Unison: It's Magic with Andy Weintraub

November 1, 2014 - 2:00pm

Magician extraordinaire Andy Weintraub will appear (or disappear?) at Unison Arts Center on Saturday, November 1st at 2pm as part of the Family Fun series.

Andy's show will focus on the basic principles of sleight of hand and misdirection.  He will teach card tricks, tricks with liquids and some larger stage illusions. He might even pull a rabbit out of his hat!

Andy Weintraub has been studying, performing and practicing magic since the age of 10.  Along the way he acquired a PhD in economics, founded the Rhinebeck Theatre Society and the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck.

Tickets to this event are $12 in advance, $8 for Unison members and $5 for children under 12.  Door prices are $14, $10 and $7 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 845-255-1559.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.

(845) 255-1559

Primary elections today

Above: A voting booth in Margaretville in May 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

It's an election year, and today is the day to vote in the primaries. 

The biggest race in the primary is on the Democratic ticket, where underdog candidate Zephyr Teachout is challenging New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Teachout is attacking Cuomo from the left by comparing his fiscal policies to those of Ronald Reagan.  Cuomo is doing his best to ignore Teachout's campaign entirely. (Literally. During a Labor Day parade in Manhattan, Cuomo managed to ignore Teachout as she stood directly in front of him.

Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, is running for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor against Kathy Hochul, Cuomo's running mate. The race is its own separate primary, and if Wu wins, he could find himself in the odd position of being Cuomo's running mate in the general election.

As for local Catskills races, there are a few worth noting. 

Left: Bryan Babcock. Photo via Babcock's campaign. 

The Delaware County town of Franklin is holding a Republican primary for a town council seat. Bryan Babcock, the owner of Handsome Brook Farm and Bed & Breakfast who is also a professor at Hartwick College, is vying with Lisa Huyck and Donald Smith for one of two seats on the board. Babcock has criticized the town board for not implementing a comprehensive plan for Franklin.

"With several major infrastructure projects on the horizon in Delaware County," Babcock said in a press release. "it is essential that we protect our roads and utilities. To do this we need to be proactive as a Town Board. I feel that my experience as a business leader will help the Board be even more effective for Franklin residents."

In the Ulster county towns of Hardenburgh and Denning, the Sullivan County town of Neversink, and the Delaware County towns of Andes, Bovina, Davenport, Delhi, Hamden and Meredith, there is a Republican primary race for the 101st State Assembly District, which features a contest between Claudia Tenney and Chris Farber.  According to the Daily Star, the outcome of the primary doesn't matter -- both Tenny and Farber will make it to the ballot in November. 

  Read more

Fifth Friday Dance Meet Up: Old Fashioned Cajun with Cleoma's Cajun String Band

October 31, 2014 - 7:30pm

Cleoma's Cajun String Band will appear at Unison Arts Center on Halloween for some old and traditional Cajun music for the final "Fifth Friday Dance Meet Up" of 2014.  Buffy Lewis will teach a dance lesson at 7:30 and the band will play from 8-10pm.

Cleoma's Cajun String Band is Buffy Lewis on guitar and vocals, Roger Weiss on fiddle and vocals, Ambrose Verdibello on guitar, Evie Schneider on bass and Melissa Lovaglio on drums.  The group plays high energy Cajun and Creole dance music in an authentic and Old-time style. Whenever they play, people cannot help but two-step and waltz to the infections rhythms.  Their music is from the heart and each performance embodies the "love of life" axiom emblematic of the heart of Southwestern Louisiana. Let the good times roll!

Whether you are an experienced dancer or just starting out, have a partner or are coming solo, Unison's Fifth Friday Dance Meet Ups offer something for everyone.

Tickets are $10 for Unison members and $15 for non-members and can be purchased online at or by calling 845-255-1559.

Unison Arts Center is located at 68 Mountain Rest Road in New Paltz, New York.


Martha Gallagher: The Adirondack Harper

October 25, 2014 - 8:00pm

Unison Arts Center will be filled with music, stories of life and in-the-moment inspirations on Saturday, October 25th when multi-faceted performer Martha Gallagher brings her one-woman show to the stage at 8pm.

Martha Gallagher, an acclalimed singer and songwriter, adds the unusual twist in that her instrument of choice is the harp.  She finds inspiration everywhere and brings this to her music and her performances, touching a collective spirit with her audiences.  Using the many facets of daily life as her muse, she creates a vibrant, living tapestry of song and in-the-moment inspirations.  With two "voices," her own and that of the unique instrument she plays, The Orphan Harp, she infuses her one woman shows with artistry, a compassionate world vision, spontaenous sense of humor and a delight in the wonders that make up our lives, from the mundane to the miraculous.

Wanda Fischer from WAMC says, "Martha plays the harp with a joie de vivre; with a sense of joy and energy rarely seen with this instrument!"  Read more


Sunday Salon: Blues & Conversation with Big Joe Fitz

October 19, 2014 - 2:00pm

Big Joe Fitz will stop by Unison Arts Center on Sunday, October 19th at 2pm for a conversation riffing on The Blues, The Bronx, Rosendale, Guitars, Harmonicas and 30 years at WDST. Local author Steve Lewis will host the event. Joe will bring his harmonica with him, so there's sure to be some blues in store.

For 30 years Big Joe Fitz has been one of the leading personalities on the Hudson Valley music scene. His long running radio program 'The Blues Break' on WDST has become a Sunday night institution for those in the musical know. Hudson Valley Magazine recently cited him in their "Best of the Valley" issue and in 2013 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as a "Great Blues Artist from New York."

As a performer, Joe has opened for or shared the stage with such notables as The Holmes Brothers, Marcia Ball, Garth Hudson, Mighty Sean McClain, Pinetop Perkins, Eddie Kirkland, Little Sammy Davis, Ruthie Foster, Madeleine Peyroux, Tad Robinson, Catherine Russell, Bruce Katz, Janiva Magness and many more.  Read more


Boat the Pepacton in September, earn a badge

Above: A sailboat glides on the surface of the Pepacton Reservoir on May 26, 2012. Photo by Tina Schvejda; posted in the Watershed Post's Flickr group pool.

This summer, the Catskills Outdoor Guide is partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Catskill Watershed Corporation to bring you our new Catskill Reservoir Paddler embroidered badge, which you can only earn by paddling a specific reservoir each month.

In September, the spotlight is on the Pepacton Reservoir. Paddle the Pepacton anytime between September 1 and 30, send in your proof, and a Catskill Reservoir Paddler badge will be yours. Click here or scroll down for full redemption instructions. 

The Pepacton reservoir is the workhouse of the Catskill reservoirs, holding more water than any other reservoir in the NYC system. It holds 140 billion gallons, and contributes a quarter of the entire city's water supply.

The 15-mile-long lake is studded with coves and is straddled by the Shavertown bridge, which is a great viewpoint for a photo shoot or an impromptu race. (Real races have been held on the Pepacton: in 2012, it hosted the first leg of the 2012 Adventure Race National Championship.)

The Pepacton has four boat launches spread along its lengthy shoreline. For a detailed map of the Pepacton and its boat launches, click here.

For our five-step guide to boating NYC's Catskills reservoirs, click here. 

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2nd Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center

An especially sincere thank you to the community businesses sponsoring the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament.  The golf tournament serves to benefit Margaretville Hospital and Mountainside Residential Care Center. 

First Place Winners

Tim and Teresa Hynes, David and Bea Hull

Second Place Winners

Tom and Ralph Ackerly, Bill Blish, George Griffin

Longest Drive Women

Margo Pinkos

Longest Drive Men

Tim Hynes


This Weekend: 11 Catskills Labor Day events (and fireworks)

Above: A poster for the Windham Chamber Music Festival, just one of the events happening this Labor Day weekend in the Catskills.

Don't look now, but the leaves are already turning in the highest peaks of the Catskills. That and the arrival of Labor Day weekend confirms it: Summer is ending. Go out with a bang -- in some cases, a literal bang, with fireworks -- with these great events from around the region. 

ACROSS THE CATSKILLS: Lighting of the Fire Towers event. It's tonight! Details here


New trails open in Delhi. Saturday, August 30. 2 p.m. Volunteers have been working all summer to create a new set of hiking trails behind Delaware Academy school. Several of the trails are named for characters in the beloved children's novel My Side of the Mountain, which was set in Delhi. Delaware Academy, 2 Sheldon Dr., Delhi.

  Read more

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