New events join with longtime favorites to engage community members with the creative and performing arts
(SCHENECTADY, NY – May 29, 2019) – The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) is joining with local partner organizations to build public awareness of and engagement in the wealth of arts & cultural activities in and around Downtown Schenectady. The inaugural Downtown Schenectady ArtsWeek takes place Saturday, June 1 to Saturday, June 8, 2019 and is bookended by well-established and brand new community arts events and activities.
“Downtown Schenectady ArtsWeek is jam-packed with a phenomenal amount of arts-related activities that residents and visitors can participate in during the lead-up to summer,” said Jim Salengo, DSIC executive director. “Working with our partners, we are bringing additional attention to the rich mix of arts and culture that can be found in Schenectady throughout the entire year.”
“An Indian poet says, ‘The greatness of a culture can be found in its festivals,’ and here in Schenectady we don’t have to look far. On June 1 we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kids’ Arts Festival with four hours of performances and hands-on interactions with sculptors, painters, singers, poets and quite a bit of learning thrown in,” said Betsy Sandberg, who chairs the volunteer planning committee for the festival that is presented by the ElectriCity Arts District. The Festival takes place from 12-4 p.m. on the streets outside City Hall and the Jay Street Marketplace pedestrian walkway.
On Sunday, June 2, the highlight of the annual Schenectady Pride Festival will be the dedication of a new Rainbow Pride Art Sculpture at 5 p.m. at Schenectady Gateway Plaza on Lower State Street.
“As we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the modern LGBTQ rights movement, it is extremely gratifying that Schenectady has embraced public art as a way to express support and solidarity with our community,” said Chad Putman, Schenectady Pride coordinator. “By highlighting significant milestones in the struggle for LGBTQ rights, this colorful new sculpture will both inspire and educate.” The Schenectady Pride Festival will kick off at 2 p.m. on the Jay Street Marketplace with entertainment, food, drinks and other vendors. The dedication will take place directly following a march from Jay Street to Gateway Plaza beginning at 4 p.m.
A new signature event, Groovin’ at Gateway, takes place on Tuesday, June 4 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Schenectady Gateway Plaza (rain location is Key Hall at Proctors).
“Gateway Plaza has established a fantastic new public gathering space in Downtown Schenectady, and ArtsWeek is the perfect opportunity to begin programming the space with new events,” said Amy Sonder, DSIC promotions coordinator. “By partnering with C.R.E.A.T.E Community Studios, the Electric City Barn, Kids’ Arts Festival, Mike’s Hot Dogs and others, Groovin’ at Gateway will give visitors of all ages a wonderful opportunity to spend a June evening with friends and family and contribute to an innovative group art project.”
The importance of artists in the Schenectady community was a driving force behind the creation of the Electric City Barn, a maker space at 400 Craig Street in the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood just east of downtown. In addition to participating in Groovin’ at Gateway, the Electric City Barn will also stage High School Musical at their facility on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8.
“We are excited to partner and collaborate with local organizations striving to encourage and support local creatives,” said Erin Eckler, Electric City Barn operations manager. “We look forward to lending a hand in future efforts to rejuvenate Schenectady and leverage the large pool of talent in the region.”
Other signature events throughout the week include the launch of the 2019 Jazz on Jay concert series on Thursday, June 6 from 12-1:30 p.m. featuring the Teresa Broadwell Quintet; Discover Schenectady’s Kick Off to Summer event with live music, vendors, food and more on Saturday, June 8 from 12-7 p.m. at Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park; and an outdoor performance by the Albany Symphony Orchestra beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 8 at the Mohawk Harbor Amphitheater.
After the June 6 Jazz on Jay concert, all are invited to New York Folklore at 129 Jay Street to celebrate their 75th birthday and meet members of a Kyrgyzstan cultural tourism delegation.
Dozens of additional arts and cultural activities – from live music and theater to art shows and lessons – are taking place throughout Downtown Schenectady ArtsWeek. For a detailed listing, visit the Downtown Schenectady ArtsWeek Facebook event page or downtownschenectady.org.