For a relatively small city, Saratoga Springs offers a wide range of art venues and cultural experiences. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is located in the beautiful Saratoga Spa State Park. This open-air concert arena is the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra and hosts Opera Saratoga, the annual Jazz Festival as well as several well-known dance companies. Live Nation summer concert series features artists like Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Josh Groban for all to enjoy.
Numerous art galleries are scattered throughout the downtown area, including Saratoga Arts, a non-profit organization that sponsors the city’s widely popular First Night Celebration. In collaboration with Skidmore College, Saratoga Arts also sponsors ArtsFest in June, a three-day, city-wide, family-oriented event. Skidmore College itself features the Schick Art Gallery, the Tang Teaching Museum and offers music and dance performances that are open to the public throughout the year. The Beekman Street Arts District, located a few blocks west of Broadway, showcases working crafters and artists throughout the year.
Caffè Lena, on Phila Street, is the oldest continuously running folk venue in the country and provides a unique coffee-house setting featuring established and emerging musicians, poets and storytellers. Both the Film Forum (housed at Saratoga Arts) and Homemade Theater (in the Little Theater in the Saratoga Spa State Park) draw loyal and enthusiastic audiences.
The recently restored Universal Preservation Hall (UPH) located just a block off Broadway, will provide a wide range of theatrical and musical performances. Originally built as a Methodist Church in 1871, it later became a Baptist Church and while it still offers a small chapel, the large and beautiful main hall upstairs is a spectacular performance space.
Whether it may be the Albany Symphony playing at Skidmore’s new Zankel Music building in the heart of winter or the Shakespeare Festival in Congress Park at the height of the summer season, there is so much to engage the art lover in Saratoga.