For a relatively small city, Saratoga Springs is big on the arts of all kinds! The Saratoga Performing Arts Centeris the summer home of the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and also hosts Opera Saratoga, the annual Jazz Fest, several well-known modern dance companies. Its FYE summer concert series brings in artists like Herbie Hancock, Sting, and Josh Groban for all to enjoy.
Numerous galleries are found in the downtown district, including that of Saratoga Arts, a non-profit organization that sponsors the City’s wildly successful First Night Celebration. In collaboration with Skidmore College, Saratoga Arts also sponsors ArtsFest in June, a 3 day citywide, family oriented event. Skidmore itself has the Schick Art Gallery and the Tang Teaching Museum, and offers music and dance performances open to the public.
A few blocks west of Broadway, the Beekman Street Art District features more galleries, shops and restaurants. Caffe Lena, on Phila St., is the oldest folk venue in the country and continues to bring in established and emerging musicians. Both the Film Forum (housed at Saratoga Arts) and Homemade Theater (in the Little Theater in the Spa State Park) draw loyal and enthusiastic audiences. Although still being restored, the Universal Preservation Hall is now able to book performances and concerts. Built as a Methodist Church in 1871, it later became a Baptist Church, and now has a chapel set aside for the small congregation, while the large and beautiful main hall is a wonderful performance space.
Whether it may be the Albany Symphony playing at Skidmore’s new Zankel Music building in the dead of winter, or the Shakespeare Festival in Congress Park at the height of summer, there is much to engage the art lover in Saratoga.