Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Oswego County organizations receive CNY Arts Decentralization Awards

A number of Oswego County organizations are receiving 2014 CNY Arts Decentralization Awards.

The awards are given through the New York State Council on the Arts to to help localities support their own funding for arts events and programs.

Community Arts Grants partially fund community-based arts projects featuring dance, theater, film, music, and folk, literary, digital and visual arts.

Those receiving awards are:

Art Association of Oswego Inc., $1,700, Outreach Program

ARTSwego (through the Oswego College Foundation), $2,100, The Acting Coming: Coming to a Theater in Your Community

Cleveland Historical Society, $2,400, Children’s Glassworks Theatre

The Children’s Museum of Oswego, $710, Bash the Trash Environmental Arts Concert

Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, $1,400, Nature Inspires

Fulton Community Theatre, $1,900, for 2014 season

Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, $2,300, 014 Fulton Jazz Festival

H. Lee White Marine Museum, $2,700, War of 1812 — The Great Rope Play

Oswego Players Inc., $2,391, Gypsy

Pulaski Congregational Church, $2,200, Rhea LaVeck Memorial Concert Series

Salmon River Fine Arts Center, $2,460, Drawing Families into Art

Town of Schroeppel, $1,180, Music in the Park

Village of Lacona, $510, Lacona Music at the Market Concert Series

Village of Phoenix, $1,000, Friday Nights of Fun Concert Series

 

Young performers take the stage at CNY Arts Center

CNY Arts Center ushers in National Arts Education Month with a Showcase of Young Performers at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at The Arts Center, 357 State St. in Fulton.

With a generous grant from the Shineman Foundation, CNY Arts Center will spotlight several talented young people making their marks in the performing arts.

“Our Young Performers evening is a perfect tie-in to this very important month for the arts,” said Director Nancy Fox. “These are young people with exceptional gifts ready to share their gifts with an audience. They each have high ambitions. It takes a lot of courage to perform before an audience at so young an age.”

“At CNY Arts Center we know the arts are critical for children,” Fox said. “We work hard to provide a performing arts program for children of all ages and skill levels. This national acknowledgement of the crucial role the arts play in our children’s education is the right time to introduce these young people to an appreciate audience.”

March is an annual observance of the arts for children in schools and communities across the country through national initiatives such as Art is Education, Music in Our Schools, Theatre in our Schools, Art in our Schools and Youth Art Month.

Advocating for the value of an arts education to improve academic achievement, develop imaginations,  inspire creativity, and prepare students for careers in a constantly changing world, Arts Education Month brings much needed awareness.

The focus helps to validate funding and motivates community participation.

Ranging in age from 11 to 16, an evening of talent and entertainment will run for this one performance only. Three of the young performers, Matthew Oldenburg, Kaylee Foster and Rhiannon Ellison, debuted at CNY Arts Center’s Gifts of the Season in December.

The trio will be joined by veteran singer/dancer/actress Taylor Hamer along with a featured number from the cast of Willy Wonka, Jr.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

Oswego Players present ‘The Dining Room’

Oswego Players are presenting the play “The Dining Room” at 8 p.m. Feb. 21, 22, 28 and March 1 at the Frances Marion Brown Theater at Fort Ontario Park.

During the play, attendees will enter the dining room, where three men and three  women portray 50-plus diverse characters as they delineate the dying lifestyle of wealthy WASPdom, and the now neglected room which was once a vital center of family life.

Sound simple? Think again!

As comic sketch crazily succeeds comic sketch, a whole pattern of American life emerges.

“This is an actors show”, says director Bobby Fontana. While a typical show requires an actor to focus and embrace one particular character, this show requires the actor to continually change identities through accent, expression and physicality from the moment the curtain is raised!

You won’t find an elaborate set, exquisite costumes or mind blowing props… but you will experience six stellar actors who deliver a myriad of characters ranging from little boys to stern grandfathers, and from giggling teenage girls to southern housemaids.

Each vignette introduces a new set of people and events all intertwined to the plays main theme… an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper-middle-class WASP!

Come see the “sensational six” as Fontana coined them for one of their five performances.

The cast includes Brian Pringle, Knate MacKensie Roy, Matthew Gordon, Stephanie Johnson, Banna Rubinow and Tammy Wilkinson.

Log on to the players website www.oswegoplayers.org or call the box office at 343.5138 for more information.

The Oswego Players – 76 years and still entertaining!

Oswego musician performs at Coffee Connection March 1

Folk musician and nationally award-winning songwriter Gina Holsopple is performing at the Coffee Connection at 8 p.m. March 1.

Holsopple has been performing across the country with her partner, Matthew Wood, for more than 10 years. She released her eighth album, “RED,” last summer as well as her first ever music video featuring the song “It’s Good,” which can be found on YouTube.

In addition to performing across the country, Holsopple is highly involved in the local music community.

This includes regularly participating in the Oswego Music Hall Open Mic Nights and recently joining the Oswego Music Hall board as an executive committee member, teaching beginning guitar, voice, violin and piano lessons, directing the music for the CNY Arts performance of Willy Wonka Jr. this spring, and organizing the Wooden-Apple Farmstead Labor Day Music and Arts Festival.

Holsopple performs with her guitar, her violin and most importantly her voice.  She delights audiences with her “meandering melodies and winsome voice” that are “sure to make your foot tap, head bob, and lips open wide with a smile.”

“Gina is a traveler and her music takes on the traveler’s air. The light footed and swift-paced mentality resonates in the songs, which are just as well sung in the concert hall as on the trail.” (Brad Crescenzo-MuzikReviews.com Contributor)

This show also will be streamed live online at http://www.concertwindow.com/shows/3350-gina-holsopple.

More information about Holsopple and her music can be found online at www.ginaholsopple.com.

Oswego State Downtown exhibits photos by Baldwinsville resident

Oswego State Downtown will open an exhibition Saturday, Feb. 15, of photographs by Baldwinsville artist Jeanne C. Lagergren.

“The Nature of Things” exhibition will feature a free public artist’s reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the downtown branch of the College Store and gallery, corner of West First and Bridge streets in Oswego.

The display will run through March 22.

“My love of nature came from growing up on Long Island’s Great South Bay,” said Lagergren, a watercolorist and photographer who has a collection of 132 cameras, including her mother’s, father’s and her own first cameras.

“Picture postcard vistas of water, sand dunes and glorious sunsets were a creative inspiration for me,” she said. “Using my camera for taking reference photos for my watercolor paintings, the balance shifted from brushes and paint to camera and film.”

During a 38-year career in the graphic arts with Carrier Corp., her own company Checker Graphics and Xerox Corp., Lagergren often has entered photographs and watercolors in “On My Own Time” shows, and six of her works have been selected for display at the Everson Museum of Art.

She twice won “People’s Choice” awards in the competition. Her paintings and photography also have appeared at the New York State Fair, Liverpool and Mundy branches of Onondaga County Public Library, Altered Spaces and Sparky Town restaurant.

“The digital era came, my love for photography grew, and wanting to learn more I joined the Syracuse Camera Club in 2011,” Lagergren said. “Viewing the work of its talented members has been both an educational and rewarding experience.”

Among other awards, the club honored Lagergren in 2012-13 with a first-place Print Merit Award and a first-place Digital Merit Award, both in the entry-level division, and a second- and third-place award for Print of the Year.

She also received a “Feminist in the Graphic Arts” award from the Central New York chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information about this and other SUNY Oswego art exhibitions, contact Tyler Art Gallery at 312-2113.

Got a summer event? Contact the Oswego County Tourism Office

Organizations, businesses and groups have until Feb. 19 to submit information for the Oswego County Tourism Office’s 2014 “Summer in Oswego County” brochure.

Events that take place between April and October will be posted on the county tourism Web site and listed in the calendar, which is widely distributed at travel and vacation shows, chambers of commerce, NYS Thruway information centers, businesses and other outlets.

“The brochure typically includes more than 200 events as well as information on fishing tournaments, farm markets, outdoor concerts, and other summer activities,” said David Turner, director of the Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

People can fill out a form online and submit it directly to the Tourism Office at http://visitoswegocounty.com/more-to-see-do/calendar/events-in-oswego-county-entry-form/.

Forms have been sent to those who have submitted information in the past.

For more information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office weekdays at 349-8322 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 8322, or e-mail fobrien@oswegocounty.com.

Hannibal-based hard rock band works on first full-length album

Hannibal-based hard rock band Far From Over is becoming more well known in the music business, rubbing elbows with nationally known artists and working on a full-length album.

The band is set to play at Monirae’s Restaurant in Pennellville 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13. Far From Over joins national recording artist Buckcherry and other local bands.

Started as a cover band in 2011 by drummer Zane Pointon, bassist Alex Carter and guitarist Tyler Battist, Far From Over welcomed vocalist Zac Birdslow in 2012. Pointon, Carter and Battist attend Hannibal High School, and Birdslow is taking classes at Cayuga Community College.

The show with Buckcherry is not Far From Over’s first time rubbing elbows with some of rock radio’s biggest stars. Last year, the band played at 95X Fest 2013, which featured acts such as Sick Puppies and Adam Gontier, formerly of the band Three Days Grace.

“95X-Fest was a blast! It was so amazing to be able to hang out backstage and talk with the other bands,” Pointon said in an email.

He cited Gontier and Sick Puppies as influences of the band.

“We tend to blend both modern rock sound and the newer post-hardcore genres into our own work,” Pointon said.

Far From Over began gaining local exposure when a 95X DJ played their music on his show.

“Scott Dixon has always been a huge help to us and the whole Syracuse music scene. I don’t think there is one thing he cares more about then this music scene,” Pointon said. “Dixon does a show on 95X called ‘Locals Only.’ Bands all throughout Syracuse can submit their music to be played.”

Having released the “Burn” EP in 2012, Far From Over is working on their first full-length album. The video for the band’s newest single, “Tonight,” has reached more than 1,600 views on YouTube.

“ Filming the music video was a lot of fun and a great experience. It was all produced by our bassist, Alex,” Pointon said. “Being able to make the video for free and on our own was awesome but it was a lot more work. Our bassist stayed up for nights reviewing the shots and making the final edit.”

The band is trying to raise money for recording the new album on fundraising website Indiegogo.

“Like most local bands we make close to nothing. So funding our production and buying are merch can sometimes be hard,” Pointon said.

Despite the challenges of finding funds and juggling work, school and music, Pointon said Far From Over allows him and his bandmates to do what they love.

“We plan to just keep growing bigger in hope of turning from a local act to a touring national one day,” Pointon said. “Our new musical style is just what this world is asking for and we’re ready for the next step.”

Presale tickets for the Feb. 13 show are $25 and can be purchased at ticketweb.com, Monirae’s or the Sound Garden in Armory Square, Syracuse.

For more information about Far From Over, visit ffoband.com or like the band on Facebook at facebook.com/ffoband.

CNY Arts Center hires technical director

John Gamble is the new technical director for theater productions at the CNY Arts Center, 357 State St., Fulton.

As technical director, Gamble will oversee set building, painting and prop design for productions in rehearsal, including Searching for Eden: The Diaries of Adam and Eve, and Willy Wonka, Jr.

Other productions are planned throughout the year.

“We are thrilled to add John to our artistic staff,” said Nancy Fox, executive director. “This is a hugely important role in theatre and demands close attention to safe and cost effective construction techniques.

“John not only has training and experience in set and prop construction, he also has a deep passion for the challenge of finding creative solutions,” Fox said. “A tree made of cardboard and burlap comes to life in John’s hands, a hefty looking rock is actually soft and spongy when applying techniques for building safe but realistic looking everyday items.”

Gamble, a graduate of SUNY Oswego’s theater department, quickly moved into professional theatre after graduation. He has theater credits with New York Stage and Film in Poughkeepsie, Mac-Hayden Theater in Chatham and in Dubai helping set a world record for the largest fireworks display for Grucci Family Fireworks.

After returning to Oswego to be near family, John was recommended to CNY Arts Center through a mutual acquaintance.

“We found his skills and dedication to his craft to be a great asset and a perfect fit for our needs,” Fox said. “He immediately took on both productions scheduled back to back and has EDEN almost performance ready with the show opening Feb. 14.

“He will jump right in to Willy Wonka Jr. and lead teams of parent volunteers in a huge set build involving painted backdrops, waterfalls, factory machinery with moving parts, and all the demands of the familiar story,” Fox said.

“For his part, John has expressed excitement for the prospects of a professional theater in Oswego County where he can work and continue to live close to family,” Fox said.

“It is the desire of many artists who must choose between sacrificing artistic pursuits in favor of employment to stay in the area near family or move away and sacrifice family connections to pursue employment and artistic outlets in more urban areas,” Fox said.