Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Breezy tunes and weather make Jazz Fest a success

By Ashley M. Casey

A cloudy start to the weekend gave way to sunny skies last Friday as the Fulton Jazz Fest kicked off a breezy, fun-filled evening.

Held behind the War Memorial by Lake Neatahwanta last Friday and Saturday, the Jazz Fest boasted positive attendance, according to the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

Several local acts graced the Fulton Savings Bank stage. The Cortini Brothers, with special guest saxophonist Tommy Ciappa, warmed up the crowd for Friday’s opening “Happy Hour.” The bank also donated door prizes for the Happy Hour drawing. Continue reading

Poetry Corner

Camp Nurse

By Jim Farfaglia


Looking back

she must’ve been fresh out of college,

sporting a camp T-shirt and shorts

– no starched whites and cap for her –

as she checked each of us in

with her free-flowing smile.


At the first campfire

I found out she liked to sing,

and to my restless ears

she had the sweetest contralto,

offering Baez and Dylan

over flickering flames…


Which is why,

more than a few nights that season,

I faked illness right around bedtime.

She’d check my temperature,

run through her questions,

then – like the wise nurse she was becoming –

she’d offer the perfect remedy

in song.

St. Stephen fest set Aug. 11

St. Stephen’s Church in Oswego is holding its annual Parish Festival Aug. 11.

The festivities will begin at noon and last until 7 p.m. on the church grounds at 140 Niagara St. The event will take place rain or shine.

Traditional Polish foods, including kielbasa, glombki and three varieties of pierogi, will be available starting at noon. Picnic foods and light and adult refreshments also will be available.

A variety of games of skill and chance will take place for young and old alike. Highlights include the famous “Baked Goods” booth, which offers far more than the usual cakes and the popular “Beautiful Baskets” raffle, which consists of chances to win themed baskets. Lots of activities are planned for children to enjoy.

Music continues to be a special part of the St. Stephen’s Parish Festival, and this year DJ Bob Hagney will be spinning the tunes from noon until 2 p.m.

Live music provided by The New Direction from Buffalo will follow. The New Direction will play polkas and other popular tunes until 6 p.m.

Summer Sunset concert tonight

The sixth concert in the Oswego Summer Sunset Concert Series will be 7 tonight, Aug. 7, at Breitbeck Park in Oswego.

These concerts are provided free to the public by the City of Oswego and the Musicians Union of Oswego County.

The Concert Band, under the direction of Kevin Upcraft, will perform several selections.

They include: March from the movie 1941, selections from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Chillers and Thrillers,” “Liberty Bell,” “State Fair,” “The Sting,” “The Great Escape,” “West Side Story,” Hollywood Milestones, “Les Miserables” and Sinatra in Concert.

This week’s concert and the following two August performances will begin a half hour earlier than usual, at 7 p.m., to allow the audience to enjoy the beautiful Oswego sunsets.

The public is invited to bring lawn chairs or relax in the car.

Dancers donate winnings in memory of Sandy Hook victims

By Tracy Kinne

When young dancers at Off Broadway Dance Center in Fulton took a $250 prize at a state competition in this summer, they wanted to do something special with the money.

They donated it to their counterparts at Dance Etc., a studio in Newton, Conn. The money will be used toward a scholarship in memory of three of the studio’s dancers, who were killed in the December school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

For the rest of the story, pick up the print version of The Valley News.

What’s Happening at CNY Arts Center?

Open Studio returns this week at the center from 6 to 9 pm. Aug. 8.

All skill levels are welcome to join other artists to practice life drawing or painting from still life. Chat with friends and just have fun!

We’ll go outside some days (weather permitting). Bring your own materials or use some of ours. An artist facilitator will be on site. Artists can get practice drawing and painting from life and go home with a finished work. Come early, stay late!

Introductory Stained Glass series continues from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays for ages 16 and older.

Make a stained glass panel using the leaded method, be introduced to copper foil method, learn glass selection, cutting, grinding, soldering, framing, hanging and patina techniques.

Some patterns will be provided or students can get help adapting their custom design.

Aug. 10 is a full day at the center starting with Bonnie McClellan’s Oil Painting “Mountain Reflection” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Or choose Collage Making with Kendra Matott from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by her popular Different Ways to Draw class from 1 to 4 p.m.

Try a variety of drawing methods, including some unconventional ones: still life drawings, energy drawings, paint splatters and drawing with your feet. They will help widen your drawing skills and provide you with tools to break through creative blocks. All skill levels welcome!

It will be a full day of art fun. Bring a lunch or bring a friend, but remember to pre-register at

Aug. 11 is the date of our Café Exchange bringing all artists together for one great evening of socializing and sharing. Writers, studio artists, actors, culinary artists all meet at the Arts in the HeArt Gallery from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 47 S. First St. It is free and open to the public and should be a great night of fun and the arts. Bring a friend and join us!

Story Time Art, for 4- to 7-year olds next week moves to Aug 14 for one week only from 6 to 7 p.m. with Kendra Matott. Our book title, “Olivia,” will have kids splattering paint just like Olivia!

More great titles and fun art projects are bringing summer fun. Don’t miss out. Pre-register at

“Charlotte’s Web” opens Aug. 16 for three performances only, 7 p.m. Aug 16, 2 p.m. Aug 17 and 18. Tickets and reservations for this kids-only cast of more than 30 are available at

Arty Camp was so much fun in July and more great things are being planned for our next session Aug. 19 to 23. There is still time to register your child. Scholarships are available — no child will be turned away. Visit for information.

Students are reminded to pre-register for all classes and workshops to avoid missing out. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee.

Visit  for more information or call 592-3373 for details and updates and remember we bring all arts for all ages at two separate locations.

Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theatre and Arty Camp, are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State Street United Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton.

Arts in the HeART Gallery is located at 47 S. First St. in downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry. Artists can apply for gallery space online at

Local youth spin performance of ‘Charlotte’s Web’

Just two weeks from opening night, more than 30 children are rehearsing to bring the classic story of “Charlotte’s Web” to the stage at CNY Arts Center at the State Street Methodist Church in Fulton.

Performances are set for Aug. 16 to 18. The cast includes many children with no stage experience and multiple families involved in the action from the smallest gosling to the artistic staff.

“We are excited to work with these children,” said director Rebecca Fox. “It is great to have siblings together in the play that can help each other learn lines and find their place on stage. The lessons they learn from this experience will carry over into other aspects of their education as they develop stage presence and a sense of accomplishment being part of something bigger than their individual selves …even better to share it as a family.”

Fox, the daughter of Nancy Fox, executive director of CNY Arts Center, is visiting for a few months from Los Angeles, where she has pursued her acting career with appearances on “Glee,” “Mind of Mencia” and the reenactment TV series “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant,” among others.

The beloved tale is the classic E.B. White story of two friends and a barnyard full of animals who work together to keep Wilbur from the butcher’s block. Charlotte, a beautiful spider, spins words of glowing comment over the pig’s pen.

As onlookers gather and marvel at the miracle overhead, Wilbur is deemed too valuable for an ordinary outcome. The story is adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette and presented by special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing.

“This extremely large cast has worked hard to grasp the demands and commitment necessary to bring this story to life on stage. It is a new experience for most of them, parents included,” Fox continues. “We are grateful for their commitment to faithfully bring the children to rehearsals all summer long, coach them to learn their lines and help pull props and costumes together. The end result will be a great memory for all of us.”

“Charlotte’s Web” will run for three performances only: 7 p.m. Aug 16, 2 p.m. Aug 17 and 2 p.m. Aug 18. Use the Park Street entrance. For tickets, reservations or more information, visit or call 592-3373.

Arts Market seeks artists and crafters

CNY Arts Center is looking for artists, crafters, antiques and food vendors to participate in the third annual Arts Market, held Sept. 14 from 9 a.m .to 4 p.m. in the former Nestle parking lot on Fay Street in Fulton.

The Arts Market features a wide variety of vendors and a crowd of shoppers. The event coincides with Fulton’s annual city-wide yard sale.

“It’s a great way to wrap up a busy summer and give artists, crafters and other vendors one more chance to display their work to the general public,” said event coordinator Kiley Casper. “The large parking lot is a popular location for this gathering with ample room for everyone and on a beautiful fall day it is one event that people seem to remember the easiest.

“This is truly a market as opposed to an arts festival in the variety of vendors we’re seeking,” Casper continued. “We are proud to include independent consultants who work from home selling commercial product lines. Because these small business owners can have a significant economic impact and need to reach a broader public, we accept a limited number of vendors from this category alongside hand-made original arts and crafts. In keeping with the theme of the city-wide yard sale, we also accept a limited number of flea-market vendors. Of course antiques and vintage vendors are also welcome.”

CNY Arts Center will once again raffle baskets of goods donated from vendors participating in the event. Activities for children will include sidewalk chalk art and bubble fun. A drawing will be held at 2 p.m. for “Keys of Joy,” Kenneth Blount’s textured art collage made from recycled piano parts. The art is currently on display at Arts in the HeArt Gallery, 47 S. First St. in Fulton.

Advance sale raffle tickets for “Keys of Joy” are also available at the gallery.

Food vendors, artists and other vendors may apply online at Call 592-3373 for more information.