Saratoga Performing Arts Center Reflects on 2021; celebrates the full return of its resident companies and the season in 2022 – Saratogian

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, at its annual meeting on Thursday, reflected on the challenges and opportunities presented by the past two years and considered reopening in 2022.

After a reduced season in 2021, SPAC will once again welcome the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for their full productions and residencies this summer, as well as hosting its iconic Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz. Festival, a popular concert lineup presented by Live Nation and the return of Caffè Lena @ SPAC.

“Like so many individuals and organizations, the past two years have challenged us, but they have also called upon our deeper wells of creativity, compassion, resilience and imagination. Whereas now, in the summer of 2022, in a full return of a renewed and rejuvenated SPAC, we are like the endangered Karner Blue butterflies of our region – reappearing beautiful and glorious after being cocooned for so long,” said Elizabeth Sobol , President of SPAC and CEP, at the annual meeting: “This splendid re-emergence is accompanied and made possible by a historic and unprecedented confluence of favorable financial factors.”

SPAC also announced that it ended the year with $4 million in operating reserves. This was attributed to a significant reduction in programming expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, sustained fundraising efforts by members, the board and the general public, and the use of critical funds received from closed site operators paycheck grant and protection. Program. A total of $2 million of these reserves have been committed for immediate capital improvements and critical operational needs, while the remaining $2 million will be used to establish a “future fund.”

“What COVID has taught us is that arts organizations live in fragile ecosystems – with year-to-year subsistence survival. For years, our financial outlook, which was largely focused on scarcity, caused us to postpone major organizational and infrastructure investments, leaving us extremely vulnerable and exposed,” Sobol said. “This unprecedented situation means that for the first time ever, PSPC has been able to restore and renew itself across all of its operations, including reinvesting in our resident businesses, restoring our staff and completing vital infrastructure. and capital improvements.”

The “Future Fund” will help ensure that the classical arts at PSPC can thrive, while deepening the Centre’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access initiatives and arts education . It will also help offset soaring costs associated with supplies and equipment, the continued insecurity related to the public health crisis, and his annual shortfall on his four weeks of classic amphitheater residencies, which regularly exceeds $2 million. and is expected to be even larger in 2022.

“The growth of the Future Fund will be one aspect of our long-term strategic planning. Today, however, we are taking the first step to simply and boldly reaffirm our commitment to our flagship programming – and to what has become our most important work in the community – arts education,” Sobo added.

Following the official opening of The Pines @ SPAC in 2021, the center continues to invest in the organization with significant updates to its infrastructure, physical campus and amphitheater.

Sobol reported that SPAC will once again welcome the entire New York City Ballet company this season with a new dance floor specially designed for NYCB and a new performance curtain, which replaced a nearly 40-year-old curtain. The Philadelphia Orchestra will return in July for its three-week residency with 150 new music stands and chairs, which PSPC has never owned and always had to borrow for the past 55 years.

Sobol also noted that through PSPC’s partnership with Live Nation, significant behind-the-scenes work at the venue will be completed to upgrade the dressing rooms and workspaces for performers and crew members. The performers gate and road area will be reconfigured, also addressing significant security concerns.

In a constant effort to improve accessibility, the SPAC installed an assisted listening system in the amphitheater as well as a new sound system, replacing the equipment from the 1990s.

To improve the online customer experience, PSPC has completely replaced its outdated ticketing and donation software and plans to unveil a new website in the fall of 2022. Earlier this week, PSPC launched a new digital sign on the Highway 50.

In support of its mission to provide free access to nurturing arts programs for local youth, Sobol shared that SPAC’s season kicks off June 5 with its flagship educational event, The Adirondack Trust Company Festival of Young Artists, marking the first large-scale festival on the grounds of SPAC since 2019. Following the theme Interdependence, inspired by inaugural presidential poet and festival mentor Richard Blanco, the festival will celebrate the collaborative creativity of over 500 young dancers, musicians, singers , the Capital Region’s most brilliant poets and visual artists.

Another highlight of SPAC’s educational programming for 2022 will be several New York City Ballet workshops, including an “Access Workshop” on July 16 designed for children with disabilities. Modern dance troupe BalletX will also lead a workshop on July 26, ahead of their SPAC debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra on July 27. The Philadelphia Orchestra will also perform its educational program “Sound All Around” on July 31 and its popular “PlayIN” on the SPAC stage on August 5.

Additionally, PSPC will once again be partnering with the National Dance Institute (NDI) and Double H Ranch to offer a series of dance workshops for campers. Approximately 120 campers will participate in the workshops, which are designed to integrate NDI’s award-winning dance pedagogy into inclusive classrooms where children of all abilities can dance and perform. Genre-defying trio Time for Three is set to head to Double H Ranch for an interactive concert with the campers.

As part of PSPC’s mission to provide equitable access to the arts, PSPC has expanded its Classical Kids program, which reaches approximately 12,000 students and offers two free tickets per participating family. Summer Nights at SPAC, which serves Schenectady families, will also return with five free events, serving approximately 2,000 people.

Among the PSPC board of directors, two new members — Raimundo C. Archibold, Jr. and Sally Bott — were welcomed at Thursday’s event. Archibold is the Managing Director of Schwartz Heslin Group, an investment banking and consulting firm based in Albany. He brings over 25 years of equity research experience where he covered primarily the technology and telecommunications sectors. Bott, who recently became a resident of Spa City, is an operating partner at Atlas with over 30 years of experience as a human resources professional.

More information about SPAC and its program is available online at SPAC.org.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol speaks at the center’s 2022 annual meeting held on the amphitheater stage Thursday in Saratoga Springs. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Vice President of Education Dennis Moench speaks at the organization's 2022 annual meeting Thursday in Saratoga Springs.  (Lauren Halligan - Medianews Group)
Saratoga Performing Arts Center Vice President of Education Dennis Moench speaks at the organization’s 2022 annual meeting Thursday in Saratoga Springs. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)
Students from the new SPAC School of the Arts make an interactive presentation at the closing of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center's 2022 Annual Meeting Thursday in Saratoga Springs.  (Lauren Halligan - Medianews Group)
Students from the new SPAC School of the Arts give an interactive presentation at the closing of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s 2022 Annual Meeting Thursday in Saratoga Springs. (Lauren Halligan – Medianews Group)
The Philadelphia Orchestra will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center July 27-August 13.  (Photo provided)
The Philadelphia Orchestra will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center July 27-August 13. (Photo provided)
The New York City Ballet will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in mid-July.  (Provided Photo/New York City Ballet Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik)
The New York City Ballet will return to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in mid-July. (Photo provided/New York City BalletCredit Photo: Paul Kolnik)
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has a full schedule of events planned for the 2022 season. (Photo provided)
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center has a full schedule of events planned for the 2022 season. (Photo provided)