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Art Beat


THE FILMMAKERS’ BALL The venerable, local indie-filmmaker collective Upstate Independents are having their annual gala this Wednesday (Nov. 5) at the still fresh-and-new Proctor’s GE Theatre, which adjoins Proctor’s Theatre in beautiful downtown Schenectady. UI have been around for 10 shining years; we can’t believe it. Meira Blaustein, cofounder and executive director of the wildly successful Woodstock Film Festival, will receive the VN Spirit Award. Also, WAMC’s Alan Chartock will be on hand to receive an award. There will be food and drink and networking and dancing, beginning at 7 PM. Buy your tickets at Call 788-3712 for even more info.


COME SEE MY NEW WORK Playwright David Black will host a staged reading of his new play An Impossible Life (based on his autobiographical novel about growing up in Western Massachusetts) this Saturday (Dec. 1) at 7:30 PM at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass. The performance is a benefit for Shakespeare & Company’s “internationally known Education and Training Programs,” a worthy endeavor we heartily endorse. Also, actor Peter Riegert, who has delivered terrific performances in movies and on TV from Local Hero to The Sopranos (and many in between) will take part. Tickets are $30-$75, and can be purchased at or by calling (413) 637-1199 ext. 117.


NON-DUALITY AND THE SPIRIT Artist Aurora, whose works can be experienced at the exhibit Sacred Geometry and the Latticework of the Universal Mind, currently on view at the Varga Gallery (130 Tinker St., Woodstock), will speak this Saturday (Dec. 1) from 5 to 7 PM, at the gallery, about her work. The folks at the gallery advise thus: “Those interested in the potentials of the human mind, tessellations, string theory, the science of color, the meaning of rainbows, multi-dimensional physics and meta-physics are invited to attend.” If this means you, call (845) 679-4005 for details.


ISN’T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE ON TV? I grew up watching the WPIX-TV Yule Log at my grandmother’s house every Christmas. She lived in a town that had cable; my family did not. That stirring Christmas music and TV fireplace are a cherished childhood memory. So imagine my surprise to find that people actually burn real Yule logs. On Dec. 9, beginning at 1 PM, the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center (475 Dyken Pond Road, Cropseyville) will hold their search for the hidden Yule log. When it’s found, there will be an outdoor campfire. For more details about the Yule Log Event, call 658-2055.


GRANT DEADLINE TIME Here’s the deal: “Looking to expand your visibility and focus more on expanding the business side of your art practice? Interested in getting to know the arts communities throughout New York State?” The New York Foundation for the Arts has a program for you. MARK: The Business of Art is a six-month series of workshops in New York City, beginning in January 2008, that is designed to help visual artists in New York accomplish both of the aforementioned goals. The deadline to apply for the program is Dec. 1 (Saturday) at 5 PM; the cost is $150. For more info, call Carolyn Abrams at the Arts Center of the Capital Region (265 River St., Troy) at 273-0552 ext. 229.

—Shawn Stone

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