Ellen's Picks  (by Ellen Thurston)

April 28 - May 5, 2016

Thursday-Sunday, April 28-May 1

Films at TSL:

The Case of the Three-Sided Dream – Rahsaan Roland Kirk was a one-of-a-kind musician, personality, satirist, and windmill-slayer who despite being blind, becoming paralyzed, and facing America’s racial injustices—did not relent.  His life’s work was exploring sound and making music.  Beyond that, he was an outspoken activist who started a political movement to get more exposure for jazz in America…  

> Eva Hesse – Eva Hesse was one of America’s foremost postwar artists.  Her pioneering sculptures, using latex, fiberglass, and plastics, helped establish the post-minimalist movement.  Dying of a brain tumor at 34, she had a mere decade-long career that, despite its brevity, is dense with complex, intriguing works… In the downtown NY art scene of the 60s, she was one of the few women to make work that was taken seriously – This film is the first feature-length appreciation of her life and work. Sunday screening is followed by Q&A with the filmmakers.

Francofonia – A film by Alexander Sokurov – Set against the background of the Louvre Museum’s history and archives to create Sokurov’s personal vision of staged re-enactments  and activities – The film is a fascinating portrait of real-life characters Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff-Mettemich and their compulsory collaboration at the Louvre Museum under the Nazi Occupation – These two remarkable men…shared an alliance which would become the driving force behind the preservation of museum treasures.

Streit’s:  Matzo and The American Dream – “Since 1925 the Streit’s matzo factory has sat in a low-slung tenement building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  While other matzo companies have modernized, Streit’s remains a piece of living history, churning out 40 percent of the nation’s unleavened bread on pre-War machinery as old as the factory itself….[F]ilmmaker Michael Levine captures the Streit’s saga and echos the American Dream.”

They Will Have to Kill Us First:  Malian Music in Exile – Islamic extremists have banned music in Mali, but its world famous musicians won’t give up without a fight.  This documentary tells the story of Mali’s musicians as they fight for their right to sing.

The Silence of Rothko – Painter Mark Rothko is best known for imposing canvasses that eschew representation in favor of pure color and texture.  This film visits Rothko’s studio in New York; the Museum di san Marco in Florence, where the works of Renaissance painter Fra Angelico are displayed; and The Hague, where the first major Rothko exhibit to be held in Holland in 40 years, is being installed.

> Information and schedule at www.timeandspace.org or 822-8448 – Time & Space Limited,

434 Columbia Street


Saturday, April 30

Hudson Farmers’ Market – The official opening of the market will be marked by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 9:15.  Hudson’s Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton will do the honors and many other dignitaries will be in attendance to kick off the market’s 19th year. Familiar vendors are in place and many more will be in evidence this week – Come on out, say hello and enjoy the spring bounty – 9 am to 1 pm – The parking lot at the corner of Sixth & Columbia Streets


21st Annual Meeting of the Friends of the First Presbyterian Church – The Friends is a secular organization committed to preserving this 200-year-old church building as an iconic symbol of a thriving Warren Street, an irreplaceable part of Hudson’s history, and an active center of community life. – The Friends have accomplished a number of significant repairs and restoration projects, and now money must be raised to replace the leaking roof. – Come to the meeting and learn how you can participate in preserving the past and securing the future of Hudson. Lunch will be served following the meeting at a nominal cost, and can be paid for at the door – 11 am – First Presbyterian Church, 369 Warren Street (corner of Fourth Street)


HD live screening of The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Strauss’s Elektra – Reservations and information at 822-8448 or www.timeandspace.org – 1 pm – Time & Space Limited, 434 Columbia Street


The Hawthorne Valley Festival Chorus with Diane Barnes, soprano and Dorothy Haller, piano in a varied program of classical, folk, and contemporary music – Information at 392-2760, ext 104 – 4 pm – Camphill Ghent, 2542 Route 66, Ghent


How AIDS made The New York Times a Better Newspaper – A Reading & Book Signing – Under the executive editor, A.M. Rosenthal, The New York Times newsroom of the 1970s and 80s was a homophobic place.  Journalists known to be gay or lesbian were stalled and even demoted in their careers.  But in December 1990, when Times reporter and closeted gay journalist Jeff Schmalz collapsed in the newsroom, all that began to change. – Dying Words: The AIDS Reporting of Jeff Schmalz and How It Transformed The New York Times will be the subject of a presentation by authors Samuel G. Freedman and Kerry Donahue.  Schmalz, a reporter with a secret, was on a fast track at the Times.  Expected to become one of the top editors on the world’s most important newspaper, his homosexuality was abruptly “announced” when a brain seizure became the first evidence that he had AIDS.  From that day until his death at the age of 39, Schmalz found his true calling—writing about HIV and AIDS. His work was the basis of a sea-change at the paper, sensitizing it as never before.  Today’s same sex wedding announcements and editorializing in favor of marriage equality all started with Schmalz’s words.  – Freedman is an award-winning journalist who currently writes a religion column for the Times.   Kerry Donahue is director of Radio Programming at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism – The reading and book signing will be followed by a reception – Information atwww.Hudsonarealibrary.org  – 4 pm – Community Room, the new Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street (corner of State Street)


Exhibition Opening – Paul Solovay: The Uninhibited Eye – On view through May 25 – Information at 325-4000 or on their facebook page – 4 pm to 6:30 pm – The Art Annex, 1666 Route 23, Hillsdale


Churchtown Fire Company Annual Comedy Night – Featuring three hilarious HBO comedians – Hosted by local M.C. Greg Mosley –Dinner and snacks included in ticket price – Information and tickets at 965-6689 or 851-5194 – Doors open at 5 pm, Dinner at 6 pm, Show starts at 7:30 pm – Churchtown Fire Company, Route 27, Churchtown


The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop celebrates National Poetry Month at Spencertown Academy with the publication launch of two new books featuring the life and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet—Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay: An Annotated Edition edited by Timothy F. Jackson with an introduction by Holly Peppe; and A Girl Called Vincent, a Millay biography for young readers by Krystyna Poray Goddu. – The celebration includes readings, book signings, and a concert featuring musical interpretations of Millay’s poems from The Edna Project, written and performed by Liz Queler and Seth Farber.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the restoration of Steepletop, the 19th-century farmhouse and estate that Millay and her husband, Eugen Boissevain, purchased in 1925 – Information and tickets at 392-3362 – Reception from 5 to 6 pm; The Edna Project Concert from 6 to 7 pm; Book Signing from 7 to 7:30 pm – Spencertown Academy Arts Center, 790 Route 203, Spencertown


High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding & Driving Center Benefit – A Chatham Brewery Beer Tasting to benefit High & Mighty’s  programs which provide equine-assisted activities for people with special needs with the goal of enhancing physical, emotional and spiritual well-being – Information at www.high-n-mighty.org or the facebook page – 5 to 7 pm – High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding & Driving Center, 71 County Route 21C, Ghent


15th International Community Dinner & Cultural Festival –– A family-friendly community-wide potluck dinner with an emphasis on traditional and festive dishes prepared by members of diverse national and ethnic groups living in the local area—Asian, West Indian, Central and South American, as well as European and African-American – Program includes news about community projects, activities for kids, and performances of music and dance from around the world – Admission by donation.  Please bring prepared food from your kitchen to share, preferably with a little card saying what it is and its ethnic identity (Bring  your donation into the church kitchen by 5:30 pm) – A special program on refugees with a guest speaker just back from the Greek transit island of Lesvos, and immigrant speakers, starts promptly at 5:10 pm, Buffet Dinner at 6:15, Music & Dance program at 7 pm – Information at 672-7901 or 366-2551 – 5 to 8 pm – First Presbyterian Church, Corner of Fourth & Warren Streets (Use Warren Street entrance)


Exhibition Opening – Maria Walker: Compass – A solo exhibition of paintings – On view through May 22 – Information at www.johndavisgallery.com or 828-5907 – 6 to 8 pm – John Davis Gallery, 362 ½ Warren Street


Exhibition Openings – Rachel Schmidhofer: Photosynesthesia; and  Alyse Ronayne: Live Inside Your Head - Both on view through May 29 – Information at 828-6680 or by e-mail toinfo@baileygallery.com – 6 to 8 pm – Jeff Bailey Gallery, 127 Warren Street


Window Quartet with Antonin Fajt, piano; Carolyn Hietter, sax; Julian Lampert, bass; and Matt Norman, drums – The members of the quartet, who met during their studies at Bard College in 2013 and have been working together ever since, are led by Tony Fajt.  Born in the Czech Republic, Tony Fajt is the fortunate offspring of Bittova & Fajt, a legendary avant-garde duo, and is a recipient of the Theodore Presser Award and Margaret C. Shafer Prize for Composition.  Recently he’s been exploring the possibilities of prepared piano and extended techniques, and has performed at le Poisson Rouge, Merkin Hall, and The Morgan Library in NYC, and at the National Theater in the Czech Republic.  The quartet’s music oscillates between ambient textures, singing melodies, and driving rhythms.  Much of their inspiration comes from landscapes, especially the Hudson Valley countryside and the California savannas – Information at 822-1438 orhudsonoperahouse.org –7 pm – Hudson Opera House 327 Warren Street


Tashi Dorji & Marisa Anderson – A performance by two acclaimed guitarists – Tasha Dorji is a Bhutanese guitarist currently residing in Asheville, NC – Marisa Anderson, originally from Northern California, dropped out of college at age nineteen to walk across the US and eventually landed in Portland OR, where she currently lives.  Classically trained, she honed her skills playing in country, jazz and circus bands.  She tours extensively throughout Europe and North America.  Her work has been featured on NPR, SPIN, Pitchfork and in “The Wire.”  Her split LP with Dorji was named one of the top experimental records of 2015 by The Out Door/Pitchfork – Information at 671-6006 or www.thespottydog.com – 8 pm – Spotty Dog Books & Ale, 440 Warren Street


Carrie Rodriguez & the Sacred Hearts – The Texas singer-songwriter, who studied violin with renowned fiddler Matt Glaser, is well-known for her collaborations with Chip Taylor.  More recently she has dug into her Chicana heritage with an album of original Tex-Mex music. – Visit carrierodriguez.com – Information at 828-4800 or helsinkihudson.com – 9 pm – Helsinki Hudson, 405 Columbia Street


Saturday-Sunday, April 30-May 1

Weekend Fine Auction – English, Continental & American Fine Art, Furniture & Decorations, including property from the Estate of May Sayles Booker Braga, Middleburg, VA – Auction highlights include a recently discovered important Faberge treasure, the C.K.G. Billings “Loving Cup;” the Cezanne painting “Love and Friendship;” and a painting in the British landscape tradition from the collection of M.S.B. Braga – Information and on-line catalog at http://www.stairgalleries.com/auctions/upcoming-auctions/ or 751-1000 – Previews on Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Saturday/Sunday from 9 am, with the Auction starting at 11 am on both days – Stair Galleries, 549 Warren Street


Sunday, May 1

Thomas Cole National Historic Site official opening of the New Studio and the 2016 exhibition, Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect – Designed and built by Hudson River School artist Thomas Cole in 1846, the original New Studio was demolished in 1973.  Now the New Studio has been reconstructed on its original footprint.  To celebrate this rebirth of Cole’s last architectural work, the inaugural exhibition in the New Studio will be Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect, curated by Dr. Annette Blaugrund – The exhibition features masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Toledo Art Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and others. The exhibition is on view through October 30 – Refreshments, live music and free admission to the Main House at 11 am; Official Ribbon-cutting Ceremony for the opening of the New Studio at 12 pm; and a Curator’s Talk by Annette Blaugrund at 2 pm.  Dr. Blaugrund will also sign copies of the exhibition catalogue   – Information at 943-7465 or www.thomascole.org  – 11 am – Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring Street, Catskill


A Community Discussion about the future of the City of Hudson’s North Bay (including the now abandoned Furgary Boat Club) with Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton and representatives from the Columbia Land Conservancy, the Hudson Conservation Advisory Council, and the Hudson Waterfront Advisory Steering Committee – 1 to 2:30 pm – Meet at the corner of Front & Dock Streets

A Climate Advocate Training Workshop presented by The Columbia County Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) – CCL has a unique approach to achieving change through building positive, respectful relationships with lawmakers, and focusing on specific market-based, consumer-friendly solutions that have received support from conservatives and liberals alike.  During the training, participants will learn about aspects of CCL’s history, methodology, and legislative proposal.  The workshop will teach citizens the nuts and bolts of building political will and affecting change in positive, constructive ways.  It will include mini-sessions on how to conduct a lobbying meeting with a member of Congress or an Editorial Board of a newspaper. - The workshop is free. – RSVP to columbiacounty@citizensclimatelobby.org – Information at 392-9431 – 1 to 4 pm – Columbia Memorial Hospital, Medical Office Building, Suite 210, 71 Prospect Avenue


Classics on Hudson, in association with the Hudson Opera House, presents Joakim Lartey, percussionist, storyteller, and educator in a free family concert.  Lartey will lead an afternoon of storytelling and drumming, including a “show and tell” about percussion instruments from Africa and other parts of the world.  Fusing traditional and ancient musical forms, Lartey will invite the audience to participate in a spontaneous percussion jam. – Information at 822-1438 or hudsonoperahouse.org – 3 pm – Please note:  This performance is held at the First Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Warren and Fourth Streets


Parker Millsap – Caroline Rose opens – Oklahoma native Parker Millsap is a rising artist on the Americana scene, known for his personal blend of blues, country, alt-country, gospel, and folk music.  He was named a 2014 Emerging Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association – Caroline Rose is also a rootsy singer-songwriter, but she adds a modern twist to her dark tales and minimalist  arrangements – Information at 828-4800 or helsinkihudson.com – 8 pm – Helsinki Hudson, 405 Columbia Street 


Next Monday, May 2

House Rules Café – Do you miss the board games from childhood?  Curious about the new trend of cooperative games?  Interested in learning a new card game? – Come on out to Or Gallery to play with—or against—your neighbors.  Start an island adventure or play a quick hand of Exploding Kittens.  A small fee gives you access to the library of games, and if you encounter a new game, just ask!  Instruction is available – Information at houserulescafe@gmail.com or https//www.facebook.com/events/894872510622836/ -- 6:30 pm – On Monday nights at House Rules Café at Or Gallery and Tavern, 35 South Third Street (between Partition and Union Streets)


Charles Dickens: A Theatre Under One Hat – A special performance by English actor Peter Bateson – A recreation of humorous and dramatic readings from the years 1853-1870 – “Shiver with dread, be touched to the heart and laugh out loud, as some of Dickens’ most memorable characters come to life.” – Information at 392-2760 ext. 104 – 6:30 pm – Culture Hall, Camphill Ghent, 2542 Route 66, Ghent


PALM and Lily Konigsberg – White Palm, a four-piece band from Upstate New York, has made its home in the same Hudson scene as experimental art rockers, Buke and Gase.  Palm’s story started when guitarists/vocalists Kasra Kurt and Eve Alpert developed a musical kinship while attending the same high school.  The pair decided to continue their education at Bard College and quickly founded Palm with drummer Hugo Stanley.  Not long after that, the band added Gerasimos Livitsanos on bass and has refined its sound over the past few years with a focus on detail, density, and heaviness – Information at thehalfmoonhudson.com/events/ or the Half Moon facebook page or 828-1562 – 8 pm – The Half Moon, 48 South Front Street


Next Tuesday, May 3

Helsinki Open Mic – Try out new material on the big Helsinki stage – Hosted by Cameron Melville and Ryder Cooley – Information at 828-4800 or helsinkihudson.com – Sign-up begins at 6:30 pm – Performance from 7 to 10 pm – Helsinki Hudson, 405 Columbia Street


Next Wednesday & Thursday, May 4 & 5

The third and final episode of Twisted, a new comedy series written by Jody Brookes and performed live at the Red Dot in three episodes over three weeks – The play is set in a bar and the plot revolves around five eccentric characters, including the bar manager.  Jody Brookes is the Program Director at Camphill Hudson  – Information at 828-3657 or by e-mail tojodybrookes@camphillhudson.org – Reservations at 828-3657 – Admission fee includes a house wine or beer and a 10% dinner discount – Arrive early, as beverage and food orders will not be taken between 6:45 and the end of the show at roughly 7:30 pm. – Curtain at 7 pm – Red Dot, 321 Warren Street




Friday, May 6

Annual Cruise-In to benefit the Columbia-Greene Educational Center Scholarship Program – Open to all specialty vehicles, of any year – Participating vehicles pay a fee; spectators are free – BBQ prepared by the Culinary Art students will be available – Rain date is May 13 – Information at 828-4257 – 5 to 8 pm – Columbia-Greene Educational Center, 131 Union Turnpike (Route 66), Greenport


Saturday, May 7

Hudson Children’s Book Festival   

North River Gallery opens a new space on Main Street in Chatham with an expansive solo exhibition of Modernist Landscapes by artist Tony Thompson   

American Dance Institute holds a Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new ADI Lumberyard performance facility in Catskill

Saturday-Sunday, May 7-8

Basilica Farm & Flea Spring Market in partnership with Hudson River Exchange


Sunday, May 8

Mother’s Day – Celebrate the Mom!

Fidelity – A Plays in Progress reading of new short plays at the Hudson Opera House

Thursday, May 12

Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood Community Cleanup – Front & Warren Streets, Hudson

Saturday, May 14

Hudson Valley Old Time Power Association Auction


Sunday, May 15

Opening of Olana State Historic Site’s 2016 exhibition, Capturing the Cosmos

Saturday, May 21

Hudson Opera House Spring Fling Gala


Sunday, May 22

Opening of A Change of Place: Four Solo Exhibitions at the Jack Shainman Gallery in  Kinderhook

Wednesday, May 25

 Upstreet Market opens in Seventh Street Park in Hudson, where it will be open every Wednesday during the summer months  

Saturday, May 28

Carrie Haddad Gallery celebrates with the opening of its 25th Anniversary Exhibition

Sunday, May 29

Columbia Land Conservancy Public Conservation Area Day with lots of family fun at the Greenport Conservation Area


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All phone numbers are in area code 518 unless otherwise indicated.

All addresses are in Hudson, unless otherwise indicated.