Monday, October 28, 2013

Eat, Drink, Raise the Barn

When I was younger about the time when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I was a dancer &
choreographer. I grew up here in the Capital Region; started dancing here, started choreographing here. The problem was that there was nowhere to create. I could find places to dance, although the only performance opportunities were Nutcrackers and summer dance camps. So with wild ambition, a hearty dose of naivety and bull headed determination, I headed off to the City to pursue the art that I loved. What I found in the Manhattan was a land of opportunity and inspiration. I soaked it in, worked hard and then worked even harder and enjoyed a little bit of success.

Not only was I able to dance though, I was able to rent studio space, to work with composers on original music and to find dancers to work with on my pieces. It was pretty awesome to go from a void where my only option was of living in my mind to actually being able to take those ideas and bring them to life. Then there were the dancers, so many dancers with talent beyond what I could imagine, the teachers that were the luminaries of their generation that were all readily accessible and live music. Do you know what it's like to dance to live music when all you've ever had was a cassette tape? I was inspired every day; what I describe now as having the itch was a constant state of being.  What a difference a zip code made.

Fast forward to 4 years ago. I met a lovely couple, Jeff & Janel Mirel,  who loved the arts. We talked about this Festival that I do and how it helps provide sustainable funding to support the not for profit arts community. They told me about this project that they worked on that helps foster an environment for artists to create. We talked and talked. I learned all about the Albany Barn and its vision of creating a community renaissance catalyzed through creative collaboration. I thought to myself, that it couldn't really be all that they said, but it was true. I wished that this had existed when I was creating. I thought to myself that I must find a way to get involved with this group.

So involved I got. Every time I talk to one of the board members I get excited. Their energy is tangible. They think big, outside of the box and then most importantly they are do-ers. They have managed to make this thing a reality and it's going to be a game changer for the arts community in Albany and the surrounding Capital Region.

Imagine you're an artist and you can go to place to create. You can live and work there. The tools that you might not necessarily be able to afford are there. You can interact with other artists in other mediums. Think about that, the magnitude of the impact that it will have.

So want to support the Barn and have some fun? Here are a couple of ways:

October 31, 2013

or just DONATE direct here to help raise the Barn!
Albany Barn is dedicated to providing a sustainable creative arts incubator and community arts center in Arbor Hill – a place for artists to live, work and inspire.

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