quite two years ago, 1st Friday began in Albany as a collaboration
between three downtown galleries, and the monthly celebration
of Albany’s art scene has grown nearly ten-fold since its
inception. This month, 27 venues have teamed up to showcase
an eclectic selection of Albany’s visual and performing
Three galleries offer local retrospectives: among other
exhibitions, the Albany Institute of History Art presents
the 2008 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region;
Upstate Artists Guild opens their annual members show, Reflections;
and new kid on the block Albany Art Room celebrates their
six-month anniversary with a show of works created in their
open studio. A number of solo shows feature local artists
working in mediums ranging from photography to fiber art.
The “After 1st Friday” series keeps things hopping after
the galleries close, with a mix of live music and dance
from tango to techno, and the growing After 1st Friday film
series at UAG, which presents the work of local film makers.
1st Friday events will take place throughout downtown Albany
tomorrow (Aug. 1) beginning at 5 PM. Access to 1st Friday
venues is free, After 1st Friday events range from $5-$15.
For a complete listing of events and a printable map of
venue locations, visit 1stfridayalbany.org
Spa Film Festival
one caught us by surprise: A press release over the transom
about the new Ballston Spa Film Festival. A little research
on the Internet (and a close read of said press release)
revealed that this is an ambitious weekend-long event of
over 30 short films, as well as parties and discussions.
Today (Thursday, July 31) there’s a party at 8 PM at Manna’s
Restaurant (17 Low St., Ballston Spa). The cost is $10,
or $5 if you’re dressed “like a movie star.” We suggest
a monocle and top hat. On Friday (Aug. 1), there are free
screenings at 7 PM at the Malta Avenue School Auditorium
(70 Malta Ave., Ballston Spa) and 9 PM, outdoors at Wiswall
Park (Front and Low streets). On Saturday (Aug. 2), there’s
a filmmaker discussion at 3 PM at the Brookside Museum (6
Charlton St.); again the free screenings are at 7 PM (Malta
Avenue School Auditorium) and 9 PM (Wiswall Park).
The award ceremony is Sunday (Aug. 3) at 4 PM at Coffee
Planet (100 Milton Ave.)
For complete info about every nook and cranny of the festival,
please visit bspafilm.com.
is the Spanish word for hope, and how fitting, since this
multi-lingual artist just may be hope for the future of
jazz. Entering the music world at the young age of 15, Spalding
began her career playing in a blues club in Portland, Ore.
But when one of the musicians pulled her aside so she could
“really learn something,” he spiked her interest in playing
bass. It wasn’t long before Spalding had landed gigs as
both a bassist and vocalist with seven different area groups.
Influenced by jazz bassists Ron Carter and Dave Holland,
Esperanza’s style weaves together the best elements of old-school
jazz and a more progressive sound. Dubbed an irresistible
performer by the Seattle Times, this compelling vocalist,
instrumental virtuoso, and composer incorporates the rich
traditions of soul, pop, and world music into her musical
Also on the bill: Cole Broderick, playing the Beatles songbook.
Esperanza Spalding will perform at Central Park’s Agnes
MacDonald Music Haven Stage (Schenectady) this Sunday (Aug.
3) at 7 PM. The concert is free and open to the public.
For more information call 382-5152.