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Art Beat

LET’S RUN DOWN THE NUMBERS: For the record, Saratoga Performing Arts Center marketing director Helen Edelman reported Monday that paid attendance at the 21 New York City Ballet performances from July 6-24 totaled 57,945 for an average of 2,759 per show. This is a 4.4 percent increase over 2003’s attendance, which was 55,476, for an average of 2,642 per performance.

SPAC reports it has raised about $455,000 (including $300,000 in pledges from its board of directors) toward the $600,000 needed to claim a one-time state grant of $300,000. The total of $900,000 is expected to cover the gap between ticket sales and the cost of presenting the ballet at SPAC. The deadline for raising the needed $600,000 is July 31, 2005.

The SPAC board has guaranteed that NYCB will return in July 2005, but has made no decision about a long-term commitment to the ballet. SPAC’s finances and management practices are now being audited by the Bonadio Company of western New York. They are expected to release their findings by the end of September, according to a July 24 report in the Albany Times Union.

Meanwhile, Save the Ballet, a grassroots nonprofit organization that sprung up in response to SPAC’s decision last February to evict the ballet after the 2004 season, announced Monday that it has raised $40,000 in donations. The money is being held in a dedicated account that is expected to count toward the state’s two-for-one grant. Thinking ahead, Save the Ballet also would like to establish an endowment specifically to support NYCB’s long-term residency at SPAC, according to Dee Sarno, director of the Saratoga County Arts Council and treasurer of Save the Ballet.

—Mae G. Banner

PAVE PARADISE, PUT UP A PARKING LOT: “When we destroy our historic buildings,” writes photographer Paula Symanski in the artist’s statement for her upcoming show, “we create a legacy that has no reverence for the spirit of our past.” Specifically, Symanski’s photo exhibit focuses on a lost building very close to her heart—Cohoes’ Kevney Memorial Academy, a long-closed Catholic high school that was demolished over a two-week period in November 2003. Historic buildings, she adds, “do more for a community’s soul than the ubiquitous replacement architecture that surrounds us.” The 30 black-and-white images are being presented by the Spindle City Historic Society, and will be on display at the Cohoes Visitor’s Center (58 Remsen St., Cohoes) beginning Aug. 14. Also on Aug. 14, there will be an opening reception from 7-9 PM.

BABY, I’M BACK: Les Bohèmes Curious Art Collective, which debuted with a big splash a year and a half ago on Troy’s River Street, and, sadly, quietly folded months later, is back. And, with the kind of irony an artist can truly appreciate, it is in the same building complex where it was previously located: 174 River St., the former Thomasville store which now houses the Bournebrook Antique Center. Les Bohèmes founder Lynne Allard, now partnered with fellow artist Jesse Matulis, has scaled back the space while expanding its reach. Les Bohèmes now includes furnishings (Curious Provisions) and design consultations (Curious Interiors). Allard and Matulis will celebrate the grand opening on Wednesday (Aug. 4) from 5-8 PM. For more information, call 229-2173 or visit

—Shawn Stone

Let Us Slaughter Each Other Not, My Children
Photo by: John Whipple

Ever wonder who the Nott Memorial is named after? Well, in point of fact it was Eliphalet Nott, onetime pastor of Albany’s First Presbyterian Church and longtime—62 years long, for heaven’s sake—president of Schenectady’s Union College. Nott first came to national prominence with an anti-dueling sermon he preached after Aaron Burr fatally shot Alexander Hamilton 200 years ago. Albany’s First Presbyterian Church hosted an unusual commemoration of this last Sunday (July 25), when Union professor David Cotter (pictured) dressed in period garb and read Nott’s words. According to the good folks at Union, Eliphalet Nott came to be known as an advocate for “temperance, abolition and universal education.” (Hear that, Union students? Temperance.)

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