Despite the challenges, PSPC is growing

On the eve of his first concert of the season, the executives of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center reviewed a difficult year in which, perhaps surprisingly, he grew up. She added new facilities and ended the year with a surplus of over $ 400,000.

“On Monday, May 18, 2020, PSPC did the unthinkable,” President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol said at an annual meeting Thursday. “In the midst of beautiful spring weather, after 53 straight years of performing on our beloved and legendary stage, we canceled an entire season and left the amphitheater doors locked – a deep and solemn gratitude during some of the early days. darkest days. of the pandemic. And yet, here we are. After what now seems like an eternity, the amphitheater is open, the lawn is thick and green, and our first concert is tomorrow night.

Board Treasurer Linda Toohey said PSPC’s 2020 operating profit was $ 4.37 million and expenses were $ 3.95 million.
“When we were forced to cancel an entire season of programming and $ 5.4 million in revenue from tickets, theater rentals, concessions and fundraising events was lost due to the pandemic , you provided a bridge to get us to where we are today. Looking forward to a season of recovery and promise, ”said Toohey.

This summer, PSPC resident companies, including the New York City Ballet, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, will be returning in one way or another.

“The challenges have been enormous, from reduced capacities to rising costs of COVID compliance, from ever-evolving COVID protocols to the fact that businesses themselves have been grappling with their own realities over the past year.” , Sobol said. “Each residence will be somewhat different this year, but far from seeing these differences as something less or lost, we are thrilled. “

The Chamber Music Society is back and will be giving concerts through August 29 at Pitney Meadows Community Farm. The NYCB and the Philadelphia Orchestra are scheduled to return to the amphitheater July 14-17 and August 11-14, respectively.
Performers and members of the public will return to a new PSPC campus.

A $ 9.5 million project, completed last year and called [email protected], opens the original route 50 site lines at the Victoria Pool. It has also enlarged the washrooms and concession areas and includes a few new spaces: the Julie Bonacio family pavilion, the Pines Terrace and the Nancy Di Cresce education room at The Pines.

The latter is the first of its kind for PSPC, providing year-round space for education and community outreach, which it plans to do more of. Later this season, he will bring local children together with the NYCB for several workshops. PSPC will also partner with the National Dance Institute and the Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne to provide virtual dance workshops for campers with life-threatening illnesses. Beyond that, Summer Nights at SPAC, which serves Schenectady families, will return with four movie nights on the lawn and live performances by local musicians.

“The years leading up to 2020 saw PSPC deepen its commitment to education, diversification of programming and service to the community. It is the devastating effects of the year 2020 that have reinforced our determination to redouble our efforts, ”said Sobol. “So today I am delighted to share with you that we will shortly be announcing the launch of a SPAC School of the Arts which will begin later in 2021. The school’s mission will be based on two main pillars: a multidisciplinary program of theater, music, dance, creative writing, visual and media arts, guided by our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.

Further facility upgrades are underway for the campus.

In addition, over the next few months, PSPC will accelerate its plans to renovate Roosevelt II, the 1935 public bathhouse in the park, transforming it into a year-round arts venue with an intimate black box theater space that will house the performing and literary arts, a gallery space that will host the visual arts and an educational kitchen, which will be the home of the culinary arts at PSPC and much more, ”said Sobol.
Four new board members were also introduced during the meeting, including L. Oliver Robinson, school principal of the Shenendehowa Central School District, Chris Mackey, principal member and majority owner of Saratoga Ford and Saratoga Subaru, Sean Leonard, Director of Investments. and partner of Graypoint LLC and Carl DeBrule, vice president of global application development engineering testing and processes at Johnson and Johnson Corporation.

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