Saratoga ArtsFest kicks off

Saratoga ArtsFest is entering its fourth year and is quickly becoming an artistic tradition in Saratoga Springs. Keeping with its mission to entice and engage city youth and families, this year's festival from Thursday, June 10 to Sunday, June 13, has a hefty lineup of events geared toward the younger crowds.

We want to attract young people as much as we can to the arts, so we have stuff for tots and teenagers. Many general events are still great for kids, even if not tailored for them, such as studio tours, dance performances and the center stage downtown, but they do have their own designated events as well, said Robert Kimmerle, media relations coordinator for Saratoga ArtsFest.

Youth events will be designated with a special symbol on ArtsFest guides to make them easier to find, said Kimmerle.

On all four of the ArtsFest days there will be an Art Rally for Kids, organized by the Children's Museum at Saratoga, which will send children and their parents on an art and architecture scavenger hunt around town. Hands-on art activities will include book illustration workshops, jewelry-making from recycled materials, a circus arts workshop, veggie stamping at the Farmers Market and Family Sunday at Skidmore College's Tang Museum were local artists will demonstrate skills like weaving, glassblowing, silversmithing and painting.

There will be music performances by the Empire State Youth Orchestra's Jazz Ensemble 2 and the World's Largest Kindergarten Concert, featuring students from three local elementary schools. The ArtsFest Center Stage will feature ongoing entertainment on Friday and Saturday at the corner of Broadway and Division Street, from music to musical storytelling and family dances.

Theater productions for young audiences will include "An Aesop Adventure" performed by students from Greenfield Elementary School and "Scenes in Flight" by the Flying Kite Children's Theater. There will also be a dance programs, TAKE Dance/Family Dance Performance, which will present three short works by a Japanese choreographer.

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