World class arts experience, close to home

— Creativity is the driving force behind the Arts Center of the Capital Region. With art exhibits, performances and events; kids- and teen-oriented vacation arts camps; and visual, literary, performing and culinary arts classes, the not-for-profit corporation is one of the most art unique artistic resources found beyond New York City.

Founded in 1962, the multi-arts center was built by conjoining five mid-19th century buildings on River Street in Troy that now house state-of-the-art studios for visual, digital, performing and culinary arts. Since its opening, the facility has drawn in about 48,000 annual visitors that have attended free artists’ talks, readings, performances and art exhibitions, to name just a few programs. The center also has a 104-seat theater for performing arts events and four art galleries.

The center offers 319 different classes for which about 2,000 students were enrolled in last year, kids and teen camps and a range of classes for adults with disabilities. Classes include “Introduction to Watercolors,” “Illustrated Storytelling and Comics,” “From the Page to the Stage: Spoken Word,” “Precious Metal Clay Exploration” and “Principles of Graphic Design.”

As a New York State Council on the Arts Grants Decentralization site, the Arts Center regrants nearly $100,000 a year to local artists and arts organizations. In July 2012, the center welcomed a new president, Chris Marblo, who has plans to set the stage for long-term growth and fiscal stability.

Primarily focused on exploring the creativity of the Capital District, the Arts Center has several community activities and events. This year, the art facility launched The (Re)Imagining Troy Project, which encourages Capital District residents to creatively and practically envision ways Troy can become a more livable city. They are accepting submissions through Feb. 28 and a panel of local stakeholders will select the best ideas and present them to the community in the spring.

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