TROY — A local arts organization is hosting a series of events that offers a more sociable take on “social media.”
The Arts Center of the Capital Region is hosting a monthly “Social Media” event series that combines making art with making cocktails with making friends.
“We call this thing on the Internet ‘social media,’ but are we actually being social with our friends?” asked Andrea LaRose, marketing coordinator for the Arts Center. “These events at The Arts Center are happening ‘offline,’ in real life. This is the original social media.”
The series debuted last month with a sold out “Pottery & Mudslides” that invited participants enjoy a mudslide cocktail with friends and then channel their inner Patrick Swayze by putting their hands in the clay and learning to throw on a potter’s wheel in the ceramics studio.
Each of the two remaining Social Media events this year will pair a signature drink in a clever nod to the artistic medium of the evening. A letterpress printing night will serve up “colored martinis.” And, spiked eggnog will be the drink of choice for Taffy Pulling. Each event will have food.
“A lot of people are afraid to try making art because they think they aren’t creative,” said Nicole Peterson, Arts Center director of development, who designed the series with LaRose. “This is a low pressure environment where you can have a drink, meet new people, make new things and just have fun.”
Both Peterson, 29, and LaRose, 24, said Social Media events, which occur on the third Tuesday of every month, are mostly about friend making, and they hope newcomers will make friends with the Arts Center in the process.
“The Arts Center is not just a place to take classes, it’s also an art gallery and a theater and a cool place to come visit and hang out,” Peterson said.
Though all are welcome at Social Media events, the organizers expect to attract those in the 21 to 45 age range who are hungry for an alternative to the bar scene.
“This could be a great thing to do on a date,” LaRose said. “You can bring a friend, make a friend. The vibe will be relaxed and low pressure. Just put your phone down, get a drink and make something fun.”
Elizabeth Reiss, Arts Center CEO, said the series is “not about pounding drinks or taking art too seriously” but rather it’s about “doing your own thing, learning a little something and discovering something about yourself.”
Though the first event attracted a large number of young women, Reiss said the second event is expected to be a mixture of young and older participants.
“One of the great things about the cultural scene in Troy is that it’s enjoyed by people of all ages having fun together,” Reiss said. “I feel like we have a lot of people who try on Troy here at the Arts Center. They’re wearing it for a night kind of thing.”
The Social Media series is an example of the new programming that a relatively new and young Arts Center staff is rolling out.
Social Media events are sponsored in part by Recognize Vodka and Star Bartenders Institute, located on Fourth Street in Troy, which will supply one bartender per event. The schedule of events is as follows:
Tuesday, Nov. 15: Letterpress Printing & Colored Martinis 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: Drink Ink (not really) with colorful martinis, then venture into the print studio to explore this centuries old art. You’ll print a short phrase to take home and hang on your wall!
Tuesday, Dec. 20: Taffy-Pulling & Spiked Eggnog 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: ‘Tis the season to indulge your sweet tooth! Join us to make and pull your own taffy. Showcase your culinary art at your holiday soiree, or give it as a hand-made gift from the heart. Enjoy spiked eggnog, and go home to celebrate the holidays!
Tickets for Social Media cost $25, which includes materials, a snack and a first drink. For more information, call Nicole at 273-0552 ext. 226.
Buy online: https://www.artscenteronline.org/social-media/.