The Best Hudson Valley Art Galleries, Classes, Music Venues, and More

Democratic Intuition exhibit at Jack Shainman Gallery
Photo courtesy of Meleko Mokgosi and Jack Shainman Gallery

Editors’ Picks

– Art Center for Kids and Teens –

Rockland Center for the Arts

Every summer for the past 60-plus years, Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) has hosted campers, aged 5-14, at its Arts Camp @ RoCA. This year, RoCA also introduced Mystery Art Project Kits for kids to enjoy at home, and, this fall, the center is offering studio classes on Zoom and free, virtual art workshops for children.
West Nyack;

– Black History Month Events –

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Black History Month Kingston

Before 2020 became a watershed moment for conversations about the Black experience in the United States, Black History Month Kingston celebrated its third anniversary this winter. Organized by not-for-profits Harambee and MyKingstonKids, BHMK comprises more than 60 events, including exhibits, workshops, panels, performance, dance parties, comedy shows, and galas celebrating Black members of the community, with an emphasis on education, engagement, race relations, and the historic legacy of Kingston’s Black communities.

– Hidden Gem Photography Archive –

The Gordon Parks Foundation

Famous images by photojournalist Gordon Parks, documenting poverty and the civil rights movement, hang in some of the country’s finest museums, including the Smithsonian and the Art Institute of Chicago. But few know that the Gordon Parks Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preserving his work is located in downtown Pleasantville. Closed through 2020, the foundation holds four to six exhibitions per year, with a selection of archived photographs available to view online.

– New Music Venue –

Revel 32°

Constructed in 1845 as a church and expanded into a Masonic temple in 1895, the building at 32 Cannon Street has been transformed into Revel 32°, a stunning event space combining historic design with the intimate vibe of New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. Make this the destination for your next live-music outing — past performers have included The Soul Rebels and Braskill — and you won’t be disappointed.

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Photo by AJL Studio

– NYC Gallery in the Hudson Valley –

The School/Jack Shainman Gallery

The term “art school” takes on new meaning at this groundbreaking exhibition space in Columbia County founded by NYC gallerist and art collector Jack Shainman. The 30,000-sq-ft gallery occupies the former Martin Van Buren elementary/high school, a 1929 Federal Revival-style structure. View work by internationally known contemporary artists in the 5,000-sq-ft exhibition space (formerly the gym and cafeteria) and smaller spaces (aka classrooms).

– Place to Hear Bluegrass –

Highlands Bluegrass Festival

Music lovers throughout the Valley gather each fall on the Great Lawn of Harmony Hall to listen to bluegrass, one of America’s most popular, original, musical art forms. This family-friendly event draws well-known performers in the bluegrass scene to Sloatsburg, and is perfect for people of all ages, with local craft artisans, food vendors, and kids’ activities.

Photo by Geoff Welch

– Sculpture Garden –

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Opus 40

Located in and around an old quarry in Ulster County, this masterpiece of stone craftsmanship was created by artist and Bard Professor Harvey Fite, who carved, stacked, and masoned the 60-acre grounds. Bridging art and the outdoors, the non-profit space spans meadows, bluestone quarries, and trails, which, along with its central sculptures, were recently restored by a group of stonemasons. It also opened for the 2020 season on-time in April, despite the pandemic, with reservation-only visits.

Photo courtesy of Opus 40

Readers’ Picks

– Art Classes for Adults –

Betsy Jacaruso Studio & Gallery


– Art Gallery –

Roost Studios and Art Gallery

New Paltz

– Arts Center –

Storm King Art Center

New Windsor


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– Community Theater –

County Players at the Falls Theatre

Wappingers Falls

– Educational Programs for Adults –

Salt Point Educational Center, Dutchess BOCES


– Historic Site –

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site

Hyde Park


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– Historical Society –

Wappingers Historical Society

Wappingers Falls

– Live Music Joint –

The Falcon


– Main Street –



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– Movie Theater (Independent) –

Upstate Films


– Museum –

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Hyde Park

– Music Classes for Adults –

New Windsor Academy

New Windsor

– Paint & Sip Venue –

Glitter with Champagne

Wappingers Falls


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– Venue for Plays and Concerts (Indoor) –



– Venue for Plays and Concerts (Outdoor) –

Boscobel House and Gardens


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