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The Best Fall 2020 Arts and Events You Need to Check Out

Photo by Peter Crosby

Across the Valley, the creative folks at our arts and culture organizations and venues have been thinking of innovative ways to bring the public back to events in the safest way possible. After a long summer of many cancellations and postponements, we are happy to present some happenings to look forward to.

At press time, it was undetermined if some of these events would be virtual or in-person, so please check their websites for the most up-to-date information.

– Music –

Wurliday at the Palace Theatre. Photo courtesy of the Palace Theatre

The Palace Sessions

Palace Theatre, Albany
September 16 & October 21
This live-streamed music event features some favorite regional acts as part of a monthly series hosted by the Palace Theatre, the City of Albany, and Mirth Films. Performances can be found on the Palace Theater’s YouTube page at 7 p.m. the day of the session.
518.465.3335; www.palacealbany.org

Afternoon of Choral Artistry

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel
October 25
The award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City will be performing a blend of classics, spirituals, and Broadway tunes. This show is part of PLAY: The Classics, a series in collaboration with The Shandelee Music Festival that encourages and fosters young, talented, emerging artists.
845.583.2000; www.bethelwoodscenter.org

The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty. Photo courtesy of Bardavon

50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty

Bardavon, Poughkeepsie
November 1
While you won’t be able to experience a night out at the Bardavon, the folks there have been working hard to bring this performance to home screens. On November 1, there will be a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty album with performances from guest artists. Patrons can stream the tribute, which starts at 8 p.m.
845.473.2072; www.bardavon.org

Gordon Lightfoot: 80 Years Strong Tour

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel
November 21 & 22
How often do you have a chance to enjoy sundown with the singer of that chart-topping folk-rock classic? Celebrate the Songwriters Hall of Famer’s 80th birthday and his more than 50 years in the music industry with dinner and a show. Tickets to an exclusive pre-concert dinner with Bethel Woods’ executive chef are available and seating is limited.
845.583.2000; www.bethelwoodscenter.org

– Theater & Performance –

Summer Festival 2020

Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Tivoli
Ongoing through September 27
Held outdoors on Kaatsbaan Cultural Park’s 153 acres, this dance-and-arts event spans nine consecutive weekends, featuring socially distanced performances celebrating the versatility of Black dancers, as well as art and film installations. Tickets are free with a requested donation, a portion of which will be donated to the NAACP and/or other organizations.
845.757.5106; www.kaatsbaan.org

The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Photo by Olivia Michaels

Songs for a New World

The Center for Performing Arts, Rhinebeck
September 4–20
After an entirely outdoor summer season, the Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck plans to continue outdoors for its fall season. Patrons are invited to sit on the lawn, in their own chairs, and bring a picnic as they enjoy an evening at the theater. Songs for a New World is slated to be the first show this fall. The Center also plans to move away from traditional theater programming by introducing drive-in horror film screenings in October and drive-in outdoor performances of A Christmas Carol in November and December that the audience will watch from the comfort of their own cars.
845.876.3080; www.centerforperformingarts.com

Women Voted Here — Before Columbus

November 8
Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown
Format undetermined
We all know that New York was the birthplace of the U.S. women’s movement in the mid-19th century, but did you know that suffragettes Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton took their cues from the women of the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy? Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner — a nationally recognized lecturer, author and storyteller of women’s rights history — sheds light on this topic. Whether it will be in-person or virtual is not yet decided, but whatever format it takes, you can be sure it will be as exceptional as any Cleremont lecture series.
518.537.6622; www.friendsofclermont.org


– Film –

Story Screen Drive-In. Photo by @oliverthevanagon

Story Screen Drive-in

Ongoing through October
If you didn’t get a chance to get to Beacon’s much-anticipated Story Screen Theater this winter — for the month or so it was open before the pandemic — now is your chance. Well, sort of. To comply with COVID-19 guidelines, the theater switched to a drive-in format in July, showing  family-friendly movies in the park at University Settlement Camp. The screenings are expected to continue through September and likely into October. And, to make it even more fun, cocktails are available at Wonderbar Beacon, the cinema’s cocktail bar located next to the drive-in parking grounds.

Matt Dillon and Jonathan Van Meter at a panel at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2019. Photo by Laura Revercomb

Woodstock Film Festival

September 30–October 4
Virtual and in-person

The 21st Woodstock Film Festival is a hybrid event this year, with full-length, short, narrative, documentary, and animated films shown online and at local drive-ins. Live conversations with actors, directors, and industry leaders will also be available online.
845.679.4265; www.woodstockfilmfestival.org

– Art –

Thirty Seven

Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center, Nyack
Ongoing through September 8
This online exhibition consists of 37 women artists selected by juror Kathryn Markel of Kathryn Markel Fine Arts. Displayed for 37 days, it honors Josephine Nivison Hopper, who was 37-years-old when she voted for the first time, and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The artist who wins Best in Show will be Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center’s Artist of the Month in October.
845.358.0774; www.edwardhopperhouse.org

Pattern Play. Vincent Pomilio’s “Big Little #127” Photo courtesy of Carrie Haddad Gallery

Pattern Play

Carrie Haddad Gallery, Hudson
Ongoing through October 11
Featuring work from seven artists, Pattern Play “examines a range of gestural and graphic pattern variations in abstract painting and sculpture.” There is a limit of six people in the gallery at once, masks are required, and patrons are asked to keep six feet apart.
518.828.1915; www.carriehaddadgallery.com

Albany Institute of History and Art. Photo courtesy of Albany Institute of History and Art

The DeWitt Clinton Broadside Collection

Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany
Ongoing through March 2021
The DeWitt Clinton Broadside Collection, housed in storage at the Albany Institute before being rediscovered by a local political memorabilia collector, is now on display. The broadsides, which are likely the earliest collection of material specifically assembled as a political collection, date from 1775 to 1813. The exhibit explores five New York State gubernatorial elections, the context of American life during the time, and the life and legacy of DeWitt Clinton. The exhibit will also include artifacts from the era and a rare map of New York from 1796.
518.463.4478; www.albanyinstitute.org

Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Photo by Devin Pickering

Pollinator Pavilion

Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill
Ongoing through November 2021
As of August, the Pollinator Pavilion, a large-scale art installation created by artists Mark Dion and Dana Sherwood, is on display as part of Cross Pollination, a collaborative exhibition between the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Olana State Historic Site, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Home of the founder of the Hudson River School of Painting, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site also offers free, digital, self-guided tours to pair with an in-person visit, or virtual 360 visits from the comfort of your own home. The guide is rich with details and keeps users engaged by showing what’s up next.
518.943.7465; www.thomascole.org

Art Studio Views Annual Open Studio Tour. Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism Inc.

Art Studio Views Annual Open Studio Tour

Germantown, Hyde Park, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Tivoli
September 5–6
The public has the opportunity to visit 27 contemporary artists at their studios in Germantown, Hyde Park, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Tivoli through these self-guided tours. Patrons can download a map of the event online or pick one up at one of the headquarter locations. Guests must wear masks and follow social-distancing protocols.
845.505.6397; www.artstudioviews.com

ASK Members Gallery in Kingston. Photo courtesy of Arts Society of Kingston

Inaugural Kingston Annual 2020

Arts Society of Kingston (ASK) Galleries, Kingston
September 5–27
Organizers of this competition had to rethink their plans when the pandemic hit. They persevered and the competition will still be held, with submissions from artists who live or work in the Mid-Hudson region. The competition will feature local and renowned multimedia artist Judy Pfaff as a guest. Artist submissions can be viewed at ASK Galleries in Kingston during the festival and will be available for online viewing for a year.

Collaborative Concepts. Photo by Tracey Walsh

Collaborative Concepts

Tilly Foster Farm, Brewster
September 7–October 30
This free outdoor art exhibit installed throughout the fields of Tilly Foster Farm, encourages folks to take a stroll around. The sculptures will be up for more than a month.

Enduring Friendship

Putnam Arts Council Gallery, Mahopac
September 12–27
Format undetermined
This invitational exhibit was rescheduled from an original summer 2020 date. It features work by Bernie Kessler and David Small, as well as paintings from Sergio Gonzalez-Tornero. Reservations are required, but admission is free.
845.803.8622; www.putnamartscouncil.com

Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region

Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany
September 19–January 3
The 84th annual exhibit was scheduled to take place in spring, but was pushed back to fall due to the pandemic. It features all visual media, 2D and 3D, and video from artists within 100 miles of the Capital District and Glens Falls. This exhibition is sponsored by the Albany Institute of History & Art, the University Art Museum at the University at Albany, and The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, and features Susan Cross, senior curator at MASS MoCA, as this year’s juror.
518.463.4478; www.albanyinstitute.org

BUILT Silent Auction and Art Show

New York State Musuem, Albany
November 7
Format not yet determined
The Historic Albany Foundation hosts a celebration of our region’s architecture each year by inviting artists to a silent auction and art show. At the silent auction, there is everything from paintings and photography to sculptures and jewelry. All pieces are architecturally themed and are available for guests to bid on.
518.465.0876; www.historic-albany.org/built

Four Instance

Hudson Hall, Hudson
November 7–December 20
This paintings exhibit — produced by four artists who live and work a few doors apart in Hudson — showcases “the common and divergent characteristics of artists who share a locality but arrive at distinct and individual destinations.” The exhibition is free and open to the public on a limited, timed entry, reservation-only basis (maximum 10 entries per hour).
518.822.1438; www.hudsonhall.org

– Festivals & Food –

Harvest Festival

Bethel Woods Center Center for the Arts, Bethel
Saturdays, August 30–October 10
Although there may be no concerts in the famed pavilion this year, there are still plans for the annual Harvest Festival. This festival takes place over five separate weekends, with each one ushering in new vendors. It celebrates the start of fall and welcomes local businesses to engage with the community.
845.583.2000; www.bethelwoodscenter.org

We Rise

September 4–19
Format not yet determined

This collaboration of artists, art galleries, organizations, and activists celebrates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Held at various locations throughout the city of Poughkeepsie, this celebration includes art exhibits, movie screenings, performances, panel discussions, lectures, trivia night, and surprise events — all of which are free to the public. At press time it was undetermined what events would be held in-person and what events would be held online.
Find them on Facebook

Hudson Valley Fiesta Latina

Museum Village, Monroe
September 12
This 6th annual festival celebrates the organizers’ “love for our nation in fusing Latin influence with the richness of our American culture.” It features vendors focused on culture, plus food, family activities, and live music.
845.259.6555; www.hudsonvalleyfiestalatina.com

Hops on the Hudson New York Craft Beer Festival

Cold Spring
September 12–13
Hops on the Hudson spent six weeks prepping guidelines for a mini festival to take place this year. These new guidelines ensure that the festival can go on while still observing social-distancing guidelines. The festival features more than 30 New York breweries and 90+ taps, as well as food, music, artisans, and a raffle. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Best of Westchester Party

September 23
Celebrate the winners of Westchester Magazine ’s annual readers’ ballot and editors’ picks. Lifestyle categories include food & drink, shopping, fun & leisure, health & beauty, and more.

Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest. Photo courtesy of the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County


Hunter Mountain, Hunter
September 26–27, October 3–4, October 10–11, and October 17–18
Format undetermined
In normal times, this event lasts four weekends and features different events, entertainment, and activities — and, of course, German and German-American food galore. The 2020 format was not confirmed at press time.

O+ Blo+ck Party

October 10
While the regularly scheduled Kingston O+ Festival won’t be held this year, be sure to mark your calendars for October 10 to enjoy a free Blo+ck Party. The event is free to the public and will be held in Kingston’s Uptown neighborhood. Attendees can expect to enjoy art, music, and wellness elements at the event. Rain date is October 11.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Photo by Peter Crosby

Wine Festival at Bethel Woods

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel
October 10
Guests are invited to sample reds, whites, and rosés from a wide range of wineries at the 9th annual Wine Festival at Bethel Woods. There will be live music, food, and shopping, as well as special perks like a Wine & Sip event for VIP ticket holders.
845.583.2000; www.bethelwoodscenter.org

Ulster County Italian Festival

October 11
Hosted by the Ulster County Italian American Foundation, this festival has everything you expect — and love: Italian food, beverages, music, and products. All proceeds will go toward UCIAF Education Awards Fund for graduating Italian-American high school seniors in Ulster County who carry on the values of the foundation in their communities.
845.338.9111; www.ucitalianamericanfoundation.org

Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival. Photo courtesy of the Wallkill River School of Art

Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival

Wallkill River School of Art, Wallkill
October 13-18
Participating artists in this annual festival are chosen by a jury of respected plein-air painters and are required to produce three original paintings in plein air during the week-long competition held at scenic locations throughout the Hudson Valley. The festival will conclude with two events, one of which is the opening exhibit of the artists’ work, at the Wallkill River School of Art. The art will be on display at the school until December.
845.457.2787; www.wallkillriverschool.com

Best of Hudson Valley Party

October 15
Join the staff of Hudson Valley as we celebrate the winners of our annual Best of Hudson Valley readers’ ballot and editors’ picks. Lifestyle categories include food & drink, shopping & services, fun & leisure, home & garden, health & beauty, and more.

Sheep and Wool Festival. Photo courtesy of Dutchess County Tourism Inc.

New York State Sheep and Wool Festival

October 17–18
This annual festival can be enjoyed through your screens this year due to the pandemic. Check their website for the latest news regarding the celebration.

VW Beetle Car Parade

Throughout the Hudson Valley with stops in Cortlandt and Bear Mountain
October 24
Watch as colorful vintage Beetles make their way through the Hudson Valley and along the Palisades Parkway for the annual Fall Foliage VW Air-Cooled Cruise. This cruise is a 60-mile ride through the Valley that brings together VW Beetle enthusiasts. Rain date is October 25.
845.290.9900; www.classicvwbugs.com

Rosendale International Pickle Festival

Rosendale Recreation Center, Rosendale
November 22
The 23rd annual celebration of all things pickled is happening in Rosendale the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Admission is $5 for adults and will get you in to enjoy culinary experiences from all around the world, all having to do with pickles, pickled things, and pickling spices. The event is rain or shine.