Ironically, as reports from old friends back in Florida have given me cause for pessimism, things here in my new home are filling me with hope. Things just keep getting more interesting here.
Of course, there has always been a lot to love about this area. Beyond baseball and the beautiful countryside, there is Glimmerglass Opera, the Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers’ Museum and a handful of smaller museums, historical sites and arts groups that have long been reliable springs for cultural refreshment.
But those pools of music, theater and art seem to have started swelling and overflowing their banks.
The Smithy-Pioneer Gallery is proving that you can bring some seriously new culture to a town’s oldest building.
The “Fen & Farm” (short for Fenimore and Farmers’) has continued hosting some wonderful cultural events, such as the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, as well as a stunning season of exhibits at the art museum, including Walker Evans photography and “America’s Rome.”
They’ve also added summer immersive daycamp experiences for kids at The Farmers’ Museum, art classes for kids at the Feminore Art Museum and great events such as Taste of the Sublime. (Full disclosure: my husband works there, and I am friends with many of the other folks there, so I have first-hand knowledge of just how dedicated and passionate they are about what the museums stand for.)
Just a few miles south of Cooperstown, Foothills Performing Arts Center is bringing in one amazing act after another from NYC and all over the country. Under new leadership, the team there has focused its mission on providing theater and entertainment that is just not available in this community. (More disclosure: Foothills is a client of my company, and we are honestly humbled by the work they’re doing. Instead of maintaining the status quo and wishing for the staff and money to run the type of venue they dream of, they jumped in and did it. And if it means their executive director is clearing martini glasses at Thursday’s cabaret night, that’s what they’re committed to doing.)