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January 3, 2013

Smithy to offer winter programs

The Smithy Arts Center is prepared to help the surrounding community weather the worst of upstate cabin fever with a full roster of new and ongoing programs designed to bring out the creativity residing in everyone, according to Danielle Newell, the Smithy’s executive director.

“This winter is going to be a lot of fun,” Newell said. “We’ve got a pretty complete community arts program planned.”

Community arts programs are open to everyone, free, and often cross-artistic disciplines, Newell said. 

The Smithy’s mission is “to make art accessible, and to provide programming that will allow everyone is the community to come together and collaborate, to discover new talents and fine tune skills,” she said.

Community Art Night, beginning its third year in February, is a free program in which regional artists come to the Smithy to offer instruction in their discipline. “They teach a skill or craft,” Newell said. “We provide materials, snacks,and music. (Participants) get to take their artwork home with them.”

Newell said the Community Art Nights have increased in popularity since its inception, and is attended by people of all ages.

“We reach people in every demographic,” she said. 

Community Art Nights will take place Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit for more information.

Also heading into its third year in February will be the Smithy’s Cinema Studies class, also a free program, which will meet alternating Saturdays from 7 to 9 p.m., Newell said. This year, the class will screen and afterward discuss films created by auteur directors — filmmakers who wrote as well as directed their films — such as Billy Wilder and Woody Allen, according to Newell, who will lead give a lecture before each screening. Registration for the class is required.

This February will see the introduction of a play reading series, also to take place alternating Saturdays. The Smithy will “bring together casts and rehearse once or twice, and then give a reading that is open to the public,” Newell said.

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