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A Place to Dream: free arts festival to be held in Lake Placid

September 6, 2012
RICHARD ROSENTRETER, Lake Placid News Editor , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - It's not a dream - this is really going to happen. But organizers hope that the free three-day Adirondack-themed arts festival on Sept. 7-9 in Lake Placid will give attendees a chance to dream.

The festival titled "Adirondacks: A Place to Dream," is a multi-media program that will feature the collective contributions of some of the most important voices in the Adirondack arts. The event is free and open to the public.

"It's a new, unique program for this area, I don't know of any other like it," said Gary Smith, one of the event's organizers and owner of the Northwoods Inn in Lake Placid. "We don't have anything that addresses the arts and humanities in this area like this program."

According to Smith, the idea was to create an event that not only focuses on the arts in the Adirondacks, but gives credit to the many who have shaped the special area in the North Country of New York.

"We tried to plan a way of how to acknowledge the historical significance of this place - the Adirondacks - we wanted to acknowledge the painters, the artists, the philosophers, the photographers and the writers that shaped for the outside world the perception of this place called the Adirondacks," Smith said, adding that those who attend the festival will leave with more than an educational and cultural experience.

"We think that for the people who come, they will learn so much about the writers, thinkers, photographers and artists who helped present this place to the outside world," Smith told the News. "I think that if we are successful, people will also learn how they can use this place to further their own aspirations and dreams."

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Event to be held Sept. 7-9

Arts and cultural organizations from throughout the North Country have joined forces for this event that was designed to explore the power of place that, for more than a century-and-a-half, has drawn some of the world's greatest artistic minds to create, according to organizers.

The festival kicks off with a reception and lecture at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. The keynote speaker is environmental philosopher Marianne Patinelli-Dubay, who will share her views on the "subtle and often implicit" influences of the Adirondack cultural, spiritual and physical landscape on art and artists in the region. She is a member of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's Northern Forest Institute.

The program continues with lectures, presentations and displays on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the High Peaks Resort. Arts and cultural organizations from throughout the Adirondacks will share their mission and current programs, including (but not limited to) Camp Sagamore, Fort Ticonderoga, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta and The View Arts Center in Old Forge.

At 6 p.m. on Saturday, activities shift to the Palace Theatre on Main Street for an Adirondack silent film screening and then to the Northwoods Inn at 9:15 p.m. for an evening of Adirondack music and storytelling. The program will conclude on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Adirondack Community Church with a consideration of spirit featuring a Mohawk storyteller.

The program was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Adirondack Center for Writing, Adirondack Community Church, Adirondack Life Magazine, the Adirondack Museum, the Adirondack Photography Institute, Archives Partnership Trust, the Lake Placid Film Forum, the Lake Placid Institute and the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry's Northern Forest Institute. Other sponsors include High Peaks Resort, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Mountain Lake PBS and North Country Public Radio.

Smith said that organizers started planning the festival about two years ago. He said that in addition to the creative people, planners wanted to include the movie and film industry in the region, and it was also important to acknowledge the contributions of the early settlers and Indians in the area.

"We started out trying to develop a program that would encompass a lot of those aspects of the Adirondacks," Smith said.

He said that organizers chose "some wonderful organizations to partner with," and "it was important that those organizations build and decide upon their own presentations and then we would attempt to shape those into an overall program."

Then came the task of coming up with a name for the event.

"We searched for a name for the event, and words escaped us," Smith said. "Then we finally came to the notion that all the people we were including in the program who shaped the Adirondacks had been dreamers."

"And that led to the name 'The Adirondacks, a Place to Dream'" he said, adding that attendees won't be the only ones to learn from this new Lake Placid event.

"We thought it was important to see if there is a market for it, and if there are people who want to learn about this aspect of Adirondack history," Smith said.

The program is supported by the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; a grant from Julia Cadbury in memory of her husband, the late Warder H. Cadbury, a passionate, lifelong devotee of the Adirondacks; and an anonymous donor.

For more information, call the Lake Placid Institute at 518-523-1312 or visit



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