September 13, 2012

Arts Express: Sept. 13, 2012


---- — Well-known author to read from latest work

PAUL SMITHS — Author Russell Banks will read from and discuss his latest novel, “The Memory of Lost Skin,” at 7:30 tonight at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center.

The reading is free to Paul Smith’s College faculty and students and costs $5 for general admission.

Books will be for sale, and Banks will sign them before and after the reading.

A pre-reading event of drinks and appetizers with the author to benefit the Adirondack Center for Writing will also be held. Cost is $25. Reserve a space by emailing or calling 327-6278.

Fundraising planned for new Laboratory Museum furnace

SARANAC LAKE — Historic Saranac Lake has started a public campaign to raise funds to replace the failing furnace at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.

The campaign seeks to raise at least $13,000 for the new furnace, which must be installed this fall.

Executive Director Amy Catania said the boiler dates from 1950 and is threatening to break down completely. Three times last winter, the heating system turned off unexpectedly, putting the building at risk. The old boiler inefficiently burned 2,250 gallons of oil, resulting in bills totaling $9,000. A new system is expected to use about one-third less fuel.

Several leading gifts have already totaled up to about $5,000.

“Now we are taking the campaign to the streets,” Board President Priscilla Goss said in a news release.

“We are counting on donations of any size from individuals in the community who care about our history and the work of Historic Saranac Lake,” Goss said.

Anyone who donates will get a window decal, and Historic Sarana Lake T-shirts and license-plate frames will be for sale. Local businesses that are supporting the project will be recognized at the tables.

The total cost of the project is $26,000. Historic Saranac Lake has applied for a matching grant from the New York State Council on the Arts but needs to raise at least $13,000.

Summer travel writing contest deadline nears

WESTPORT — Summer is prime time for exploring New York’s Champlain Valley.

“There are few places with historic hamlets settled so sweetly into a rich landscape of forests, farms, and hills with views of a beautiful lake and mountains,” Chris Maron, executive director of Champlain Area Trails (CATS), said in a news release.

Writing about your summer adventures could earn you $500.

“Now in its third cycle, the CATS Travel Writing Contest aims to spread the word about all the Champlain Valley has to offer and promote tourism to the area,” said Gretel Schueller, contest coordinator.

The winner, selected by a guest judge, will receive a $500 first prize. There’s also a chance for the public to pick their favorite story during our online voting in October. The People’s Choice — the story with the most online votes — wins $250.

Winners will also have their entries published online in the CATS destination guide, “Tales from the Trails.”

The guest judge is Diane Chase, author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, including “Champlain Valley: Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga. Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities with GPS Coordinates.”

The deadline for entries is Sept. 30.

For full contest details, visit For contest-related questions, email

Student strikes gold in international choir competition

CINCINNATI — Morgan Dubrey of Plattsburgh was a member of the Mansfield University Concert Choir that won three gold medals at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati this summer.

The World Choir Games is the largest international choral competition in the world. 

The Mansfield University Chorus of Mansfield, Pa., was awarded a gold medal in the Folklore category, placing fourth among 25 choirs and ranking just behind the top choir from Venezuela and two choirs from China. It also ranked second among 12 choirs from around the world in the Mixed Youth Choir category, just behind the champion from China. In the Musica Sacra division, the Concert Choir was among only 12 of 28 choirs competing in this category to achieve the ranking of gold.

“The competition was particularly intense this year with the judges awarding more bronze and silver rankings than ever before,” Mansfield University Director Peggy Dettwiler said in a news release. “In order to receive a gold medal in a championship round, a choir must achieve at least 80 of 100 points accumulated from seven judges on an international jury.”

Quilt at Kent-Delord is tribute to American flag

PLATTSBURGH — The Kent-Delord House Museum has been showing its patriotic colors.

Inside its walls hangs a donated symbolic quilt as part of the Daughter of the American Revolution Saranac Chapter’s fundraiser. The quilt was created by Trudy Burger, a recent member of the DAR, and is titled “Waving American Flag.”

It is the raffle prize for the DAR’s annual fundraising event. All proceeds will go toward preserving the historic Kate Cleveland Smith House, home of the DAR Saranac Chapter, and toward scholarships for continuing education. Tickets are available at the museum for $5 each or three for $10. The drawing will follow the Battle of Valcour Memorial Service on Oct. 11.

For more information, call 561-1035.

Harold K. Hochschild Award presented to Ernsts

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE — The Board of Trustees of the Adirondack Museum formally presented the Harold K. Hochschild Award to John and Margot Ernst at the annual Gala Benefit.

The award is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people and environment inspired the creation of the Adirondack Museum.

Since 1990, the museum has presented the award to a range of intellectual and community leaders throughout the Adirondack Park, highlighting their contributions to the region’s culture and quality of life.

“On behalf of the Adirondack Museum, I would like to congratulate John and Margot Ernst on receiving this prestigious honor for their commitment and service to the Adirondack region,” David M. Kahn, executive director of the Adirondack Museum, said in a news release.

The Ernsts split their time between New York City and Elk Lake Lodge, a family-owned resort near North Hudson. They have been involved in public service through their work with non-profit organizations in New York state and the North Country.