When you think of the cradle of American art, what comes to mind? Broadway with its flashing billboards, garish amusements and nearby theaters that promise indie hits and moments that transcend blockbuster theatrics? Chances are, one of the last things you think of is heading north of the city to the Catskill Mountains and Hudson River of painters and performers who breathed their last nearly 200 years ago.
But this would be a mistake, because the Catskills are the cradle of American art, place zero, where our young nation's first art form began. When Thomas Cole made his first journey north from the smog-riddled city of New York along the Hudson River, he was ensnared by the raw beauty of a landscape unspoiled, pristine, and primitive – tied forever to this painter's Eden. The Hudson River School he founded, the idealized American landscape he helped reveal, was just the beginning.
Today, the Catskill Region's performing arts' scene has ensnared performers and audiences alike, beguiling all and sundry to enjoy everything from belly dancing to puritanical retribution at theaters across the region. This summer, the Catskills' theaters and performing arts spaces welcome all and sundry to trade the city for scintillating stage lights, the heat and the glitter of Broadway for cool mountain air and a canopy of stars overhead.
While we wait for The Lumberyard, the American Dance Institutes newest installment, coming June 2018 in downtown Catskill, to bring forth a new age of artistic endeavor, the Great Northern Catskills offer a full summer's worth of performing arts events, including: