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Premier Beneficiaries this year are the Albany Barn, Capital Repertory Theatre, The Palace Theatre and Park Playhouse. Spotlight Beneficiaries this year are the Albany Center Gallery, Albany Institute of History & Art, The Albany Symphony, Black Dimension in Art, Capitaland Chorus, eba, Capital Cinema and Steamer No. 10. Total distribution will be based on the final net proceeds at the conclusion of the 2019 Festival.



Albany Barn was founded to provide a hand up for entrepreneurial artists translating their craft into career and to deploy those artists in turn as community change agents. In 2014, Albany Barn opened a 40,000 square foot incubator for creative economy-based enterprise and community art center called “The Barn” by partnering with the Albany Housing Authority to repurpose a long vacant school building in the City of Albany’s historic but distressed Arbor Hill neighborhood. The Barn consists of 22 affordable live-work apartments and over 13,000 square feet of low cost private and collaborative “maker” suites as well as ample exhibition, performance and programming space.



The Palace Theatre is proud to be the home of the ASO’s administrative offices through a shared service agreement. The Palace continues its tradition of providing free school-time programming for local students and regularly opens its door to non-profit-based and community-minded events, regularly hosting fund-raisers, benefit concerts and civic events with great charitable organizations such as The Ronald McDonald House Charities.



Park Playhouse augments the quality of life for a diverse audience by producing theater in an outdoor setting, and providing arts education programs to young people in the community. Their education programs teach valuable life lessons about collaboration and teamwork, while helping to the next generation of theatre artists. Since 1989, over one million audience members have enjoyed a performance free of charge in Park Playhouse’s 2,000-seat amphitheater in Albany’s Washington Park. Park Playhouse takes a leadership role in enhancing the cultural landscape of New York’s Capital Region and making the arts accessible to both residents and guests of our community.



Capital Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre whose mission is to create meaningful theatre with an authentic connection to the community they serve. They offer extraordinary experiences to young people of the region that support NY State’s education goals and standards and help young people to increase critical thinking, self-esteem, courage and personal skills for lifelong success. Capital Rep works to be a strategic player in the important dialogue about the significant role of the arts in our schools, community, region and nation.

2019 Festival Spotlight Beneficiaries

Albany Center Gallery


Albany Center Gallery, founded in 1977 by Leslie Urbach, is a nonprofit art space located in downtown Albany dedicated to the exhibition of regional artists within a 100-mile radius of Albany, and building a strong, knowledgeable audience for the visual arts. Serving the art community and the general public, all of Albany Center Gallery’s exhibitions, receptions, and artist interviews are free and open to the public. The gallery presents at least seven major exhibitions a year in the main gallery, including the Mohawk Hudson Regional Invitational; an annual exhibition featuring selected artists from the previous year’s Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region exhibit.



Albany Institute of History & Art, founded in 1791, is one of the oldest museums in the United States. It also is the major repository for the region’s heritage, with nationally significant collections. The genesis of the Albany Institute of History & Art began with The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures, founded in New York City in Federal Hall. AIHA education programs serve more than 10,000 students, teachers, adult learners, and families every year. The museum education department’s mission is to connect our community to their collections and exhibitions through lifelong learning opportunities that serve toddlers to older adults.



The Albany Symphony is one of this region’s most revered music and cultural institutions, having won numerous national awards for its adventurous concert programming, recording projects, composer residencies, and innovative educational efforts involving area schools throughout the region. As the only professional symphony orchestra based within the Capital Region, the Albany Symphony enriches a broad and diverse regional community, engaging over 150,000 people each year across an extended geographical area.

Black Dimensions in Art (BDA)


Black Dimensions in Art (BDA) was incorporated in 1975 as a volunteer non-profit organization. BDA’s mission is to educate the public about the unique contributions of artists of the African Diaspora within the American art scene through exhibitions, publications, television, and other media; to provide exposure and sales opportunities for artists of African descent; and to encourage youth of African descent in the practice, application, and appreciation of the arts. The first major exhibition organized by BDA was “Black Artists in Historical Perspective I” at the Albany Institute of History and Art in celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial. BDA continues to mount major exhibitions annually at such venues as the formerly named Schenectady Museum, Albany International Airport, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, New York State Museum, Capital Repertory Theatre, Wellington Herbs and Spices, Arts Center of the Capital Region and the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc. BDA also supports an important aspect of its mission through its Emerging Artists and Summer Youth Arts programs. In these programs youth work together with professional artists/mentors in the development of their artistic skills.



Capitaland Chorus was chartered in October, 1977 as a Chapter of Sweet Adelines International, with only 20 members. Over the years, membership has increased from a handful of local women to a diverse group of women of all ages with varying interests, backgrounds, and occupations. Due to this expansion, the chorus changed its name to Capitaland Chorus. Education is of prime importance and this goal is achieved through international-level coaches and faculty who train the group in vocal production, choreography, and showmanship ensuring success at national competitions.



eba- ELECTRONIC BODY ARTS is a long time Albany cultural and education corporation established by Maude Baum in 1973 and is dedicated to cultivating, promoting and developing an understanding of, and public interest in the performing, visual and technological arts. In its more than 40 year legacy, eba has provided residency and artistic management for Maude Baum and Company, everything but anchovies Dance Theatre, Kids Dancspace @ eba, eba Center for Dance and Fitness, and The eba Art Gallery. Beyond the resident companies, local artists use the facility for rehearsal and performances. eba sponsors invited artists on a regular basis.



Established in 2014, the Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit that also hosts screenings in support of dynamic cross-cultural exchange through film. Whether the work is a short, documentary, or feature, CCCE understands the challenge of bringing a movie from start to finish. Capital Cinema’s goal is to provide professional mentoring, educational workshops, cultural exchange, one-on-one consultation, networking and other filmmaking organizations and all forms of support, so that filmmakers can shape their work to reach a wider audience. Through interaction with audiences, industry experts and peers, filmmakers can acquire a greater understanding of the language and best practices needed to navigate the creative and business paths from development to marketing, from financing to completion.

Steamer No.10


Steamer No.10 is a small not-for-profit theatre company whose primary mission is Theatre-For-Young-Audiences. It was founded in 1989 by, and operates under the direction of, Richard Chesser. He serves as the Executive Director supervising the numerous programs that serve the children and families of New York’s Capital Region. Mr. Chesser’s background includes a B.A. in Theatre from Goddard College, with Minors in Dance and Graphic Arts and more than thirty years experience as an actor and director.