SPAC Leaders Discuss Upcoming Season And Beyond

May 21, 2014

Officials from Saratoga Performing Arts Center gave a preview of the upcoming summer season this morning and provided more details about the years ahead.

At the annual meeting of voting members, SPAC’s leaders gave updates on how the performing arts organization is standing financially, introduced new and reelected board members, and also provided a glimpse of the 2014 season and beyond.

Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Board members were provided with SPAC’s 2013 annual report, which includes summarized financial and attendance information. Treasurer Ron Riggi said 2013 was a positive year.

“For the eighth consecutive year, I repeat, eighth consecutive year, SPAC achieved a net operating surplus,” said Riggi.

Vice President E. Stewart Jones briefly went over some of the ongoing improvements to facilities at SPAC, including the recently completed renovation of the Route 50 East parking lot.

“That should significantly improve the parking facilities over there as well as the traffic flow,” said Jones.

SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia White spoke about the history and formation of SPAC. In 2016, the performing arts organization will observe its 50th anniversary, and White announced the individual who will lead the celebration.

“I am proud and honored to announced that the honorary chair helping us lead the festivities will be SPAC’s first chairwoman of the board, Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller – 'Happy' Rockefeller,” announced White.

The former first lady of New York oversaw the opening of SPAC and served as the first Chairwoman from 1966 to 1973, and from 1973 to 1978 as Honorary Chair.

More details on the 2016 50th anniversary season will be announced in 2015. Meanwhile, highlights of the 2014 season were also showcased.

This summer SPAC will see the return of popular events including the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival, Live Nation concerts including Dave Matthews Band and Phish, and the summer residencies of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

The New York City ballet will make a return, but for only a shortened five-day residency.

SPAC Chairwoman Susan Phillips Read was asked if the organization was working to secure the New York City Ballet for a longer stay in 2015.

“I can tell you that we are in serious discussions with them, in fact Jay and Marcia talked to their equivalents at the New York City Ballet last week, and I expect that we will be in position to announce something soon,” said Read.

The 2014 season will also feature Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet from July 29th to August 1st.

White said the internationally renowned dance company will receive a warm welcome at its first year at SPAC.

“I think they will be extraordinarily happy and perform in an extraordinarily grateful way because of who we are, and where they’re coming, and believe me, it won’t be wasted on them,” said White.

After performing for the first time at SPAC last year at Farm Aid, musician Jack Johnson will kick off the season with a concert this Sunday.