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A week after Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested in Saratoga Springs, angry demonstrators and local residents packed Tuesday’s city council meeting. A public comment period devolved into a shouting match, with some calling for moderated discussion between demonstrators and city leadership.

New York City Ballet Dancer performs Balanchine's "Apollo"
Paul Kolnik / New York City Ballet

  The New York City Ballet returns to SPAC this summer - but owing to an abundance of caution related to Covid19, the full company will not grace the SPAC stage this year. Instead, tonight through Saturday, a small group of NYCB dancers and musicians will present “NYCB On and Off Stage,” an intimate, up-close look at selected excerpts from the Company’s extraordinary repertory of ballets. 


This series of educational programs has never before been presented for Saratoga audiences. All shows will be hosted by a NYCB Principal Dancer who will introduce the excerpts and provide insights on each ballet.


Jonathan Stafford is the Artistic Director of New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet and he joins us.


The two organizations have announced and do plan on a full NYCB season at SPAC in summer 2022.

Saratoga Springs City Hall (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs residents and Capital Region activists are objecting to recent remarks by the city’s assistant police chief that linked a violent late-night incident with racial justice advocates. 

Heidi Owen West
Photo credit Heidi For Mayor

The race for mayor of Saratoga Springs is shaping up. Well-known city business owner Heidi Owen West will appear on the Republican line in the race to replace outgoing Democrat Meg Kelly.

Ron Kim
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The race for Saratoga Springs mayor is taking shape. Former Democratic Public Safety Commissioner Ron Kim is set to kick off his campaign for mayor Wednesday morning in High Rock Park. The lawyer also ran for Congress in the 21st district in the 2018 campaign.

Elizabeth Sobol

At the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last year they had more than 200 events on their campus – including a total of 10,000 visitors, 50 people at a time, from July to December. During that time, their operations and facilities team worked according to very strict COVID protocols and created a blueprint for events that kept their guests and staff safe and healthy.

As they move into the 2021 season, their number one priority is creating a safe environment for everyone – audience members, staff and performers. So, they do not yet know when they will be allowed to open – nor, more importantly, at what capacity. There are many questions. And for answers – we welcome Elizabeth Sobol - President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner
Lucas Willard / WAMC

An upstate New York state Assemblywoman is seeking an aid payment from the parent company that operates Rivers Casino in Schenectady to an organization that represents the harness racing industry in Saratoga Springs. 

The stage inside UPH can be removed to accomodate different types of events
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Arts organizations in the Saratoga region are having a collective conversation about how to operate in a post-pandemic reality. 

Matt McCabe performing in a virtual performance at Caffe Lena in December 2020
Caffe Lena/YouTube

Matt McCabe, a pillar of the Saratoga Springs music community and a former city councilor, recently died after battling COVID-19. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, a tribute is being planned in his honor.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly
Lucas Willard / WAMC

More change is coming to Saratoga Springs City Hall. Mayor Meg Kelly said Monday she will not seek a third two-year term in November.

Protesters are separated by a mounted police officer in Saratoga Springs on July 30th, 2020
Lucas Willard / WAMC

In Saratoga Springs, 2020 brought an upended tourism season, a financial emergency at City Hall, yet another push for a new city charter, and loud calls for racial justice. 

Saratoga Performing Arts Center during the COVID-19 pandemic is almost completely empty.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Despite a summer season upended by the coronavirus pandemic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center is in a solid financial position for 2021 – even if the organization’s top brass is unsure what next year will look like. 

Book covers for the books listed below on this page
provided - assorted publishers / provided - assorted publishers

This week's Book Picks come from Digby Baker-Porazinski of Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York and Manchester Center, Vermont.

"The Evening and the Morning" by Ken Follett
"Sapiens: A Graphic History" by Yuval Noah Harari
"The Age of Wood" by Roland Ennos
"A Thousand Ships" by Natalie Haynes (to be released in January)
"The Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio
"Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide" by John Cleese
"Heroes' Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook" by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Michael Witmer

Saratoga Springs City Hall
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Saratoga Springs City Council held a special meeting last night to pass an amended Fiscal Year 2021 city budget. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, city leaders are feeling a bit more optimistic about next year after recent national developments.

Protesters demonstrate in Congress Park in July (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Saratoga Springs is delivering a message to demonstrators after complaints submitted during a Black Lives Matter protest last week.

Beethoven 2020 At SPAC

Aug 19, 2020

Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces the continuation of SPAC REIMAGINED with a virtual Beethoven 2020 festival, which will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.

Highlighting the virtual festival are special events including an exclusive Beethoven recital with pianist Jonathan Biss (8/21), the World Premiere of "Testament" (8/22), a theatrical production in collaboration with Saratoga Shakespeare Company, and more.

Elizabeth Sobol is president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

David Snyder
Photo provided

After armored police confronted Black Lives Matter protesters in a Saratoga Springs intersection two weeks ago, an aide for Democratic Mayor Meg Kelly has resigned. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, David Snyder is now considering a primary against his former boss.

A woman waves a Trump 2020 campaign flag at counterprotesters during Thursday's "Back The Blue" Rally
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Pro-police demonstrators and counter-protesters faced off last night in Saratoga Springs, where three arrests were made. 

Members of the Saratoga Springs City Council speak with City Attorney Vince DeLeonardis during Tuesday's regular meeting
City of Saratoga Springs meeting livestream

Officials in Saratoga Springs are developing a strategy to enforce a New York State regulation that requires the wearing of masks in public settings.

An empty clubhouse at Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The horses, jockeys and trainers were on the track today in Saratoga Springs for the start of the summer meet. But the fans had no choice but to stay home.

A large NYRA Bets card
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A new racing season is beginning today. And with no fans to walk up to the betting window at Saratoga Race Course this year, NYRA is partnering with Stewart’s Shops to popularize its mobile betting platform.

Tensions between Saratoga Springs residents of color and the city police department were put on full display in an online forum Wednesday night.

As Phase Three arrives in the Capital Region, the Saratoga Springs City council is allowing restaurants and bars to expand their outdoor seating. 

Bailey's Cafe on Thursday
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Thursday marked the return of outdoor dining in areas across New York under Phase Two of reopening guidelines.

An overhead schematic of a proposed parking garage
City of Saratoga Springs

As a parking garage is being constructed in downtown Saratoga Springs – something debated in the Spa City since 1992 – one city councilor believes more should be done to accommodate city-owned vehicles.

A proposed east-side fire station in Saratoga Springs took another step toward reality Tuesday night.

The City of Saratoga Springs, whose economy relies on its thunderous summer tourism season, is taking steps to brace for impact during an uncertain recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Saratoga Springs summer tourism season, buoyed by horse racing, outdoor concerts, theatre, and other attractions is looking uncertain at best. The city finance department is predicting a $14 to 16 million reduction in revenues for the year – about a third of the annual budget. To mitigate potential impacts, the search is on for ways to cut expenses.

Saratoga Race Course
Lucas Willard / WAMC

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo cast more uncertainty about live horse racing at Saratoga Race Course this summer. With a meet scheduled to begin in July and the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic, the Democrat addressed the question of whether to reopen the summer tourism destination in his daily briefing.

Saratoga County seal
Saratoga County

A pay raise for some Saratoga County employees during the response to the COVID-19 crisis is continuing to generate backlash, with some county supervisors pushing for a special meeting to address the issue.