Arts and Culture
Columbia County is rich in arts and culture. The County serves as a host to an extensive amount of theater groups, musical performances, and art galleries that offer a truly assorted variety of themes. The locations of these events and activities are wide spread, offering everyone the chance to engage in the remarkable art and culture that Columbia County has to offer.
The Performing Arts Collective of Columbia County is a group of business people and members of the Chamber of Commerce who promote and encourage the performing arts in Columbia County. This group feels it is essential to have performing arts in the county in order to keep the economy and culture of the area stable.
Popular centers to experience the performing arts in the area include Helsinki Hudson, Basilica Hudson, Stageworks, Mac-Haydn Theatre, the Theater Barn, Upstage Productions, Time and Space Limited, and the Ghent Playhouse along with many more.
A wide variety of musical performances are available at a several locations throughout the County including the Spencertown Academy Arts Center, PS/21 in Chatham and seasonally at Concerts at Tannery Pond in New Lebanon.
Both indoor galleries and outdoor exhibits are offered locally where visitors can view and purchase the work of various established and upcoming artists.
The Columbia County Council on the Arts (CCCA) is responsible for coordinating many significant events and providing support for the arts in Columbia County. The CCCA Arts Walk is an annual event during the fall that showcases the work of visual artists all over the county. It attracts over 6000 visitors and presents over 120 art displays and demonstrations along with dance performances, poetry readings, art lectures, and concerts. For more information on the arts council, visit the website or call 518-671-6213.
The Omi International Arts Center located in Ghent, New York is a non-profit residency program for individuals interested in visual arts, music, dancing, and writing. It is also home to the Fields Sculpture Park which holds year round exhibits of contemporary sculptures. This art center offers a select group of international artists’ room, board, and a place to work. Many exhibits and presentations are open to the public.
Columbia County has also been the inspiration and backdrop for many film projects. Major films that have been shot in Columbia County include “Taking Woodstock”, “Nobody’s Fool”, “The Cake Eaters”, and “The Age of Innocence”.
The National Register of Historic places lists over 100 individual historic structures and 8 historic districts in Columbia County. The largest concentration is in Hudson, Claverack, and Kinderhook.
Olana State Historic Site, the Moorish-fantasy home of Hudson River School artist Frederic Church, has an astonishing view overlooking the Hudson River. Tours of the artist’s beautiful Persian-style home are available at specified times 518-828-0135.
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site is the home of the eighth President of the United States, Martin Van Buren. Tours of his home are offered from spring until early fall. For more information visit the website or call 518-758-9689.
Clermont State Historic Site , once the Robert Livingston Manor, occupies a riverside site in the southwest corner of the County and includes a handsome eighteenth-century great house 518-537-4240.
The FASNY Museum of Firefighting displays vehicles, equipment and memorabilia on the grounds of the New York State Firemen’s Home in Hudson 877-347-3687.
Hudson Athens Lighthouse is the northern-most lighthouse on the Hudson River. Tours offered the second Saturday from July – October. Visitors may view the lighthouse from the Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, Ferry Street, Hudson. For more information call 518-828-5294.
Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon is the steward of the finest collection of Shaker artifacts in the world including over 70,000 objects of furniture, textiles, costumes, tools and writings. The Museum also owns and is restoring the most significant Shaker site in America which inludes the largest stone barn in the country. Seasonal tours and exhibits are available. For more information visit the website or call 518-794-9100.
For everything you want to know about arts, culture, history and recreation in Columbia County, please visit the Columbia County Office of Tourism’s website.