#518Day in the News

Happy-518DayThank you to The Daily Gazette and Saratogian for highlighting the #518Day social media campaign slated for Thursday, May 18

What is #518Day? Learn more about it on this page.


Recent press: Quick Sip Reviews on my poem ‘Instructions for Astronauts’: ‘strange and haunting’

Thank you to Charles Payseur at Quick Sip Reviews for taking the time to read my work and write about it. Very cool!

Quick snippet “strange and haunting” and “great”!

If you need more, here are some snippets from his review of “Instructions for Astronauts”:

This is a rather strange and haunting poem about humanity fleeing Earth in an attempt to survive, in an attempt to get to a different and better world, one unspoiled by our touch.


There is a strong religious element to the poem, all of the parts preceded by a biblical verse (save two) to set up how those sections read. These are the sections of the believers, of the grand hope for humanity. The renewal, the what-have-you. And I love that the poem sets itself up that way, with everything working and working toward this end, only to pull away at the ending …

He also calls the video “An amazing experience!”

Wow! Read what he wrote here.

Here’s the video



Recent press: Times Union on my Pushcart nomination

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If you read my announcement on this blog last week, then you already know this news. But it caught the attention of the good people at the Albany Times Union, including current arts editor Gary Hahn. He worked his magic and one of the newest hires to the TU, Sara Tracey, was kind enough to write up my literary news.

Thank you, Gary and Sara!

You can read the full story here: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Delmar-writer-s-poem-nominated-for-Pushcart-Prize-11089133.php

This was also buttressed from some really great social media mentions. Here’s a Twitter sampling


Is NYC’s Metropolitan Museum duping visitors?

The AP is reporting that a class-action lawsuit is targeting the Met for how it charges admission.

The story begins:

Before visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art can stroll past the Picassos, Renoirs, Rembrandts and other priceless works, they must first deal with the ticket line, the posted $25 adult admission and the meaning of the word in smaller type just beneath it: “recommended.”
Many people, especially foreign tourists, don’t see it, don’t understand it or don’t question it. If they ask, they are told the fee is merely a suggested donation: You can pay what you wish, but you must pay something.
Confusion over what’s required to enter one of the world’s great museums, which draws more than 6 million visitors a year, is at the heart of a class-action lawsuit this month accusing the Met of scheming to defraud the public into believing the fees are required.

What do you think? Have you visited the Met recently? What did you pay?

Why you know someone in a band: The Capital Region is dense (but not popular) with music

To control for the effects of population, this map (above) shows the distribution of musical acts per 10,000 people. Note how dark it is in and around Albany. From http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/11/americas-most-popular-music-scenes/3588/

Richard Florida, who coined the term creative class — about how the development of cities can be dependent upon the rise of a class of professionals involved in creative industries — recently published a study in the Atlantic Online about the most popular music scenes in the U.S. (A hat tip to my colleague Leigh Hornbeck to pointing me to this map on the Idiotsbeingidiots blog.)

Florida’s post offers four maps:

  • Raw Number of Musical Acts (LA is on top, followed by NYC and Chicago)
  • Density of Musical Acts per 10,000 (This is the map above, with LA on top, followed by Napa, Calif., and Las Vegas — the Albany metro area comes in ninth)
  • Music Popularity Index (in millions) This comes from MySpace data in 2007 (!) and has LA, NYC and Atlanta in the top 3
  • Popularity Index per Capita (Nashville tops this list, followed by LA and Atlanta)

The article states that the data come from MySpace in 2007, so it can be out of date. Florida writes:

In early 2007, at the peak of the site’s popularity (it had more visitors than Google at the time), my team at the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) and I organized and collated information on the more than three million artists that were listed. We cleaned the data, organizing it by location, popularity (as reflected by fans, plays, and page views), and key musical genres. Overall, we were able to code almost two million acts to metro areas.

It is stunning that Albany area is so highly ranked in the density of musical acts with 154 for 10,000 people.

Now this doesn’t mean the city of Albany, but the metropolitan statistical area, which includes the four counties of the Capital Region (Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga Springs and Schenectady) and more than 800,000 people. But if the math is correct, and you take that 154 per 10,000 and apply it to a population of 800,000, that means in 2007 there were 12,320 musical acts in the Capital Region.

To me this study, and Albany’s rank in it, means a few things:

  • It confirms what I’ve long suspected and what other data, like a  recent Preview survey, has said: going to see music is one of the top entertainment activities in the region.
  • Many of the people who go to see musical acts are also involved in their own musical act.
  • New technologies have made it easier than ever for people to create, record and distribute music, and this region is a vibrant place for that creation.
  • Despite all of this vibrancy, the music doesn’t have much of a reach, in that it doesn’t rate highly on the popularity index. That could mean that not enough people are hearing the music being created in this area, because the new tools for recording and distribution aren’t enough to make it big in the music world, if Albany has to compete with Nashville and LA, for example. Then again, it could also mean that the music isn’t all that good.
  • It also means that, with so many musical acts, that you, dear reader, likely know at least one person who plays music in a band, if not several,

What’s your take on this data?

Times Union launches Preview reader survey

The views and opinions of our audience are very important to us. So we look to you, our most devoted readers, to tell us what you value about Preview and what you would like Preview to be in the future.

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts at http://timesunion.com/PreviewSurvey before Monday, Oct. 15.

Everyone who completes the survey can enter into a drawing to win a $50 gift card to Regal Theaters and a $50 American Express gift card so you can enjoy dinner and a movie.

SPAC plans new routine

Saratoga Performing Arts Center Chairman of the Board Susan Phillips Read, center, listens to Marcia J. White, President and Executive Director, left, speak during a SPAC board meeting at the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, on Oct. 4, 2012 in Colonie, NY. Ed Lewi is at right. (Philip Kamrass / Times Union)


As the Saratoga Performing Arts Center looks toward welcoming two new dance companies next summer and returning the New York City Ballet to a two-week season in 2014, the organization reported essentially flat attendance and modest income gains for classical programming during its 2012 season.

The City Ballet and its longtime resident sibling at SPAC, the Philadelphia Orchestra, over the summer each drew audiences about 4 percent smaller than in 2011. Their attendance was approximately 35,000 and 34,000, respectively, according to figures released by SPAC at Thursday’s meeting of the SPAC board of directors.

The ballet company’s ticket income for its two-week July residency was about $991,000, an increase of 6 percent, while the orchestra generated approximately 7 percent more ticket revenue, about $970,000 over three weeks in August, the board learned at the meeting, held at the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce office. Continue reading