Lumberyard will experience more exciting change when it opens new facilities in a former lumberyard in Catskill New York, a town approximately two hours from New York City, positioned beautifully between the Hudson River and the Catskill Creek that was once the home of painter Thomas Cole, founder of the renowned Hudson River School. The renovation of the lumberyard, a four-building complex, will produce fabulous studios and housing, allowing Lumberyard to expand its mission of supporting artists throughout the creative process by being able to increase the number of residencies and performance opportunities available to them. The site will also include a state-of-the art performing arts space, certain to become a cultural destination for Catskill residents and for those traveling to the region.
By taking ownership of this property, Lumberyard will connect audiences to some of the best and most provocative performances being created today, and the excitement of seeing works in preview before they premier in less intimate venues will extend beyond the stage to include receptions and talk backs with artists. Catskill residents will also benefit by access to a delightful courtyard that will host a farmers’ market and other community events.
With the opening of this new site, Lumberyard looks forward to many more years of continuing to do what it does best: supporting artists, audiences, and the communities they represent.
LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts is pleased to announce LUMBERYARD Young Performers, a new series of free weekly after-school workshops in the performing arts, offered in collaboration with the Catskill Community Center. Open to Greene County School District students in grades 4-10, the program comprises a wide range of hour-long classes in which Melanie George, LUMBERYARD’s audience educator and dramaturg, and other accomplished professional artists will teach a breadth of practices, including experimental dance, music composition, contact improvisation, clowning and more.
Every other Monday, LUMBERYARD’s Melanie George will lead classes in the Catskill Community Center’s gymnasium—for kids divided into two age groups—in performance appreciation, jazz, improvisation, and composition. On the Mondays when George does not teach, LUMBERYARD will bring from New York City to Catskill artists with extensive teaching experience to lead workshops in their form. These workshops may include puppetry; African dance; hip-hop; directing; choreography; clowning; circus technique; improvisation in music, theater, dance, or contact; yoga and meditation; devised theater; and storytelling. Artists who have thus far committed to providing workshops are Nehprii Ameni (puppetry), Paul Singh (experimental dance), Oliver Woodward (acting), CB Goodman (clown), Colleen Thomas (contact improvisation) and David Parker (composition).
LUMBERYARD Young Performers launches on September 18, 2017 and will culminate in an optional informal showing at the Catskill Community Center in mid-June of 2018.
Besides providing studios and housing for artists, Lumberyard’s renovated four-building complex will include a state-of-the-art performing arts venue that will make it a destination for Catskill residents, for culture lovers from all over the region, and for those living far beyond.
When planning your Lumberyard visit, allow enough time to experience the town of Catskill. Located approximately two hours from New York City and positioned wonderfully between the Hudson River and the Catskill Creek, the town has a rich cultural heritage that includes a popular tourist site that was once the home and studio of Thomas Cole, the 19th century painter and founder of the esteemed Hudson River School.
Samuel Wilson, another 19th century resident, is part of the town’s heritage, too. A government meat inspector based in Catskill during the War of 1812, Wilson was responsible for stamping “U.S.” on military shipments. The story goes that when asked what “U.S.” stood for, Wilson’s co-workers declared that it referred to “Uncle Sam” Wilson. And then, in 1888, a local resident who had known Wilson appeared at Catskill’s centennial celebration wearing a top hat and stars and stripes regalia, creating the iconic Uncle Sam image that has lasted throughout the years. Built nearly 135 years ago to connect the east and west sides of the Catskill Creek, The Uncle Sam Bridge, a monument to Wilson, still stands today.
And there’s more. Cus D’Amato, the American boxing manager who trained Floyd Patterson, Mike Tyson, and José Florres had a gym in Catskill; blues singer Robert Charles was born and raised in town; and James Bogardus, the 19th century inventor, who was the pioneer of American cast-iron architecture, was born here, too.
We encourage you to visit Catskill, to experience the beautiful Hudson River from the town’s shore, to walk down Main Street and see newly opened restaurants and antique shops, and delightfully designed ceramic cats adorning nearly every corner, to come in contact with a place that, much like Lumberyard, is proud of its past, but recognizes, too, that it is on the cusp of change.
Lumberyard is located on 62 Water Street, just off Main Street in downtown Catskill.
To reach Catskill by train
Amtrak's Northeast Regional trains provide service to and from Hudson, New York, a short ten-minute taxi drive to Catskill. Travel time from Penn Station, New York City is two hours; from Boston, three hours; and from Albany, 25 minutes.
For Amtrak train schedules, go here.