Paul Smith’s College gears up for third annual festival of science, art and music

Apr 6, 2016 | News

Paul Smith’s College will hold a day-long festival of music, art and TED-style talks on Saturday, April 16, at the Paul Smith’s College VIC.

The event, known as SAM Fest, is now in its third year. This year’s theme is “The Art and Science of Time.” It will feature a mix of performances by North Country musicians and poets, presentations by faculty and students, exhibits of works by local artists and a showing of “Chasing Ice,” an award-winning documentary about making dramatic, time-lapse film footage of melting glaciers around the world.

“The last two SAM Fests were great successes, with more than 300 people in attendance,” said Curt Stager, professor of natural sciences at Paul Smith’s College and the event’s organizer. “This year’s lineup is just as exciting, with fast-paced, entertaining science talks interspersed with music and poetry.”

Special guests will include archaeologist Tim Messner, of the State University of New York at Potsdam, who will talk about Native American history in the Adirondacks; professor Glenn McClure, of the State University of New York-College at Geneseo, who will present local climate data as a musical composition; and Ekaterina Zharinova, an accomplished modern dancer in Russia who has composed a video performance specifically for SAM Fest.

Another major highlight of the festival will be the TED-style talks by Paul Smith’s students. “We are not officially linked to the TED organization, but we like their style,” Stager said. “Independent versions of short, high-impact TED talks are supposed to use the label TEDx, but as Adirondackers, we figure TEDaxe works better. So that’s what we’re calling them. I’m especially looking forward to the student presentations on long views of time, which will blend science and the arts in creative ways for a wide audience.”

North Country musicians – including Peggy Lynn, Dan Berggren, Celia Evans, Larry Montague and Jamie Savage – will perform between the talks. There will also be displays and activities by visual artists from the North Country in the main gallery as well as live fiddle music by students Tyler Dezago and Izzie Padron. Maple syrup and refreshments will be on sale during the lunch hour, as well.

SAM Fest runs from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5. The Paul Smith’s College community and Friends of the VIC will be admitted free of charge.

For a full schedule of events and more information about the festival, visit or contact Curt Stager at 518-327-6342.

About Paul Smith’s College

At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs, in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences, draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.



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