2016 will mark the fifth year that CDPHP® will be taking part in the annual Wine & Dine for the Arts, beginning January 14 through January 16. This 3-day affair features 14 distinctive events, recognizing over 250 wines, spirits, and New York state craft beers, as well as 70 local chefs and restaurants. For seven years, this inventive festival has carried out its mission “to provide sustainable funding for the support and preservation of the not-for-profit arts community in Albany, NY, through an annual 3-day Food & Wine themed Festival that markets our restaurants, chefs, and their innovative cuisine; educates consumers on healthy, sustainable agriculture; and donates all net income directly to deserving non-profit arts organizations.” Driven entirely by tireless volunteers, the event has successfully donated over half of a million dollars to area arts organizations that support the cultural well-being of our community.
On Thursday, January 14, the Mayor’s Opening Celebration will take place at City Hall. On Friday, January 15, check out the Rising Star Chef Pavilion to see what the newest chefs in our area are cooking up. Also on Friday, the overwhelmingly popular Slider Slam will feature 15 chefs competing for best sliders in People’s and Judges’ Choice Awards. Start your Saturday morning off right by attending the Chemex Cup 2016: Do or Donut, where local baristas will create their best pour over coffee, to be paired with the area’s most delicious donuts. If you’re a fan of the TV show “Chopped” on the Food Network, you do not want to miss the Adirondack Signature Chef’s Invitational Saturday afternoon, where four chefs will compete live in this mystery basket style competition. The festival will wrap up Saturday evening with the Grand Gala Reception & 6 Course Dinner; the theme this year being a Spanish homage to Picasso. CDPHP is proud to participate as a presenting sponsor of this event featuring 10 of the area’s top chefs.
For a complete list of festival events and to purchase tickets online, please visit Wine & Dine for the Arts.
Four local, well-known arts organizations will be the primary beneficiaries of the proceeds of the festival, including:
Albany Barn – An incubator space dedicated to cultivating talented artists. Former site of St. Joseph’s Academy, it has been reimagined into 22 low-cost live/work spaces. Free children’s art classes are available, as well as fitness classes, and opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to meet up and share their ideas.
Capital Repertory Theatre – This 286 seat theatre located on North Pearl Street in downtown Albany invests 83 percent of its operating budget directly back into the community. Since its establishment in 1981, it has hosted over 5,000 performances and 1,500 artists. Part of Capital Rep’s mission is “to ensure that every student in the 14-county Capital Region experiences live theatre before high school graduation.”
Palace Theatre – The sole survivor out of numerous opulent movie houses in existence during the Great Depression, the Palace Theatre still shows films, but also hosts a variety of well-known musicians, comedians, plays, and events geared toward children.
Park Playhouse – Park Playhouse is a summertime staple in Washington Park, hosting free, outdoor entertainment since 1989. Priding itself on the training of the “next generation of theatre artists”, Park Playhouse maintains a thriving workshop program in the off-season, in addition to touring productions serving 15,000 local students annually.
Due to an overwhelming request for support and the desire to assist as many organizations as possible, a secondary level of beneficiaries has been added for 2016. They include: Albany Center Gallery, Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany Symphony, EBA Dance, Grand Street Community Arts, and Upstate Artists Guild.
Each is uniquely Albany, and contributes to the revitalization of downtown. So if you find yourself looking for something to do this weekend, consider indulging in some excellent cuisine and spirits, all while supporting the aforementioned noble causes. Just don’t wait too long after reading this – tickets for these events almost always sell out!