Welcome the inaugural edition of Inside Local Arts a series where we will chat with folks who have a unique perspective on our area’s vibrant arts scene.
Chad Rabinotwitz has become synonymous with the vibrant growth of downtown Glens Falls thanks to his work with the Adirondack Theatre Festival and the Adirondack Film Festival. Rabinowitz also serves as the producing artistic director for the Bloomington Playwrights Project in Indiana. He’s produced over 100 works of theater focusing mostly on new and contemporary plays and musicals.
What was the last live performance you attended?
BEAU – ATF’s 25th Anniversary closer. Oh, actually, I also saw the Elvis impersonators at the Park last week. And I’m super excited for upcoming tickets to SPAC to see Steve Martin & Martin Short!
Who is a local creative everyone needs to know?
Anthony Richichi is an absolute artistic force. He’s a visual artist with a passion and drive like I’ve never seen. He heads up ATF’s Tooning In art gallery for both the theatre festival and the film festival where he’s personally created probably about 400 individual pieces of art in the past 4 years (for ATF alone) along with curating countless art pieces from many others.
What is a locally produced art, craft, clothing item or delicacy you can’t live without?
Theatre – that’s cheating, but anything happening at the Wood Theater makes me excited to be in Glens Falls.
What does “Creative Economy” mean to you?
I approach that from the business sense meaning that the arts generates income for the local area. In fact, its Glens Falls’ creative economy that brought me here. I’m a strong advocate of arts as an economic driver and know it has a significant ability to impact communities. To see how ATF and The Wood have transformed downtown Glens Falls, and how much that continues to grow each year, is a pinnacle example of how a Creative Economy can create a sustainable community.
What was the last project you oversaw to completion?
How can we overcome parochialism in the arts?
As I said, one of the big reasons I took the ATF position was because of the inarguable impact the arts has had on downtown. We need to continue to make that success and that value known. We can’t expect the average person to be a qualified city planner and understand the complexities of building a thriving community. The small-minded way to look at it is that you build your city and then the arts is a nice fun thing that happens when there’s enough people around. But the Wood Theater has shown that the arts can have large-scale implications and can instigate change and growth in a community. So I think using Glens Falls as a textbook example and taking great pride in that success will help.
What was the most important development for local arts in the last decade?
I think it’s the rise of the entire Glens Falls arts community. I’m of course biased with ATF and its impact on downtown, and the sudden explosion of the film festival, but we’ve also seen in the past few years a notable growth of all organizations. The Wood, LARAC, The Hyde, the Shirt Factory (and others) – we’re seeing Glens Falls grow from individual success stories into a true artistic community and destination.
What arts event/performance should every resident of the Capital Region see this year?
Adirondack Theatre Festival and Adirondack Film Festival, of course.
What local organization/artist/creative etc would be your dream collaborator?
Will Fowler from Sidekick Creative is, in my opinion, an artistic genius. I’m fortunate that I get to work with him on all of ATF’s poster designs.
What is the biggest change in the arts community you have observed over the course of your career in the Capital Region arts scene?
The biggest change I’ve noticed isn’t actually the arts itself – it’s been all of the restaurants and businesses opening up in downtown Glens Falls which I feel is largely a product of the success of the arts.