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With all of the hustle and bustle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday can be a great opportunity to reflect on ways to give the gift of time to your family and friends this holiday season!There is, of course, the option of giving time by spending hours volunteering with friends or family, and if you want to volunteer in support of the arts, many organizations need your help keeping their doors open extended hours on evenings and weekends. Galleries such as Stage 1, Albany Center Gallery, and Upstate Artists’ Guild are always in need of gallery sitters on evenings and weekends, as well as volunteers for receptions and other special events- it’s a great way to give back to your favorite gallery, while also getting in quality time with the people you love.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement for you and yours, you can attend one of the many fundraisers put on to benefit these local arts organizations. Event tickets make a wonderful holiday gift, and you can attend with your friends and family to see for yourself just how much joy your gift brings.
Coming up in 2013-2014 are some fantastic events including Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts, January 16-18, 2014. Wine & Dine for the Arts is unparallelled in the area when it comes to FUNdraisers for the arts. In honor of the 5th anniversary of the festival, five beneficiaries have been chosen for this years’ festival include Albany Barn, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany Institute of History & Art, Park Playhouse & Capital Repertory Theatre. What better way to support the arts than with a five-in-one festival that truly offers something for everyone:
For the caffeine junky, there’s Barista Albany: a competition where the capital region’s finest shot pullers and milk steamers face off to prepare three beverages in 15 minutes for a panel of expert judges. A thrilling way to spend a Saturday morning, and tickets are only $10.o0!
For the budding Food Network Star, there’s the VIP Reception & Book Signing with Celebrity Chef Suvir Saran, or the Adirondack Appliance Signature Chef Invitational– where 6 chefs will compete head-to-head in a mystery basket style competition for a spot on the 2015 Signature Chef team!
For the “meat-and-potatoes” guy or gal, the Slider Slam is a must! This fun-filled event where 15 restaurants put up their best effort to have their signature sliders ranked supreme! Coupled with incredible drinks and dancing- you couldn’t pack more fun into an evening, especially with a $35 ticket price!
And finally, for the fancy-pants foodies in your life, two days of Grand Tastings, the Mayor’s Opening Celebration, and the Wine & Dine For the Arts Gala are sure to please! Featuring exquisite cuisine, wine and spirit pairings, auctions, and more- there’s no wonder these events sell out EVERY year! Get your loved ones’ names on the list and in the door, by buying your tickets now to stash away for that perfect holiday gift– they’ll thank you later!
And for those who want to kick off their holiday fun a little bit early, Albany Center Gallery’s Speakeasy Gala is a must-attend event! Take a step back in time to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the end of prohibition with this fantastic event featuring food and cocktails inspired by the roaring 20’s! Be the bee’s knees and gift your friends and family tickets to help kick their holiday season off right!
Finally, taking a simple stroll along the 1st Friday Arts Walk route throughout the City of Albany is a great way to spend time with family and friends! Pick up a piece of original art work for a holiday gift along the way at our “Gifted” exhibition, featuring small works, fashion, accessories, and more- all perfect for your holiday shopping needs! Then stop by Sorrelle gallery’s “100 Minatures for $100” or UAG’s “Art Bazaar” to round out your shopping trip in the highest of holiday spirits!
No matter how you slice it- time spent with family and friends is the best gift of all, and when you’re spending time supporting these tremendous organizations, that’s just icing on the gingerbread house!!!
Have a happy #GivingTuesday everyone!