Catskills Culture: November Events

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

It’s been another spectacular fall with vivid, fiery reds and yellows transforming to their final phase: brilliantly rusted shades of amber, bronze, tan, copper and gold. Tourism is the Catskills’ most lucrative business and it’s a given that many friends and neighbors fall out of touch over the summer, engaged in the reception and entertainment of visitors from all over the world. For those not in that business, summer was a time to fix up the homestead: new boiler, woodstove, siding and perhaps a window or two. Summer is our busiest time, and quiet moments snatched in between interminable chores and work in the glorious warmth of the lush summer season, are few and far between.

But, winter is coming… Winter is coming and it’s a chance to gather with everyone and entertain each other. It might get so cold that it freezes the balls off a brass statue, but our entertainment is just warming up. Join us for some Catskills culture as we kick off November with a week of art, literary and eclectic musical events.

Some forthcoming cultural events in the Upstate Dispatch sphere next week are as follows:

The Spillian Scribblers:

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

It’s National Novel Writing Month in November and Upstate Dispatch is chronicling the life of the writer with guests on WIOX on alternate Mondays in November (2nd, 16th & 30th) at 9am. Furthermore, the Scribblers, a writers’ group that started last month after a myth-writing workshop run by Leigh Melander, will meet on Tuesday, November 3rd at Spillian in Fleischmanns. Convening In the majestic splendor of a historical Catskills landmark by a cozy fire, we read each other’s works aloud and offer comments over cake and booze. Spillian has a cash bar. If you are a writer and wish to join in, please email

Music: The Revenge of the Harp Showgirls at Spillian

© J.N. Urbanski

© J.N. Urbanski

Promising to be a fabulously eccentric bash, The Revenge of the Harp Showgirls kicks off the Voices from the Catskills series at Spillian and who doesn’t like harp music? We’re not sure what to expect from this duo of harpists, but you can find out starting at 6pm on Saturday November 7th. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and then, dinner at 8pm by Spillian Chef Chris McGee, salon-style around the big Spillian feasting table. Visit the Facebook page or call 800-811-3351 for price and reservations.

Also around town:

Art:  Free Portrait Sketch by artist Dave Channon on Saturday Oct 31 from 2pm to 4pm at The Arts Upstairs gallery, 60 Main St Phoenicia. Sit for 5 minutes; get your free original portrait sketch on fine archival rag paper by the renowned artist seen in the NY Times. Instant Gratification Graphite Graphic! See Channon’s 44-year retrospective art show and hear the explanations behind the creations.

Reading: Novelist Ashley Mayne will be in conversation with Carey Harrison at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock on Saturday November 7th at 4pm.

Book signing: William Duke, of Willow Drey Farm, will be signing his book of haiku and photography called Little Blessings on Saturday November 7th from 5pm to 7pm at Kabinett and Kammer 7 Main St, Andes, NY 13731.

More music: The Fairfield Four, an acapella gospel group will perform on November 7th at West Kortright Center in East Meredith. According to the Facebook page: The Fairfield Four carries on a tradition begun at their Nashville church in 1921, continuously passing the torch to new standard-bearers, and the current configuration is the best yet. The group has received a National Heritage Award, multiple Grammies and two lifetime achievement awards; appeared in the film and on the soundtrack of O Brother Where Art Thou; been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and collaborated with the likes of Elvis Costello, Lyle Lovett, Lee Ann Womack, Steve Earle, and John Fogerty.


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