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Syracuse, New York

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Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States, the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and the fifth most populous city in the state.

Arts and culture

Performing arts

Live jazz music is the centerpiece of two annual outdoor festivals in Syracuse, the M&T Syracuse Jazz Festival, Polish Festival as well as the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation's Jazz In The Square Festival. Performers in the last five years have included Chuck Mangione, Joshua Redman, Smokey Robinson, Branford Marsalis, The Bad Plus, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, Jimmy Heath, Terrence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Bobby Watson, Dr. John, and Aretha Franklin. The Polish Festival hosted Grammy winners Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra, Polish music legend Stan Borys and Irena Jarocka, Grammy nominee Lenny Goumulka, LynnMarie, Dennis Polisky & The Maestro's Men, Jerry Darlak and the Buffalo Touch & The John Gora Band.

Syracuse was home to the 79-member Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO), founded in 1961. In early April 2011, the orchestra announced plans to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, a chapter of the U.S. bankruptcy code that indicates that the organization plans to liquidate itself and go out of operation. Unfunded pension obligations were blamed. The SSO's last Music Director was Daniel Hege; former Music Directors include Frederik Prausnitz and Kazuyoshi Akiyama. At its peak, the orchestra performed over 200 concerts annually for an audience of over 250,000.

The Clinton String Quartet has been active for over 15 years and is based in the Syracuse area. All four members were also members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra until its dissolution in early 2011.

The Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music for more than a half century have presented a series of concerts by various chamber ensembles.

The Society for New Music, founded in 1982, is the oldest new music organization in the state outside of New York City, and the only year-round new music group in upstate New York. The Society commissions at least one new work each year from a regional composer, awards the annual Brian Israel Prize to a promising composer under 30 years of age, and produces the weekly "Fresh Ink" radio broadcast for WCNY-FM.

The Syracuse Opera Company is a professional company that generally performs three operas each season. It was founded in 1963 as the Opera Chorus of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and became independent in 1973. In addition to full performances, it offers several free outdoor concerts each year in Armory Square, Thornden Park, and elsewhere. The company has an annual budget of US$1 million and is the only professional opera company in upstate New York.

The Syracuse Shakespeare Festival is a charitable, educational, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare. It was founded in 2002 and is best known for its annual free Shakespeare-in-the-Park program at the Thornden Park Amphitheatre that has attracted more than 17,000 people since its inception. SSF also produces three other major programs including Shakespeare-Under-A-Roof, (indoor shows at SU's Warehouse Theatre and NYS Fairgrounds' New Times Theatre) Kids Doing Shakespeare (Spring and Summer one-week, vacation theatre camps for students in grades 3–12) and the Avon Repertory Theatre. (one hour versions of Shakespeare classics touring at schools and businesses in CNY)

Syracuse Stage presents experimental and creative theater; a number of its productions have been world premieres and have moved to Broadway. The venue was designed by its most famous former artistic director Arthur Storch. Its current artistic director is Timothy Bond.

The Red House Arts Center is one of Syracuse's newest cultural venues. Opened in 2004, Redhouse is a small theatre housed in a converted hotel, that offers performances by local, national, and international artists, and hosts regular exhibits in its art gallery, and screenings of independent films.

Syracuse is also known for a large contemporary music scene, particularly in the heavy metal, Hardcore, Ska, and Punk rock genres.

Museums and art galleries

Everson Museum of Art, which opened in 1968 in a building designed by I.M. Pei, features one of the most extensive pottery collections in the United States along with works of American art, dating from the 18th century to the present. This collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, and video.

Erie Canal Museum is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Erie Canal and its role in Syracuse's growth.

International Mask and Puppet Museum is a museum in Little Italy focusing on masks and puppets, the later of which are also used in educational performances for children.

Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology is a museum located in the Armory Square neighborhood that features exhibits in science and technology and also houses the city's only IMAX theater.

Onondaga Historical Association Museum & Research Center, located at 321 Montgomery Street downtown, features exhibits on the past of the Syracuse region, and contains historical archives relating to the area's history. Its exhibits include a presentation of the history of the Underground Railroad.

Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, New York – Former weighlock building, built in 1850

The Warehouse Gallery is located at 350 West Fayette Street in The Warehouse. It is a part of the Coalition of Museum And Art Centers (CMAC). This new contemporary art center exhibits, commissions, and promotes work by emerging and accomplished artists in a variety of media. The programming attempts to engage the community in a dialogue regarding the role the arts can play in illuminating the critical issues of our times.

Spark Contemporary Art Space is located at 1005 E. Fayette St. in the Downtown area. Spark is run by Syracuse University graduate art students, but is a venue for a diversity of non-university affiliated events. The gallery's directors curate and organize art and music related events, while local artists can rent the space to hold their own events. With the initiation of a monthly video screening series in 2001, Spark became one of the leading venues for video art in Syracuse. Spark Video provides the community an opportunity to see video work from local and international artists.

Delavan Art Gallery is located at 501 West Fayette Street in an old farm equipment factory. It has a 3,800 square feet (350 m2) of exhibit space, and, on several other floors in the building, houses the studios of a number of area artists. It has shows which usually open on the first Thursday of the month. It showcases a wide variety of work, from multi-media sculpture to hyperealism.

Point of Contact Gallery is located at 914 East Genesee Street. The newest member of the Coalition of Museums and Art Centers at Syracuse University, it is a space dedicated to the exploration of the verbal and visual arts and home of the Point of Contact Art Collection. It is a cross-disciplinary open forum for the essential discussion of contemporary art. A showcase for contemporary artists from around the world, with a strong prevalence from Latin America. The Point of Contact collection comprises over 200 original pieces created especially for "Point of Contact", the book series, since 1975. Photography, collage, drawings, paintings and three-dimensional works form this rare collection.

Recreation

The City of Syracuse maintains over 170 parks, fields, and recreation areas, totaling over 1,000 acres (4.0 km2). Burnet Park includes the first public golf course in the United States (1901) and Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Other major parks include Thornden Park, Schiller Park, Sunnycrest Park, James Pass Arboretum and the joined Onondaga Park and Kirk Parks. There are 12 public pools, two public ice rinks, and two public nine-hole golf courses in the city.

Right outside the city proper, along the east side and north end of Onondaga Lake, is Onondaga Lake Park. The adjacent Onondaga Lake Parkway is closed to vehicular traffic several hours on Sundays during the summer months, so it can be used for walking, running, biking, and rollerblading. During the holiday season, the park hosts Lights on the Lake, a two-mile (3 km) drive-through light show.

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