Special Programs in the Arts

Larry Berk Artist-in-Residence Series

This unique program brings an established regional artist to campus for an entire semester to present a series of events, open to the public.

The Artist-in-Residence Program at SUNY Ulster began in the Spring of 1999. The goal of the program is to celebrate the rich arts culture in this community and to give SUNY Ulster students and the general public the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate all forms of arts and to make the arts a part of their own lives. In 2007, the program was renamed the Larry Berk Artist-in-Residence Program to honor the memory of Larry Berk, for his extraordinary work in creating several series of cultural, intellectual and artistic programs that are unique among New York State's community colleges. 


The Spring 2016 Schedule


Robert Tonner, visiting artist Spring 2016

Robert Tonner, artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur and founder of the Tonner Doll Company. Established in 1991, The Tonner Doll Company designs and manufactures high quality collectible dolls of all types—from classic character dolls, to well-known movie and television characters, to high-fashion dolls with stylish runway-ready clothing.

Robert Tonner's Artist in Residency:

Gallery Show of Fashion Styles, Illustrations,
and Dolls
Thursday, March 10 - April -15

  • Opening Slide Lecture and Presentation:
    Thursday, March 10, 7:00 p.m.,
    College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall
    Mr. Tonner will talk about his work before the opening of his show in the gallery.
    Reception in gallery immediately following the presentation.
  • Lecture and Demonstration
    Wednesday, March 30, 1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.,
    Boroughs Hall 120
  • "Observations of a Reluctant Businessman"
    Mr. Tonner will give a lecture and demonstrate work processes in this event.
  • Class Visits - March 14 - April 4
    Mr. Tonner will be visiting Fashion and Art classes to review and critique work - 4 classroom visits.

  Past Artists-in-Residence:

Spring 2015: Don Byron
Spring 2014: Joe Langworth
Fall-Spring 2012-13: Brendan Burke
Spring 2012: Wendy Hollender
Fall 2011: Malcolm Cecil


 Visiting Artists

The Visiting Artist Program, begun in 1999, introduces an artist of significant renown to the college and community, through an exhibition of their work at the Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery, a special lecture and presentation by the artist, or a concert performance. All events are open to the public.

Larry Berk Arts & Cultural Programs
Janaki Patrik
Visiting Artist
World Music & Dance

Janaki Patrik
Janaki Patrik


Thursday, March 12, 2015
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
College Lounge

The Kathak Ensemble’s Artistic Director, Janaki Patrik, unravels her creative process for the three dances in the Ensemble’s March 12th performance.

Each is held together tightly by music. But the impetus to find the melodies and moves sprang from three different sources. From the need to create a short dance for a quickie costume change, to a fascination with flute-playing Krishna’s joyful dance on the hoods of a giant water serpent, Janaki’s description of her journey from idea to dance includes images and anecdotes.

Learn and laugh!

Friday, March 20, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Quimby Theater

The Kathak Ensemble & Friends, photo by Michael Palma
The Kathak Ensemble & Friends, Artistic Director Janaki Patrik.
Photo by Michael Palma.

Larry Berk Arts & Cultural Programs

Janaki Patrik
World Music & Dance

Friday, March 20, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Quimby Theater

Classical Indian Kathak Dance Celebrates the Return of Spring on March 20, 2015
Kathak Ensemble will be Joined by the Vanaver Caravan Youth Company in Finale

SUNY Ulster’s spring Visiting Artist, Janaki Patrik is Founder and Artistic Director of the New York City-based classical Indian dance company, the Kathak Ensemble & Friends. On the Vernal Equinox 2015, the Kathak Ensemble welcomes the return of spring in a program with friends from the Stone Ridge - Rosendale - New Paltz - Kingston community. Dancers in the Hudson Valley's popular Vanaver Caravan Youth Company, under the direction of Bill and Livia Vanaver, join the Kathak Ensemble in a performance at SUNY Ulster on March 20, 2015, at 7:00 pm in the Quimby Theater on the Stone Ridge campus.

The Northern Indian classical Kathak and folk dance performance, Vasant Leela Spring Revels, celebrating the first day of Spring 2015, will be featured. This dance journey lingers in a forest near the Taj Mahal - where Krishna and his village friends join in the great circle Dance of Life. Continuing their travels from Mughal Lucknow to elegant Viennese courts, the Kathak Ensemble dances to the Allegro of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony.

The Vanaver Caravan Youth Company joins the Kathak dancers as they continue on to Rajasthan and create a joyous clamor of jingling bells and clicking sticks in the folk Dandiya Raas. The journey ends on a Bollywood film set, with Krishna still playing his tricks and teasing the dancers in a popular song from the movie Dev Das.

Patrik has been trained in Kathak classical North Indian dance, Hindustani vocal and tabla drumming at the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, by several of North India’s greatest artists. She also is trained in music and dance idioms of her native United States and studied classical Western flute, as well as ballet and modern dance.

She was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation in 1988/89 to study the poetry of the Kathak dance repertoire, and an American Institute of Indian Studies Language Fellowship to study Hindi in India in 1994. Janaki has performed both classical Kathak and her own choreography throughout the United States, Canada, and India.

For more event information, call 845-687-5262. Admission is by donation.

To view the poster for this event, click here.

Fall 2014 Visiting Artists: 

Fall 2014: Dierdre Friel
Fall 2014: Lucas Papaelias
Fall 2014: Grace Wapner

 Past Visiting Artists:

Spring 2014: Tim Rowan
Fall 2014 Visiting Artist: Keiko Sono
Spring 2013 Visiting Artist: Kelly Kinsella
Fall 2011 Visiting Artist: Linda Montano
Spring 2012 Visiting Artist: Scott Freiman
Fall 2012 Visiting Artist: Julianne Swartz


Larry Berk Words & Music Series

The Words and Music Series, begun in 2008, is sponsored by the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc., and is dedicated to the late Larry Berk, Dean of Library and Information Services, who initiated cultural events that have brought renowned writers, artists, and musicians to the college and the community.. All events are open to the public.

2011: Julia Haines – an Evening of Harp and Sung Poetry

Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writers Series

The SUNY Ulster Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writers Series is a special program sponsored by The Ulster Community College Foundation, begun in 1998, that brings renowned writers to campus every fall. This is a truly unique opportunity for SUNY Ulster students and community members to hear award winning authors read from their work.

Each guest writer presents a reading of their work, open to the public, in the evening. If possible, a question and answer session in the college lounge during the day, open to students and the public, will also be scheduled.

 The 2015 guest of the Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writers Series will be announced prior to the Fall semester. 

Past Library Writers:

2015: Abigail Thomas and Kim Wozencraft
2014: Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
2013: Diane Ackerman
2012: Cancelled due to weather
2011: Jaimy Gordon
2010: Da Chen
2009: Michael Cunningham
2008: David Rakoff
2007: Francine Prose
2006: Carolyn Forché
2005: Billy Collins
2004: Joyce Carol Oates
2003: Gail Godwin
2001: Tess Gallagher
2000: Philip Levine
1999: Gerald Stern
1998: Gioia Timpanelli

Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum

Sponsored by The Ulster Community College Foundation, The Poetry Forum is an annual event which brings well known and award winning poets to SUNY Ulster for intimate question and answer sessions, as well as a special evening reading of their poetry. In 2007, the program was renamed the Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum to honor the memory of Ellen Robbins (1952-2006) who was on the faculty at SUNY Ulster from 1994 until 2006, and Chair of the English department, 2002-2006.


Spring 2016AJA MONET
Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum
Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate


Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum
Ulster community College Foundation, Inc.

Tuesday, April 5, 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

Aja Monet was the youngest individual to win the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title at the age of 19. She is recognized for combining her spellbinding voice and powerful imagery on stage, captivating audiences in the United States, France, the UK, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bermuda, and Cuba.Monet has performed at the Town Hall Theater, the Apollo Theater, the United Nations in New York City, and the NAACP’s Barack Obama Inaugural Event in Washington, D.C. In 2014, she was awarded the YWCA of the City of New York’s ONE TO WATCH AWARD—an award in honor of Monet’s work to honor women under the age of 30 who exemplify the mission of the organization, to empower women and eliminate racism.

Spring 2015 - Tina Chang
Spring 2014 - Richard Blanco
Spring 2013 - Jorie Graham
2011 - Michael Dickman