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. 

Spring 2015 Artists-in-Residence: Steve Gorn

Master Bamboo Flautist Steve Gorn
Indian and World Music at SUNY Ulster
through the
Larry Berk Arts & Cultural Programs

Grammy winner Steve Gorn, master of the Indian bansuri flute, will present a series of workshops and concerts focused on Indian and World Music as part of his spring residency at SUNY Ulster through the Larry Berk Arts & Cultural Programs.

Gorn of Accord has performed Indian Classical Music and new American Music on the bansuri bamboo flute in concerts and festivals throughout the world. During the past decade, he has performed in numerous venues in India as well as the United States.

Said Gorn of the upcoming presentations: “My goal is to stop time and bring people to that sacred space where heart and mind meet…that’s my music.”

Free and open to the public, events will be held in the College Lounge and include:

  • The Universe Hangs on Sound Workshop, March 18, 2015, 1:00 p.m.
    Focusing on India, Gorn will explore the relationship of music to the contemplative arts, the roots in spirituality and the metaphysics of Nada Yoga - the yoga of sound. Through ‘call and response,’ he will offer an exercise in Indian raga singing.
  • Luminous Ragas: Indian Classical Music Concert, March 26, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
    Gorn will be joined by Samir Chatterjee on tabla to perform ragas from the Hindustani classical music tradition, as well as folk melodies from North India. This music is passed through generations, from master to disciple, as a living oral tradition.
  • World Music Concert, April 9, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
    Gorn and Adam Rudolph, world percussionist extraordinaire, will come together to create a rich mix of luscious melodies from India, with infectious rhythms from Morocco and beyond.
  • Music in the World Workshop, April 15, 2015, 1:00 p.m.
    Drawing on years of travel, world music performance, as well as recordings and videos, Gorn will illuminate the ways in which music connects mind and body, the individual and society, and humanity to nature.
  • Gorn’s residency is part of the Larry Berk Arts & Cultural Programs at SUNY Ulster. The late Berk, Dean of Library and Information Services, initiated cultural events that have brought renowned writers, artists, and musicians to the College and the community.

    For information on the events, contact: (845) 687-5262.

    Steve Gorn, photo by Lucy Lu
    Steve Gorn, photo by Lucy Lu


  Past Artists-in-Residence:

Spring 2014: 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:

2014: Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
2013: Diane Ackerman
2011: Jaimy Gordon 

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 2015 - TINA CHANG
Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum
Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate

Thursday, April 23, 2015
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
College Lounge

Tina Chang is the first woman named as Brooklyn Poet Laureate. She is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers; and co-editor of the acclaimed W.W. Norton anthology, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond.

Her poems have been published in American Poe, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Ploughshares among others. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, and New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong, the first low-residency MFA program to be established in Asia.

Sponsored in part by the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc.

To read more about Tina Chang, click here.

For information, call (845) 687-5262.

Tina Chang
Tina Chang

 Previous Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum  participants include:

Spring 2014 - Richard Blanco
Spring 2013 - Jorie Graham
2011 - Michael Dickman