Culture & Arts

Central New York’s rural landscape naturally begs to be driven, explored and enjoyed. You may be surprised that arts and culture are significantly strong here as well.

Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival is an outdoor music festival that is free to the public and draws nearly 10,000 people to downtown Norwich each year. The festival offers a hands on experience with its juried art and crafts for sale, acoustic music by professional singer-songwriters, competitive poetry slam, creative culinary arts and literary arts for all ages and community members. 

Located in Oneonta, the Catskill Symphony Orchestra aims to educate the surrounding community in symphonic literature. The orchestra hosts five concerts per season inspired by the five major musical periods: Romantic, Modern, Contemporary, Baroque and Classical. Each concert provides a unique musical experience to an audience of over 3,000 community members.

In Otsego County, the Glimmerglass Festival celebrates the arts all summer long with musical performances, events and discussions. The Festival provides opportunities to relax with friends, and meet other music enthusiasts.

Beginning with just three events in 1999, the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival also portrays American music culture with has had more than 100 performances including jazz and contemporary performances as well as kid concerts.

The Arkell Museum in Montgomery County features more than 350 paintings and sculptures by important American artists and hosts several lectures, concerts, films and workshops throughout the year.

The Iroquois Indian Museum uses Iroquois art to educate the community about Iroquois culture. This venue is seen as a place to promote Iroquois history and diversity through the creative spirit of Iroquois artists and craftsmen. Their annual festival is open exclusively to Iroquois artists and showcases both contemporary and modern art forms.

The Fenimore Art Museum is a premier art institute set in a neo-Georgian mansion overlooking Otsego Lake. Exhibits range from 20th century American Art to American Indian Art. A can’t miss arts destination in Cooperstown, open April-December.

Stone Quarry Art Park in Madison County showcases contemporary art through indoor and outdoor exhibits. Outdoor exhibitions feature site-specific work created by artists-in-residence. These works are intended to portray the landscape and are often made of natural materials. 

Up north near the Adirondack Park, you can immerse yourself in the arts at View, a new arts center built with award-winning green construction and offering exhibits, workshops and theater as well as the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors.

Get captivated by the artwork at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute. Explore the fascinating exhibits and view the 300 years of American Art collection. From early 18-century paintings to modern day graphic arts, there is something intriguing for all art goers.

In Utica, dig into your Irish roots at the new Irish Cultural Center. Discover the traditional Irish pub, and event center and museum that is the home to Irish memorabilia.

Aisle of classic cars

The Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich hosts five connected buildings that house more than 160 classic and vintage vehicles, many of the non-Detroit variety. This isn’t your typical car show.

The Remington Arms Gun Museum tells the story of another truly American artifact. the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in the Unites States, Remington Arms Co. was established in the year 1816 in Ilion. At one time, Remington also manufactured bicycles, sewing machines, typewriters, cash registers, bridges and cutlery, some of which are displayed in the Remington Museum.

Located at the center of campus, the Binghamton University Art Museum houses a collection of paintings, decorative arts and sculptures from around the world and spanning 5,000 years.  The Museum serves as a central hub for faculty and students and includes a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects acquired over 50 years. The exhibitions are put together by students and staff and are updated regularly.

So, take a tour of some truly special collections in a place you might not expect them: Tucked away among the rolling hills and classic Main Streets of Central New York.