13th Annual Artists’ Soapbox Derby
Where Gravity Meets Art…and Moves It
Rondout Engine #1, The Baird Family
Donskoj & Co. and the City of Kingston are proud to announce the 13th Annual Artists’ Soapbox Derby, held on Sunday, August 19 beginning at 1:00 pm on Lower Broadway in the historic Rondout section of Kingston. A combination of a traditional soapbox derby and kinetic sculpture competition, the Derby has gone far beyond the expectations of founders George and Nancy Donskoj. Started in 1995 to encourage community participation in the arts and generate commercial activity, the event has grown to become a summertime tradition and boon to the community.
The Derby, which drew over 7,000 spectators to the Rondout section last year, is all about art not speed. Judging is based on a combination of creativity and engineering. Over $2,000 in cash prizes will be awarded in Adult, Youth and Youth Group categories. Each year a different group from the arts community is enlisted to perform judging duties. This year it is the Women’s Studio Workshop. Ann Kalmbach and Tatana Kellner are the founders of Women’s Studio Workshop, which has been supporting artists making art for 33 years. Together with their main art man Woody (Robert Woodruff) they will judge this year’s Artists Soapbox Derby. Most of WSW’s heavy equipment is on wheels and while they do not plan on racing a press, you can be sure that they understand the pressing design problems involved in getting art objects moving forward.
Kingston Mayor James Sottile continues the friendly political rivalry of the Mayor’s Cup Award by inviting officials from cities, towns and villages from both sides of the river to participate. “I vow to bring back the Mayor’s Cup to our City Hall here in Kingston where it belongs,” said Mayor Sottile. Saugerties village Mayor Robert Yerick and town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel have the unprecedented accomplishment of winning the trophy two years in a row. They will surely be back to defend their title.
Performing for the first time at the Artists’ Soapbox Derby is the Energy Dance Group. The Energy Dance Company is a program of The Center For Creative Education (C.C.E.) Dance & Drum Academy (DaDA). DaDA is a youth-based program with a location in Kingston as well as Woodstock, New York. They are very eclectic in their programming. They could be performing either Hip-Hop, Reggae, Breakdancing, Modern, Jazz Dance or all of the above at the Derby.
A celebration and awards ceremony at TR Gallo Memorial Park will begin after the last entry has entered the reviewing area, where spectators will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award. Performing during the awards ceremony will be Trio Loco, made up of local favorites, Studio Stu, Mark Dziuba and Dean Sharp. This eccentric jazz trio takes the very best in classic jazz and originals, and twists and bends them into what they call “jazz unstandards,” exactly like what the Artists’ Soapbox Derby does to the traditional derby standard.
Between the music and awards there will be another gravity defying demonstration of the Flybar 1200, invented by an MIT-trained physicist and designed by the original pogo stick company, SBI Enterprises of Ellenville and World Cup Champion Skateboarder, Andy MacDonald. Capable of reaching heights of over six feet, the Flybar 1200 is described as a cross between a trampoline and pogo stick.
Have you always wanted to participate in the Artists’ Soapbox Derby but were afraid of bearings, brakes, and steering linkages? Donskoj & Company, the City of Kingston, and the Kingston Historic Boatworks Museum have the solution. There will be four informational public workshops on the design and construction of soapbox cars for the 13th Annual Artists’ Soapbox Derby.
The Artists’ Soapbox Derby Workshops will be held at the Cornell Shops Building located at 110 East Strand (adjacent to the Steel House Restaurant), downtown on the Rondout in Kingston. The first workshop will be held on Saturday, July 28, and will be repeated on Saturday, August 4, August 11 and August 18. The workshops will run from 10 am to 4 pm. Space is limited, but the first 15 people to register for the Artists’ Soapbox Derby will be able to attend the workshops. The workshops are free and will be open to the public for informational and demonstrational purposes.
The Kingston Artists’ Soapbox Derby presented by The City of Kingston and Donskoj & Co. is sponsored by the Dutchess County Arts Council, WKZE 98.1, and Chronogram, with help from Mid Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and Time-Warner. The Kingston Artists’ Soapbox Derby is made possible, in part, through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, administrator of public funds through NYSCA’s Decentralization Program.
For more information on the 13th Annual Artists’ Soapbox Derby, especially registration, visit www.artistsoapboxderby.com or call 845 338 8473.