Friday's publication of Saratoga Today marked a milestone in the evolution of the SMARTACUS Creative Group as a student-driven creative agency. On page 18 of ST's print edition and here on their web site, the paper published Ben Weatherwax's fine profile of the indefatigable Teddy Foster, director of Universal Preservation Hall's capital campaign and the huge renovation's driving force for more than a decade.
Ben interviewed Ms. Foster and produced this profile in the Practicum in Collaborative Media we launched last November with Saratoga Springs High School journalism teacher Jill Cowburn. A senior, Ben is president of the SSHS Chamber Orchestra and a member of the varsity rowing team who also enjoys fishing and skiing.
Seated in the SMARTACUS Collaboration Engine in Basecamp, Ms. Cowburn's 25 students "drafted" 25 community leaders, innovators and artists in Upstate New York's creative economy to interview and spotlight in an 800-word feature article. As our students complete these stories in consultation with their subjects, Saratoga Today will publish them on their web site. As space permits, they may also publish these stories in their weekly print edition, as they did with Ben’s profile of Teddy Foster.
For each of our subjects, we’re aiming to capture in these stories the creative passion that drives them and the legacies they seek to leave, and so we call this our Legacy series. Well into summer, you’ll find every Thursday on Saratoga Today's site another installment. In alphabetical order by the student’s first name, here’s our lineup:
Adelle Feeley's profile of Vice Chair of Sustainable Saratoga Bill Boehmke
Aidan Rice's profile of Saratoga Springs High School Principal Michelle Tsao
Alexandria White's profile of Saratoga Spicery founder Susi Kerr
Carter Kavanagh's profile of serial entrepreneur and educator Robert Manasier
Eliza Gifford's profile of Pleasant Valley Farmer co-proprietor Sandy Arnold
Emma Kelly's profile of Saratoga Film Academy founder Jon Dorflinger
Ethan Kopraski's profile of Adirondack folk singer Dan Berggren
Grace Alberti's profile of Caffe Lena Executive Director Sarah Craig
Grace Davis's profile of Wellspring Executive Director Maggie Fronk
Jake Somoza's profile of entertainer and educator Garland Nelson
Julia Sanders' profile of retired GE engineer and gardener extraordinaire Murray Penney
Kate Manor's profile of C.R.E.A.T.E. Studio co-founder Julianne Lewis
Kristen Lauricella's profile of Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy Executive Director Maureen Sager
Kyle Ouimet's profile of Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus
Mia Brown's profile of Maidbot founder Micah Green
Padraig Bond's profile of Saratoga Farmers Market Executive Director Julia Howard
Quinn Jones' profile of filmmaker Roger Wyatt
Ryan Ragaini's profile of Petal + Hive founder Jillian Ehrenberg
Sophie Cianfarani's profile of Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol
Tyler Charnik's profile of North Country architect Brooks Washburn
Vin L'Hommedieu's profile of Saratoga Springs School Superintendent Michael Patton.
It's been a great pleasure to work with Ms. Cowburn and all of her students in developing this series and exploring the power of collaborative media in this Practicum. I look forward to seeing how things might evolve in a "round two" of the Practicum beginning this fall.