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Isabel Soffer and Danny Melnick Open The Local in Saugerties

July 8, 2023

If you are a music lover living in the Hudson Valley, you’re most likely familiar with the names Isabel Soffer and Danny Melnick, and are super excited about the news circulating around town: Isabel and Danny have just opened The Local.

Locals are doing the happy dance!

Isabel Soffer, co-founder and co-director of the famed festival and organization globalFEST, has been at the forefront of cultural arts programming in the USA for over three decades and has been instrumental in developing and cultivating its global music scene. She has produced over a thousand concerts of music from all over the world, from major concert halls to intimate venues. Isabel has produced numerous Grammy-nominated recordings, tours, festivals, public events and conferences specializing in global and roots music. The Hudson Valley is blessed to have Isabel here and now bringing her talent producing event in Saugerties and the surrounding area.

Danny Melnick is celebrated in the jazz world for producing festivals, tours, concerts and special events worldwide. He was producer of Newport Jazz Festival and his company Absolutely Live Entertainment produces the Saratoga Jazz Festival, the Shape of Jazz Series at Carnegie Hall, JusticeAid events; major tours with the all-star ensembles Artemis and the Monterey Jazz Festival as well as countless projects and events.

The Local A space for arts, culture and community

This dynamic duo have joined forces and are opening The Local, located at the Old Dutch Chapel at 16 John Street in the heart of the Village of Saugerties. The spectacular Queen Anne-style Chapel built in the 1870s will serve as a concert space and cultural center where Isabel and Danny will curate world-class, multi-genre programming intended to connect residents and visitors to Saugerties and the Hudson Valley. The Local also aims to be a space for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience a multitude of art forms, and as a place to create, collaborate, educate, congregate, and celebrate and as well as a hub for businesses and individuals.

Arts and culture are a crucial and powerful economic driver for Saugerties as people come from across the state, country and around the world to experience all the beauty Saugerties has to offer. The Local adds a unique element to Saugerties’s growing cultural offerings and brings a much needed 99 capacity multi-use venue to the area. The Local will become part of an exciting cultural corridor in the heart of the Village that has naturally developed over the years that includes The Newberry Artisan Market, Emerge Gallery, Inquiring Minds Bookstore, Upstate Film’s Orpheum Theater, Jane St. Art Center, and all the great restaurants, bars, cafes, and businesses the Village and Town have to offer.

The Local in Saugerties NY

Isabel and Danny have been working with restoration specialist Mark Peritz, founder of Joy of Building to renovate the chapel and have already removed the dropped ceilings to expose the original glorious soaring 28 foot arched ceiling, original architectural details and gorgeous stained glass windows which provide magical light. They are installing new lighting and making the Chapel ADA compliant. The chapel also includes three office spaces, a partial kitchen and beautiful garden.

The curious, giant 6-pointed stained glass star on the outside of the Victorian style building does not denote a Jewish past, but was an early Christian symbol. The hexagram has many meanings in a variety of cultures and is thought to have originated in Buddhism and later Hinduism. It has deep roots as a Native American symbol representing harmony of the universe, and is used in practices of the occult and ceremonial magic. The owners consider it a fitting symbol for The Local.

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