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Open mic night a success

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - The topics ranged from homosexuality to Harley-Davidsons, but regardless of the specific topic or style, life in the Adirondacks was primary Saturday as the Adirondack Center for the Arts hosted its second writer's open mic night.

"Tonight is an extraordinary example of the arts as a source of empowerment and community," Center President Steve Svoboda said. "Reading your own work to an audience can inspire others - it shows that everyone has equal value."

Nearly a dozen authors, ranging from play-writes to poets read their work.

Some were published authors, others hobbiests who find freedom in the written word.

"It always amazes me how many talented people are tucked up here in the hills," said Center Program Director Sue Sessions. "There is no such thing as a stereotypical 'Adirondacker'."

Poet George Wagner sat before the crowd, clad in a realtree t-shirt, reciting his poetry about politics and institutions.

"Words are so powerful," he said.

Many of the authors described their love of the park through their pieces. Others used their craft to explain to others why they stay.

"Together we turn off NPR so we won't miss the sound of the wind blowing or the truck plowing Durant Road," said Indian Lake poet Nancy Straider as she read one of her poems.

Sessions said that she hopes the the Adirondack Center for the Arts can become a hub or cultural and social exploration for years to come.

"The center is in a position to provide an outlet for people - to let the explore themselves," she said.

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