top of page
  • NYS Writers Institute

Event: Reading and conversation with Paul Grondahl

Paul Grondahl to speak at Sand Lake Center for the Arts as part of 2023 SLCA Writers Series.

Community Leader Chet Opalka to moderate.


Paul Grondahl in conversation with Chet Opalka

7 p.m. Thursday, January 12

The Sand Lake Center for the Arts

2880 Route 43, Averill Park, NY 12018

No registration required. Suggested donation: $5

Paul Grondahl, author, journalist, and NYS Writers Institute Director, will be the first speaker in the 2023 SLCA Writers Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, January 12, at the Sand Lake Center for the Arts in Averill Park. He will read excerpts from his books, discuss his literary process, journalism, biography ,and share stories of his experiences with authors in connection with the Writers Institute.

Community leader and philanthropist Chet Opalka will moderate the discussion.

“I am grateful to be invited to kick off the 2023 Authors Series presented by Sand Lake Center for the Arts, which will showcase the remarkable writing talent in our region,” Paul said. “My job as director of the Writers Institute is to help nurture and grow our community of authors and to foster meaningful discussions between readers and writers. I’m happy to be in conversation at SLCA with my friend Chet Opalka, whose philanthropy for the arts underscores the value of collaboration.”

Paul Grondahl

Paul Grondahl was appointed director of the NYS Writers Institute at the University at Albany in 2017. He is the third director in the Writers Institute’s 40-year history. He moved to Albany in 1982 to attend graduate school at UAlbany and joined the Albany Times Union as a reporter in 1984. Paul continues to write a weekly column for the newspaper.

His books include Mayor Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma (1997); I Rose like a Rocket: The Political Education of Theodore Roosevelt (2004); and with Suzanne Lance, he co-edited Bootlegger of the Soul: The Literary Legacy of William Kennedy (2018).

Chet Opalka

Chet Opalka is co-founder of Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), located in Albany, a full-service chemistry services provider focused on applications for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life sciences industries. Prior to founding AMRI, Chet worked for Sterling Drug Inc. in various capacities in the Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Development Departments. He has been named as inventor or co-inventor in nearly 30 patents, co-authored several scientific publications relating to his accomplishments in the field of pharmaceutical chemistry.

Since his retirement, Chet has become very active in the local business and philanthropic community. He serves on the Board of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, non-profit Boards of Trustees for the Sage Colleges, The Freddie Institute for Philanthropy Education, The Sand Lake Center for the Arts, The Global Child, and Northeast Health.

With support from the New York Council on the Arts, this program is free and open to all. No registration required, but a $5 donation is suggested. More info:

About the Sand Lakes Center for the Arts

The SLCA aims to enrich community life and human understanding by fostering discovery, appreciation, and creation of the arts through education and engagement by both practicing artists and the broader community.

The 100-seat theater in Averill Park, New York is located in a renovated church and hosts productions by the Circle Theatre Players.


bottom of page