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  • NYS Writers Institute

Message from Paul Grondahl

The New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany is postponing its inaugural Albany Film Festival, scheduled for March 28, as an appropriate precaution related to COVID-19 and coronavirus containment protocol with guidance from UAlbany, county and state health experts, and government officials.

We also are postponing the outdoor projection mapping show, scheduled to kick off the Albany Film Festival on the night of March 27 and to run for four consecutive nights.

Our highest priority is the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff, audience members, volunteers, and visiting filmmakers.

We are disappointed that we have to postpone the Albany Film Festival because we had organized an extraordinary event. We plan to reschedule the Albany Film Festival for the spring of 2021, retaining the selected short films and other elements, while refocusing our energies to make it an even stronger community event next year.

The spring Albany Film Festival will complement our annual fall book festival. The 3rd annual Albany Book Festival is scheduled for September 12.

The State University of New York, which includes UAlbany, has suspended classes and shifted to a distance-learning model until further notice. This will affect not only the Albany Film Festival, but also possibly the remaining 16 events on our spring schedule. We are closely monitoring this evolving situation and we will evaluate and decide about whether or not to postpone events in the coming weeks and months on a case-by-case basis. Check here for updates or sign up to be on our email list to learn about the latest developments.

We will pivot to a Virtual Writers Institute model. We will present programming online. We will remain a vital portal of conversation with great authors and creative minds in all genres, including film. We will be a place to ask questions, share ideas and engage in thoughtful discussions. We will become a digital gathering place for our bright, engaged and book-loving audiences who normally fill Page Hall, the Performing Arts Center, the Campus Center, the New York State Museum and all the venues where the Writers Institute has presented memorable events in the past and will do so again in the future.

We invite you to visit us here and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube as we continue to produce new interviews on the Writers Institute podcast; seek submissions for a new edition of our online journal Trolley; and curate compelling clips from past Writers Institute events preserved in one of the most extensive literary archives anywhere.We need the transformative power of literature now, more than ever. It is in troubling times like these when we turn to our writers, our truth-tellers, our most brilliant communicators.  Great writing nourishes our minds, touches our hearts and heals our souls.

Paul Grondahl, Director NYS Writers Institute

“A good half of the art of living is resilience.”

― Alain de Botton

For more information and updates on the global health crisis and its impact on UAlbany, visit


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