SARANAC LAKE — The whirlwind that is Nathalie Costa Thill slows for the moment.
The executive director of the Adirondack Center for Writing just finished a bustle of programming that included a reading by novelist Russell Banks at Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center, a fast trip to New York City and relocation of the center’s office to the second floor of 52 Main St. in Saranac Lake.
“It was a really great opportunity,” Thill said of the move. “We were always housed at the college since 1999. This is a big change for us.
“We’ve basically been at Paul Smith’s because they have been so kind and generous to give us the opportunity to grow healthily. A lot of new organizations don’t have that kind of support early on so you can get established. They gave us that.”
The new office is located in the same building as the Adirondack Artists Guild.
“I have been so welcomed by the community,” Thill said. “The day I moved, Friday night, I put all my boxes in the office. My husband and kids met me at the artist open house at the Artists Guild. The next day, we went to the Farm 2 Fork Festival. Twenty-five people welcomed me to downtown and said, ‘We love that you are here.’ I never expected to be this welcomed and this appreciated.”
Her commute has not changed. Instead of driving from Lake Clear to Paul Smiths, she drives to Saranac Lake. Now, she has banking ease and can pop over to the library.
“Personally and professionally, it’s easier. My kids are right down the street,” she said.
“I never had people stop by before. Now, people are stopping by. If I’m not there, they leave notes.
“We can reach out and be here for people. Already, people have stopped by for advice on publishing and writing. Someone stopped by, and they wanted to join a readers group. I never felt so interactive with the community before. It’s a different feeling.”
The Adirondack Center for Writing’s office windows may overlook downtown Main Street, but the organization’s mission remains unchanged: to promote literature and provide educational opportunities and support to aspiring and established writers in the Adirondack region.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, Guerrilla Girls’ Frida Kahlo performs in the David Petty Lecture Hall at North Country Community College.
On Thursday, Nov. 8, National Public Radio’s “Selected Shorts” comes to Plattsburgh State.
“They haven’t told us the names of the actors yet, but they are Broadway actors,” Thill said. “It’s a really cool project. We’re collaborating with the two literacy volunteers in Clinton County and the one that does Essex and Franklin counties. The thing on Nov. 8 is a straight ‘Selected Shorts’ performance.”
In a spin-off program, “All Write,” local Literacy Volunteers’ clients will participate in a winter-long writing workshop.
“They always wanted to bring that program outside of New York City. They chose the Adirondack Center for Writing,” Thill said. “The literacy groups will bring their students to this (Nov. 8 event), so they get this. A dramatic reading of your work is hard to get, and how special this is.”
In the spring, “Selected Shorts” will return to give performances of the adult literacy clients’ creative writing.
“‘Selected Shorts’ is a big deal,” Thill said.
“We want to make sure people realize that though we have relocated to downtown Saranac Lake, we’re not suddenly only going to do programs in there,” Thill said.
“‘Selected Shorts’ in Plattsburgh is a perfect example. We will do programs throughout the region.
“It’s really healthy for the organization to be better connected to the community.”
Email Robin Caudell: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT: Adirondack Center for Writing
WHERE: 52 Main St., Saranac Lake
CONTACT: Call 354-1261 or email email@example.com