SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Hundreds gathered at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Not for a concert, but to make sure students in the Capital Region have access to arts education.

President and CEO, Elizabeth Sobol, says fundraising is a big part of SPAC’s events. “We’re fundraising overall for everything SPAC does. A lot of people don’t realize how SPAC has expanded it’s mission over the last six plus years. It has truly taken a village to both dream and then implement this massive event. A brand-new event that’s meant to inhabit the whole campus,” said Sobol.

The performing arts center has upped their knack for fundraising to help keep the arts alive in schools. Vice President of Education, Dennis Moench, says when schools lose funding, the arts tend to be the first thing to go. “We reach more than 50,000 students all over the Capital Region every single year, working with more than 120 nonprofits and schools,” explained Moench.

NEWS10’s Lydia Kulbida emceed the evening. Money raised goes towards to support SPAC’s mission, residencies, and youth education initiatives. A previous winner of their Festival of Young Artists, Meg Calos, came out to play one of her original songs named, “It’s Raining Out,” based on a previous relationship. “The metaphor there is basically him saying ‘It’s worse out there. It’s raining outside. Stay with me,’ and she finally realizes ‘No it’s not. I can take it,'” described Calos.

Calos says she is grateful to be apart of what SPAC has put together for kids and people like her. “Having a community really come together with amazing, amazing talented kids you get to know them, you get to meet them. It’s really inspiring to be able to do that,” stated Calos.