Nippertown Plays On – Award-winning Arts Website to Continue Under Auspices of NYS Music Co-Owner Jim Gilbert

Award-winning arts website Nippertown will continue, with a renewed focus on Capital Region cultural offerings, under the auspices of NYS Music co-owner Jim Gilbert, who will edit and manage the site along with Laura DaPolito.

Founded by Greg Haymes and Sara Ayers in May 2009, Nippertown was temporarily shuttered on the eve of its tenth anniversary in May of this year, following Haymes’s April 10 death from metastatic cancer.

Ayers, of Castleton, chose to retire from the site to pursue her own interests but expressed a desire for its mission to continue.

Following talks with Gilbert, Ayers—a renowned ambient musician—felt confident in transferring the Nippertown archive, domain and, indeed, legacy to the Niskayuna resident and his staff.

“Jim has the right frame of mind to keep Nippertown viable,” says Ayers. “It’s a lot of work keeping tabs on the amazing array of activities in the Capital Region. Importantly, he also has the knowledge and skills to maintain the technical side of the site.”

“We’ve had some excellent discussions with Sara,” says Gilbert. “We understand the passion and vision that drove Nippertown for its first decade, and we understand the work necessary to keep that vision alive. We’re ready.”

Haymes, following a long career as a musician and writer for The Times Union, Daily Gazette and Metroland, was a tireless supporter of arts and culture in all its forms.

Among the site’s many features were “Today’s Tips,” a comprehensive listing of local musical offerings; “The Daily Flashback,” which catalogued birthdays, deaths and milestones in cultural history; “Seen/Heard,” a document of the couple’s latest interests in film and recordings; and “Live,” contributed concert reviews of all styles of music.

Ayers, among other duties, compiled “Art Beat: What to See,” an in-depth survey of gallery openings, happenings, and exhibits; and provided all technical support and strategy.

Musician/vocalist, Bryan Thomas, watching Sara Ayers, the wife of Greg Haymes, pay homage to her late husband inside the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre in Albany, NY 5/19/2019. Photo by Amy Modesti

Additionally, Nippertown nurtured a community of contributors, developing new writers and photographers into seasoned web journalists.

Gilbert says NYS Music will provide a home for many Nippertown contributors on its own site as well as at Nippertown.com, which launches anew today, featuring a dedication that reads, “Founded by Greg Haymes and Sara Ayers.”

As per Ayers’s wishes, the original site and all its contents will be permanently archived and available.

As NYS Music has, as its name implies, such expansive music coverage, Gilbert says the new Nippertown, while sharing some music content, will have a stronger focus and arts and culture, perhaps even branching into food. It will also employ new scribes and cover some topics left untended since the demise of AllOverAlbany.com.

“We are putting our all into Nippertown,” says Gilbert. “We have the resources and the manpower to maintain it at the proper level and to respectfully move it forward. I’m honored to have a hand in the future of Nippertown.”

Additionally, NYS Music is in the process of building a network of independent music and arts journals that can share resources such as server space, ad sales, and limited content, to better compete in the market and to spread the word of the vast talent in the local and regional arts communities.

“I can rest easy knowing that all the work we put into Nippertown was not for naught,” says Ayers. “The writers and photographers we loved will have a home and the spirit of the site will continue. I’m confident Jim and his crew will do a great job. Greg would be happy.”