Arts in Clinton County: Strong and Getting Stronger
Strand Theatre a game changer in recruitment efforts
Marshalling the existing cultural and arts assets in a comprehensive effort will make Plattsburgh and Clinton County more vibrant. Thomas Hoy, chair, president and chief executive officer of Arrow Financial Corporation, said that Plattsburgh is in a great position with the cultural and artistic activities available. He said with some coordination, it could be even better.
Hoy spoke to more than 100 community members at a Partnership for Community Development-sponsored event on the “State of the Arts in Clinton County” Thursday at SUNY Plattsburgh. Hoy discussed how the Glens Falls community rallied to strengthen its downtown commercial district by transforming a vacant building into the Charles R. Wood Theater, which opened in June 2004.
Hoy said the common vision for a more beautiful downtown area led a group of business people to work together. “A community that has a vibrant arts community is a real community. It’s something they are proud of, and that’s important for small towns.”
Stephens Mundy, CEO of CVPH Medical Center, said having a strong and vibrant arts community helps the medical center recruit new doctors and other medical specialists to Northern New York. Mundy said CVPH is currently recruiting a surgeon and his wife. “We have things we can show them. It’s a game changer to show the Strand (Theatre).”
Mundy said that CVPH competes for medical specialists with other areas. “Our healthcare dollars may leave this community. We estimate that’s somewhere around three and half to four million dollars in incremental revenue. That’s about 15-20 jobs…very good paying jobs in our community. We can’t afford not to do this. That’s why we at the hospital are very involved in this project. We think it is critical.”
If everything goes according to plans, the Strand Theatre should open in summer 2013. Mundy said that private funding and grants are continuing to come in. This week, a $10,000 donation was made leaving less than $770,000 to raise for the renovations.
Five local groups, including the Key Wind Trio, SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinal Singers, Guibord’s School of Ballet, Peru High School Music Theatre and Adirondack Regional Theatre presented short performances during the event.
Bob Smith told the audience that he was very pleased with the attendance at the event. “We are trying to build this groundswell of support for the arts. This is the start of that effort, which will be a continual effort over time. We are constantly looking for people to get involved.”
Arts Discussion Continues on Mountain Lake PBS
The discussion on the future of arts in the region will continue next week during a special live edition of Mountain Lake Journal on Mountain Lake PBS on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. The live call-in show will continue the conversation for those individuals unable to attend the event a week earlier or who want to offer additional input.
The hour long call-in show will further address the economic and cultural role the arts play in our community with panelists: Joshua Kretser, owner of pod studio; John Jablonski, president of Clinton Community College; Leigh Mundy, president of NCCCA Board of Directors; Colin Read, professor of Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh; and Bob Smith, president of Nine Platt Hospitality Group. The call-in show will also host a live studio audience at Mountain Lake PBS. If you are interested in attending, visit ncvision2action.org to RSVP.
Partnership for Community Development Moves Vision2Action
In the summer of 2010, the Partnership for Community Development was formed and has established the Vision2Action Plan. PCD has a number of goals for its Vision2Action program. They include:
- Attract 3000 new families to the region by 2040;
- Create a dynamic and engaged public to address our the future of our community;
- Build a welcoming environment for new families to call home;
- Promote a sense of regional pride.
PCD will hold three other community forums and presentations on a couple of other important topics. They include:
- Recreational opportunities (Monday, April 5), Chair Luke Cyphers
- Transportation – Moving People Regionally (Thursday, July 12), Chair Maggie Barie
- Education – Cradle to Career (Thursday, Oct. 11). Chair Paul Grasso