This week, NYSCA grantees demonstrate how the arts drive tourism in New York State and transform public spaces, and two of our local arts council partners welcome new executive directors.
Corning glass museum one of brightest Finger Lakes tourism beacons
“The museum has always been one of the top tourist draws in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions since it opened in 1951, but that star power has increased significantly since the new Contemporary Art + Design Wing opened in the spring of 2015, adding 100,000 square feet of display space. Attendance had already been on the rise over the previous few years, but after the new wing opened, visitors went from 438,000 in 2014 to about 460,000…Most visitors come from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but the museum is seeing growth in traffic from the Maryland and Washington, D.C. areas…International visitors account for 30 percent of the facility’s annual attendance…The Corning Museum of Glass draws visitors from more than 35 countries. At the top of the list is Canada, followed by China, India, Israel, Germany and France. Not only does the Southern Tier benefit from the 460,000 visitors who annually come to the Corning Museum of Glass, but so does New York state as a whole. In fact, the museum is so good at marketing itself that state tourism officials hold it up as an example for other attractions to follow.” NYSCA supports the Corning Museum of Glass through our Museum Program and Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
Glimmerglass Festival productions explore ideas of homeland
“Thanks to various political upheavals and societal shifts in the past couple of years, ideas about what home and homeland mean today have moved to the forefront of the American consciousness. So when Francesca Zambello, the Glimmerglass Festival’s artistic and general director, shaped this summer’s season in Cooperstown, that theme resonated in the choices made from top to bottom. The festival’s main productions this year are George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Oklahoma!” (both of which open this weekend), Handel’s “Xerxes,” and Gaetano Donizetti and Salvatore Cammarano’s “The Siege of Calais.” The other offerings are just as diverse, including Derrick Wang’s “Scalia/Ginsburg,” a youth production of “Robin Hood” and the world premiere of the hip-hop opera “Stomping Grounds.”… Glimmerglass — which attracted around 35,000 ticket buyers in 2016 — has certainly grown since its first season in 1975, when the fledgling opera company staged four performances of “La Bohème” at Cooperstown High School for 1,200 local residents. Appropriately, the Alice Busch Opera Theater opened in June 1987 along the shore of Otsego Lake, the “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. Today, dozens of singers, musicians and behind-the-scenes personnel from around the country settle in Cooperstown for a few months, with 40-plus repertory performances that mix established artists with up-and-comers through the festival’s Young Artists Program. The festival’s $8 million annual budget has an estimated economic impact of $20 million a year in the region…” NYSCA supports the Glimmerglass Festival through our Music Program.
Chenango Arts Council appoints new executive director
“At its regular meeting on June 22, the Chenango Arts Council (CAC) Board of Directors appointed Alecia ONeill the Council’s new executive director…ONeill received her BFA in theater design and stage lighting, with a double minor in linguistics and cinema studies/filmmaking from SUNY Binghamton, and earned a Master of Arts in theater production and management, also from SUNY Binghamton. She was an adjunct instructor in theater appreciation and history at Broome Community College and served for six years as marketing coordinator for the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott. Her tenure as marketing and public relations coordinator at Wealth by Design Financial gave her an in-depth exposure to financial planning and budgeting. In June 2015, ONeill joined CAC as Marketing and Public Relations Director.” NYSCA supports the Chenango Arts Council through our State & Local Partnership Program.
Transforming Walking and Talking into Poetry at Madison Square Park
“Josiah McElheny made his artworks currently installed in Madison Square Park with other artists in mind: the green floor is for dance, the blue wall for music, and the red and yellow pavilion for poetry. Each week from mid-June until the beginning of October, an artist (or pair thereof) is in residence in one of these spaces, commissioned variously by the nonprofits Blank Forms, Danspace Project, and Poets House and creating new work with the help of the public…[including MC Hyland’s] A Walking Poets’ Library, a kind of laboratory for exploring the connection between walking and writing. Hyland was inspired by William Wordsworth’s long autobiographical poem The Prelude, which he wrote for his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge; she’s since begun penning “walking poems” that begin with a walk between two people…the endeavor will feature writing and bookmaking workshops; a site-specific library to which you can submit a book of your own; and walking salons with short talks on Puerto Rico, the rights of ecosystems, and more. It will all culminate in a night of readings throughout the park by those who’ve contributed poems to the library.” NYSCA supports the Madison Square Park Conservancy through our Visual Arts and Presenting Programs.
View Arts Center in Old Forge designates new executive director
“The View Arts Center in Old Forge has a new executive director. Jeffrey Grimshaw was appointed to the position effective immediately, the Arts Guild of Old Forge has announced. The Arts Guild, which serves as the View’s board of directors, stated in a release that Grimshaw has past experience in nonprofit management through heading the Fulton YMCA and the Oswego County Workforce Development Board. Grimshaw also previously served at SUNY Oswego, directing both the Center for Not-for-Profit Excellence and the Office of Business and Community Relations, according to the Arts Guild. While at SUNY Oswego, Grimshaw worked with the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council by serving on the workforce development sub-committee. Additionally, Grimshaw has acted as an advisor in strategy and development for numerous nonprofits over the last 17 years.” NYSCA supports The View through our State & Local Partnership Program.
Eloise Hops Off the Page and into the New-York Historical Society
“If you’re drawn to classic children’s literature, it’s time to don your fanciest frock and head over to the New-York Historical Society where a rawther special guest has taken up residence. Eloise, the brain child of cabaret singer-turned author Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight has taken over the museum’s second floor…Eloise at the Museum features the antics of the mischievous protagonist and gives a glimpse into her life at The Plaza Hotel…Young fans will appreciate the “house phones” lining the lobby entrance, where you’ll hear Bernadette Peters reading excerpts from the four beloved Eloise titles: Eloise, Eloise in Paris, Eloise at Christmastime, and Eloise in Moscow. Upon entering the exhibit’s main galleries, kids can press a button on an old-fashioned record player to hear Thompson singing her song, “Eloise,” which was a top-40 hit in 1956 during the height of the Eloise craze. The bedroom also draws visitors in as Eloise’s bed and bookcases serve as a perfect place to curl up with one of her stories while mom and dad peruse the rest of the exhibit.” NYSCA supports the New-York Historical Society through our Museum Program and Regional Economic Development Council initiative.