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Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks — "Going Forward"

The photo was taken at the Awards Ceremony at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.  Caroline Thompson on right is presenting a decentralization grant to Stella Dwyer of Ticonderoga Arts, Inc. for an Art in the Park project scheduled for Saturday, July 14.

The photo was taken at the Awards Ceremony at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. Caroline Thompson on right is presenting a decentralization grant to Stella Dwyer of Ticonderoga Arts, Inc. for an Art in the Park project scheduled for Saturday, July 14.

— “The Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks (ACNA) currently faces a critical junction in determining what kind of organization it will be in the future,” said Peter Seward, President of the Board of Directors. During the last several months, ACNA has lost its state funding because the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) redirected the decentralization grant to the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh, which was the mainstay source of income for this organization. Due to state budget cuts, NYSCA is consolidating its administrative support in favor of art centers, rather than service organizations, like ACNA.

Seward stated with much regret, “The result of this has been the inability to sustain the salary of founder and executive director, Caroline Thompson, who essentially has been the “face” of the Arts Council. Caroline has worked tirelessly on behalf of the organization and has planted the seeds that are now flowering in the many culturally vibrant towns, such as Saranac Lake. Her dedication and commitment has been steadfast for over three decades.”

“The Arts Council’s nonprofit status, 501(c) 3 designation is invaluable, and must be sustained,” emphasized board officer June Curtis. “Not only does it have a proud legacy but also a strong membership with the willingness and desire to continue to meet the needs of the Arts community.” The board of directors’ responsibility to keep it alive is contingent upon finding participation and representation from its wide geographic spread. Currently, the board consists of only four volunteers: Peter Seward, June Curtis, Mavis Miller and Jill Wenner. Without the Arts Council, the region—Essex and Southern Franklin County—lacks a unified voice for arts advocacy to the Centers on the perimeter of the Park —Plattsburgh, Potsdam and Albany.

The Board is eagerly seeking interested individuals from the many communities and organizations that benefit from ACNA to step forward, join other like-minded folks, and take leadership going forward. It is hoped that this crisis will offer the stimulus for a new beginning.

The branding of this new phase, “artsnorth.org”, and the co-publishing of this year’s arts directory with Denton Publications are examples of changes that are being made.

“After two initial ACNA roundtable discussions in Saranac Lake and Keene Valley, another roundtable is planned for Wednesday, July 18, at 6 p.m., at the Adirondack History Center Museum, 7590 Court Street in Elizabethtown,” added Seward. Those who are willing to be involved and offer their time are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to southwind10@gmail.com.

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