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Mayor should be more vested in arts & culture

Two weeks ago, Vision 2 Action, a forward-thinking group of business owners and concerned citizens in Plattsburgh, held a progress report at the Strand Theater in downtown Plattsburgh. It turns out, there was a lot to talk about, and the event was well attended by people representing the arts and businesses in the area. We couldn’t help but notice that Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak was not among them.

It can be argued that Kasprzak was not invited, and maybe that’s true. But it was an open-to-the-community event, held by people within the community, for people within the community. And Plattsburgh is his community, after all.

V2A has had several applause worthy victories over the past year, including the new Saranac River bike path and further renovations on the Strand. They have also held discussions to generate ideas for future projects involving education, recreation, transportation and the arts. Slowly but surely, their vision, and their action, is becoming more prominent in Plattsburgh.

If things go as planned, the Strand Theatre will be open this summer, and will be linked with the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, which will morph into the Strand Arts Center. Local business owners are already buzzing with excitement in anticipation of the people the theater will draw to the city.

The two downtown galleries–NCCCA and ROTA–were represented at the event. Both have become fixtures in the community, bringing in artists, and art enthusiasts, from around the region to Plattsburgh.

It seems that the arts are finally here to stay in Plattsburgh, and with them will come people, who will spend money, which will encourage economic growth and development. One only has to look across the lake to Burlington to see what an integral role the arts can play in a thriving downtown.

In short, the event was a pretty big deal. We can give the mayor a pass — he’s busy, for sure, and maybe something came up.

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