City officials in Plattsburgh are working to make the downtown center more appealing to tourists. One of the newest initiatives got a boost recently when the Sunrise Rotary announced it will sponsor a plan to create an Arts Walk in the center city.
Last weekend the Plattsburgh Sunrise Rotary hosted the Mayor’s Cup Regatta, the largest sailing race on Lake Champlain. The group also supported a Landlubber Mural Project that brought nautical-themed drawings to buildings across downtown.
This is the largest annual fundraiser for the Sunrise Rotary. It then uses the money to support local groups. It announced in the midst of the activities that it will help fund Outside Art, a group that creates murals, sculptures and street art in the city center. Co-founder Julia Devine says the Rotary is making a long-term commitment to style the city center as a hub for the arts. “They’re supporting the sixth mural for Plattsburgh. And then they are also partnering with the Friends of the Saranac River Trail to create sculptures on the trail. And we’re really excited to announce, with Sunrise Rotary’s support, that we will be installing some sculptures right here in the city this summer near the coop and the marina. And so we are just so grateful and thrilled that Sunrise Rotary gets how important arts is to making a community thrive.”
Outside Art co-founder Amy Guglielmo says creating public art makes it available to everyone anytime. “It’s great for people to see that Plattsburgh’s open to art all the time. And they can participate and we hope that people will stop and check everything out. And this is for not only for people to come and see Plattsburgh but it’s for people here. We’re doing this for our town. We’re making it pretty and vibrant and celebrating the arts.”
The YMCA is adjacent to the Strand Center for the Arts. CEO Justin Ihne says the facility can be an integral part of the arts corridor and benefit youth who may not be exposed to art. "Having that exposure to the community and fostering that with the community is really important. I know as a young kid my mom did that with me and it was very important to go visit the museums and go see local artists and it really fosters great creativity. So we’re excited that the city is making this a priority.”
Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read calls placing a priority on art part of creating an active and vibrant community. “The arts corridor includes the Strand Theatre where we’re going to have installations of sculpture down through the Westelcom Park into the Durkee Street expansion at some point along this river here and coming right up through the monument park through Trinity Park. It’s going to be a large loop of art and culture, performance spaces as you can hear in the background, numerous performance spaces and stages in our downtown core. This is what people want. This is why people want to come to cities nowadays. We’re going to have this town full of murals and full of sculpture and full of performances.”
The Strand Center for the Arts plans to create an online tri-county arts map to connect artists and patrons across the region.