FULTON – With the fall production of Oliver onstage, CNY Arts Center celebrates the first anniversary of its strategic partnership and shared location with Cayuga Community College.
The Arts Center moved into the College campus Event Center in Fulton located at 11 River Glen Drive at 481 North last fall and opened with more than 40 kids onstage presenting The Wizard of Oz with record sell-out crowds.
Since that time the organization has adapted the space with the help of many collaborations, created arts programming in a number of areas and achieved several notable milestones.
Music programming, Dessert Theatre, writers’ café, art exhibits and shows, and a full season onstage developed over the course of the first year with such notables as Narnia, the Musical, another Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, co-produced with Fulton Community Theatre who also celebrated its 25th anniversary with two productions, Plaza Suite and ‘Night Mother in the new space, and of course the current Oliver!
Art exhibits featuring local artists including Nick D’Innocenzo’s Erie Canal 40 Miles of Wonder, Don Gillespie’s Kindred Spirits, and ARISE Inc.’s Unique exhibit of art from disabled artists brought attention to visual artists.
The Arts in the HeARt Gallery spent most of the year at the college campus location but was recently moved back downtown to its original location on 47 S. First St., where it has been reimagined into an art gift shop featuring local handmade original art for sale.
Cayuga College partnered with the Arts Center to make resources available for the installation of two handicap restrooms and a paint sink in the back room. Although the project took a while to complete, the onsite restrooms were a welcome convenience added to the Arts Center.
Cayuga College also arranged to have the space rewired electrically for specific overhead electrical outlets, house lights and more as part of a project funded by the Shineman Foundation.
Shineman Foundation awarded the Arts Center a grant to install a light grid, new light board and stage lights for the new performance space, resolving safety issues with lights placed in the seating area, greatly enhancing lighting capabilities for better quality productions.
Barbara Shineman and Karen Goetz, director of Shineman Foundation both attended opening weekend of Oliver, along with other family and staff members, to enjoy the debut of the new lighting system.
In the spring the Arts Center received an award for nonprofit of the year from the Greater Oswego/Fulton Chamber of Commerce and was also chosen as a Gifford Power Organization.
The Gifford Foundation selected the Arts Center as one of five nonprofits from 12 who were invited to apply as participants in a nine-month development program to improve capacity and strengthen systems to achieve growth.
The distinction provided the start-up organization with the services of a professional consultant to review and analyze areas for infrastructure and support along with a grant to purchase critical technology and professional development consults.
With the grant, the Arts Center will receive a complete computer system installation for both the main center location on the Cayuga College campus and its downtown location where an art shop and studio have developed over the last few months.
The organization has strengthened collaborations with several community outreaches including partnering on the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant with OCO, Literacy Coalition, Fulton School District, and both CCC and SUNY Oswego among others.
The Arts Center also works with the County Tourism Department on grant initiatives when they arise and recently partnered on a grant, in part, for a heritage trail art installation in Fulton.
The nonprofit continues to pursue grants opportunities to support programming and art experiences.
“We’re entering our fifth year but this first year at CCC has been phenomenal,” said Nancy Fox, founder and executive director. “We couldn’t be more excited about the future. With the support of Cayuga Community College, the Gifford and Shineman foundations, and the wonderful collaboration of county and community organizations we have achieved things we couldn’t begin to dream of. It is a testament to the passion and heart for the arts and a better quality of life for everyone that exists in Central New York. We are so grateful and proud to have found a place here to partner in the arts with all of you and look forward to many more exciting years to come.”
For more information about the Arts Center visit CNYArtsCenter.com or call 598-ARTS (2787).
Oliver continues this weekend, November 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. and November 15 at 3 p.m.
Reservations are strongly encouraged.