June 23, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Approves $200,000 for North Country Cultural Center for the Arts

Funding Would Restore Historic Strand Theatre and Develop Performing Arts Center

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee has approved the FY10 Appropriations Bill which includes $200,000 for the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts.  The funding would be used to restore the Historic 1924 Strand Theatre for use as a performing arts center and economic engine for Clinton, Franklin and Essex County and to serve as the lynchpin of the Plattsburgh Downtown Revitalization Project.  Schumer and Gillibrand worked closely with members of the Appropriations Subcommittee to include funding for the project in this year's spending bill.

"This is a big win for Plattsburgh and the entire North County," said Schumer.  "Not only will this project lead the way for revitalizing the area, it will give families access to high-quality theatre productions and educational programs.  The theater will help draw tourists from all over the state and across the border to provide an economic boost to the local economy. I will work to see this funding through the appropriations process so that residents and visitors alike can enjoy the arts center and all it has to offer."

"In Plattsburgh this spring, I heard first hand from community leaders that restoring the historic Strand Theater was a critical part of local economic development," said Senator Gillibrand.  "As a Mother of two young sons, I know firsthand the importance of music and art.  This investment in the arts is an important part in our identity and culture.  During these tough economic times, we must support the arts as a creative outlet in our community."

This shovel ready project has already raised over $1 million locally.  The fully restored theatre will be a cultural landmark in itself and is expected to draw visitors to the City from Northern New York, Vermont and Canada. The Strand Restoration project has been identified by two different consultant firms, hired by the city, to be the key anchor to the revitalization of the area, and it that will attract business to the North Country and help stop the loss of young educated workers who move to find a well rounded quality of life.

Now that the bill has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, it will be sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee. Following approval by the Full Committee and the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.