August 7, 2013

Baby Boomers' creative pursuits

PLATTSBURGH — Dodge Memorial Library Director Donna Boumil didn’t know what to expect when she applied for a Lifetime Arts grant for arts programming for adults 55 and older.

The results have been astounding.

“We heard about the grant through C-E-F (Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System),” Boumil said. “We had many people interested in arts programming and could not afford to take art lessons. So, I applied for the grant.”

Champlain artist Connie Cassevaugh taught the debut class in pastels in September and October 2012.

“We had 10 people in the class,” Boumil said. “That’s all I could accommodate in the class. I ended up having 25 people on a waiting list. It was huge. It was an eight-week class. It was held once a week.

“We had an art show, and we had over 50 people attend the art show.”


During a second round of grants, Boumil applied for Cassevaugh to return and teach a watercolor class, as suggested by a patron survey. The class was held twice weekly in May.

“We had 11 people in that class and a waiting list of 10 more,” Boumil said. “I need more grants.

“We had an art show at the end of May. There were over 70 people who came to the art show. We had both art shows here at the library.

“Now, I applied for a different grant through a different organization. We will be having another pastel class sometime this fall. This will be opened up to adults of all ages.”


She was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to the library’s arts programming.

“The grants are a lot of work. It’s a lot of paperwork and accounting. It was definitely worth it to see the outcome. Their expressions at the art show, they were so proud.”

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