PLATTSBURGH — The Strand Center for the Arts in Plattsburgh was fully back into operation by June 2021.

Once it got going, it didn't stop under the reins of Jim Carroll, director of operations; Nancy Armitage, Clay Studio & Market manager; David Monette, gallery director; Heather LaValley, executive administrator; and Sheila Nugent; administrative assistant.

NEW BOARD

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the election of new Board officers: Tom McNichols, president; Logan Brody, 2nd vice president; Jerrod Olsen, interim treasurer; and Jared Burns, secretary.

The Strand's Annual Appeal stated: “2021 has been a busy year. Hundreds of students participated in our youth arts programs and, through Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant funding, we’ve completed major renovations to our Theatre and Arts Center.

"Now completely transformed, you’ll find a state-of-the-art MakerSpace suite housed in the Arts Center’s second floor. This includes Digital Technologies Lab, Visual Arts and Music Studios, and Multi-Media Lab equipped with everything from a CNC router, 3D printers, digital drawing pads and cameras, to sewing machines, printing press and so much more.

"The possibilities for what we can create are endless. Students and instructors alike now have the opportunity to master their craft and gain experience with technologies and tools previously unavailable to our community. We encourage you to stop by and see our new space yourself, or better yet, sign up for a class and bring a friend, and see firsthand what the Strand has to offer.

"Our Theatre has also received some updates, like the beautiful concession counter and upgraded sound and lighting equipment already garnering rave reviews. These changes and new technical capabilities allow for expanded programming - stay tuned for more exciting announcements soon!

All of this, in addition to our Gallery, Ceramic Studio and hugely popular Artisan Markets solidify our position as the region’s greatest cultural asset."

NEW COLLABORATIONS

The Strand Center Theatre officially re-opened with Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox’s “Grand Re-Opening Tour” on October 27 in co-production with Higher Ground, a partnership aimed toward a sustainable future and ongoing productions of the highest quality.

The Strand partnered with Mountain Lake PBS to produce “Soundscapes,” which fused the music of local musicians with stunning drone footage of the Adirondacks, the North Country and southern Quebec.

Twelve performing artists — Taylor LaValley, Adrian Carr, Neil Wright, Dan Martin, Beartracks (Tom Venne and Julie Hogan), Nate Pultorak, TJ White, Lydia von Hof, Giovanina Bucci, Marie-Elaine Gagnon, Kevin Sabourin and Gretchen Koehler and Daniel Kelly — were filmed at the Strand Theatre.

FAVE VENUE

The Strand Theatre also hosted productions from the Adirondack Dance Company's “An Evening of the Arts featuring Hansel & Gretel,” in June to Plattsburgh Blues and Jazz, which presented “Sipp and Blues at the Strand” in August, and Eric Gales Band in September.

September also marked the premiere of “Return to Auschwitz: The Survival of Vladimir Munk," a documentary co-produced by Paul Frederick (videographer/editor), Bruce Carlin (director) and Julie Canepa (writer).

“Nutcracker in a Nutshell” opened on Thanksgiving weekend and was co-produced by Lake Placid Center for the Arts and EMERGE125.

The Adirondack Regional Theatre transported Strand audiences to the Golden Age of American radio with its version of "It's A Wonderful Life, a live radio play" this month.

OMINOUS OMICRON

The Strand's fall shows included hometown boys Lucid in November and the Gibson Brothers in December.

The Omicron variant makes the near future unknown with upcoming shows The Wood Brothers on Sunday, January 30; Eaglemania on Saturday, February 5; and Kashmir - The Live Led Zepplin Show on Saturday, March 5.

HEART ART

At the Strand Main Gallery, exhibitions included: “Gods and Monsters” by artist Jim Kobak in May; photographer Ron Nolland's solo show, “seeing is believing,” in June; Summer Members Show in July; photographer Gabe Dickens' “North Country Exposures: A Candid Look at the Past Decade” in August; Patricia Down's “Between Layers and Stitches,” solo exhibition in October; and astrophotographer Herb Carpenter's “Photographic Images of the Night Sky's Majesty, Beauty and Splendor” in November: and the Annual Holiday Members Show in December.

RESILIENCE & SUCCESS

Since its lockdown birth, the Strand's Pop-Up Artisan Marketplace has tripled in size and has been a resounding success for the artisans and the public alike.

"The Strand Center for the Arts is deeply grateful for the New York State Council on the Art's support through Organizational and Individual Artist Program grants in 2022," according to a press release.

"These awards will help fund our continued efforts to create and present a wide variety of accessible, high-quality arts and cultural experiences in the North Country. It is with the ongoing support of NYSCA, and from our community – members, patrons, artists, and partners alike – that we can contribute to an improved quality of life for all.

"We invite everyone to visit our website, social media, and downtown Plattsburgh campus in 2022 to see what wonderful, new programming we have in store."

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

Twitter:@RobinCaudell

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