GARNERVILLE, N.Y. – May 14, 2013 -– Local dignitaries including State, County, Town and Village officials today joined with the GARNER Arts Center (formerly GAGA) leadership, the Preservation League of New York and leaders from First Niagara for two major announcements regarding restoration and preservation at the Garnerville complex. First Niagara Foundation presented GARNER with a $6,000 donation to launch the Gallery Restoration campaign; and the Preservation League announced Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center’s listing on the State Register of Historic Places as the “Rockland Print Works Historic District”.
The Arts Center was temporarily closed two years ago following Hurricane Irene which caused floodwaters from the Minisceongo Creek to sweep through the 375,000-square-foot facility, a home for artists, artisans and small business owners. The main gallery building of the GARNER Arts Center was the most affected by the flooding. After months of rebuilding infrastructure, and with support from First Niagara, GARNER Arts Center can begin the early stages of restoring building 35, the new Main Gallery.
“We are pleased and so very grateful that First Niagara has recognized the value to the community of GARNER Arts Center’s arts, education and cultural programs and the urgent need to re-establish GARNER’s gallery after the devastating loss of its Main Gallery during Hurricane Irene,” said Robin Rosenberg, President of GARNER Arts Center. “First Niagara’s generous donation allows us to begin restoration efforts on GARNER’s new gallery, Building 35, the former mill’s cafeteria building. First Niagara’s donation embodies the message of art, preservation and commerce working together for the betterment of the community,” she added.
“We believe in the cultural value that the GARNER Arts Center brings to the community,” said Cathie Schaffer, Tri-State Regional President of First Niagara. “By funding the launch of this important restoration campaign, we hope that the Center’s projected reopening for spring of 2014 will become a reality and that the community can enjoy this space once again.”
In addition to today’s announcement of First Niagara’s donation, the Preservation League of New York State announced today that the New York State Historic Preservation Office has listed the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center, home of the GARNER Arts Center, on the State Register of Historic Places and forwarded the nomination to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D. C. for National Register approval. The State Historic Register Nomination was partially underwritten by the Preserve New York Grant Program of the Preservation League of New York State, which is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Nomination recounts fascinating details about the importance of the Garnerville mill locally, nationally and internationally.
“We are very excited about the listing and the opportunities it brings,” said Ms. Rosenberg. “It is our vision to create an arts, business and cultural destination here in the lower Hudson Valley. These buildings are a treasure that can contribute to the community, Rockland County and New York State on a grand scale.”
The new proposed program for GARNER Arts Center will bring back the popular Arts Festival, in addition to exhibitions in visual art, new media, dance, music, theatre, performance art, live art-in-progress, dynamic installations, educational and mentoring programs. Contemporary exhibitions will introduce the work of artists from different generations and cultures from master artists to unknown and under-recognized figures whose work has thought-provoking relevance today.
Dignitaries in attendance at today’s press conference included Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, Chair of the Rockland County Legislature Harriet Cornell, County Legislator Ed Day, Town of Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips and Town Councilman John Gould, West Haverstraw Mayor John Ramundo and Village Trustee Ramon Lopez.
First Niagara’s Tri-State Region includes 26 branches in the Hudson Valley in (Westchester) Mount Kisco, Bedford Hills, Ossining, Yorktown Heights and Baldwin Place; (Dutchess) East Fishkill, Millerton, Hyde Park, Wappingers Falls, Pleasant Valley and Poughkeepsie; (Orange) Highland Falls, Middletown and Vails Gate; (Putnam) Brewster; (Rockland) Blauvelt, Pearl River, New City, Nyack, Nanuet, Spring Valley, Stony Point, Suffern and Tappan; (Sullivan) Liberty; and (Ulster) Kingston, and 14 Fairfield County CT branches in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield, and Fairfield. The region is also supported by First Niagara’s insurance business, Pierson & Smith, a Division of First Niagara Risk Management, which has offices in Norwalk, CT.
About the Preserve New York Grant Program
Fourteen Grants in 11 counties totaling $83,674 were made by the Preserve New York Grant Program in 2012. The Preserve New York Grant Program supports outstanding local preservation projects throughout the state. Since 1993, Preserve New York has awarded over $1.7 million in direct support to 279 projects. The National and State Register Nomination for the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center was prepared by Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting.