Updated 10/08/2012 09:20 PM
Amsterdam launches new arts center
The City of Amsterdam celebrated this Columbus Day by opening a new facility. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, the Creative Connections Art Center will focus on making artistic change in the city.
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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said, "People underestimate how important arts are in a community."
After discovering a city owned building was becoming vacant, Mayor Ann Thane jumped on the opportunity to bring an arts center to the area. Creative Connections is now officially open, allowing residents a first peek at the many opportunities to come.
"It's fantastic. I can't believe what they've accomplished in such a short time," said Schenectady resident Janie Hayer.
Mayor Thane said, "The intention is to use this in all aspect of art expression, so well have visual art, photography, painting, textile, but also dance, debate, poetry. The sky's the limit."
And after a year of heightened crime in the city, the center will give youth another safe place to spend their time in.
"This is another avenue for youth to access. We'll be offering classes over the next few years and certainly focus on children that are in need of these kind of facilities," said Mayor Thane.
Board of Trustees President Thom Georgia said, "Some activities will be free and sponsored by friends of the art center. Others will be per class based, as facilitated by local artists."
And residents at the grand opening got in touch with their creative side, using an old screen door and recycled bottle caps to design what will become the center’s window display.
"Our mission here is to make this a very family oriented institution," Georgia said.
Amsterdam resident Robert Cronkhite said, "It's a really nice exhibit and we're impressed with the city for having the social club and dance classes. It's a cultural benefit for us here."