Saratoga Arts announces next capital project, funding; Center renovation in works

FILE - Saratoga Arts executive director Louise Kerr inside the Saratoga Arts building in October 2021.
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FILE - Saratoga Arts executive director Louise Kerr inside the Saratoga Arts building in October 2021.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – With vibrant artwork hanging on the wall just behind her, Saratoga Arts Executive Director Louise Kerr announced at a press conference Friday that the center has received funds from both the city of Saratoga Springs and the Dake family, which operates Stewart’s Shops, to assist with costs associated with renovating the facility. 

Kerr also announced that the organization is signing a 33-year lease agreement with the city of Saratoga Springs for its 320 Broadway location. The lease would be renewable one time with review.

“[We’re] ostensibly creating a permanent home for the arts here on the corner of historic Congress Park,” she said.

The capital project is estimated to cost around $2 million. Among the planned renovations will be the replacement of windows in one of the art rooms with doors that open up on to a patio just inside Congress Park that would serve as a space for outdoor classes and events, including performances, Kerr said. 

 

Other parts of the project include adding a wall to close off the area were the weavers work, making the building more energy efficient, creating a recording area, adding in printing presses and installing a security system where people could sign up for hours at the center and then be able to access rooms through the system. 

The city is providing almost $700,000 in its 2023 budget toward the project and has another $195,000 set aside for the 2024 budget, Kerr said. 

“My children came here for their library reading groups, my granddaughter will come to visit this wonderful art center,” said Mayor Ron Kim. 

Kerr said the center will raise $800,000 toward the renovations. She said $200,000 has already been raised by the center and used toward projects to bring the center up to date. 

The Dake family, which owns and operates Stewart’s Shops, is also donating $100,000, Kerr said.

Kerr said the next capital project will continue the legacy Saratoga Arts’ founder Dee Sarno began 30 years ago. 

“There was nothing, you know, no gallery – nothing here – when we got it,” Sarno said. 

However, Sarno said they worked hard while she was director to get the center up and running. Now, she said to see it today and know what lies ahead for the future is exciting. 

“There’s so much more here,” she said. “There’s classes and workshops in the arts and it’s great to bring in young people and they can create here.”

Sarno said the center will continue to solidify the phrase “arts education” throughout the community. 

“It’s so important to have the arts integrated in the system because it leaves a lasting impression on children that are involved in it,” she said. “It just improves the whole educational process.”

Categories: News, News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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