Jaime Studd/Recorder staff Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance President Jessica Murray voices her support Tuesday for an arts and recreation center in Amsterdam.
By JAIME STUDD
Recorder News Staff
There was no shortage of speakers during the public participation portion of Tuesday night's Amsterdam Common Council meeting, and the majority of those who stepped forward to make their voices heard shared a common goal.
Speaker after speaker expressed their enthusiastic support for a recent proposal to transform a former church at 303-305 E. Main St. into and arts and recreation center.
Jessica Murray, president of the Mohawk Valley Creative Alliance, said her group was created nearly two years "with the express purpose to see and arts center created in Amsterdam."
"This area has a large demographic of people who could greatly benefit from being introduced to and educated about the arts," said Murray. "An arts center would unite the arts community and provide outreach, organization, and highlight local talent, culturally enriching our community."
Murray said the that the members of the MVCA are excited about the prospect of the center and offered the city any assistance they may need to bring the project to fruition.
"The need in the community is great, the climate is ripe," said Murray, noting that there are no such centers in the immediate area.
Brittani Hanson said she also envisions the facility as serving as a community development and family resource center.
"It's something we really need in this city," said Hanson. "Something we could all rally around."
Hanson said redeveloping the building for community use would allow for the creation of after school programs and resource programs for families.
"If the city government is invested in this project, then the neighborhoods will follow," said Hanson. "The city of Amsterdam needs to be a role model."
Phil Lyford, president of the Amsterdam Neighborhood Association, agreed, saying the creation of such a facility would boost morale for the area.
"Having a building like that on East Main would help clear away bad feelings about what's going on," Lifer said.
Additional meetings will be necessary in order to finalize several details before the project can move forward. Questions surrounding funding for the facility, as well as oversight, remain an issue.