Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bridging the gap of new and old

By: Noelle Tedford

Plattsburgh, N.Y. – Trends always tend to repeat themselves but can the generations of old and new enjoy the same interests? The Strand Center for the Arts attempts to mend that gap through the cultural arts. The arts bring people of all likes together. When it comes to art in your community, do you contribute?
The North Country Cultural Center for the Arts merged with The Strand in May 2014, creating The Strand Center for the Arts. The Strand Center for the Arts is a nonprofit community-based organization that provides Plattsburgh with various art classes and professional concert performances. Over the past three years The Strand amphitheater has had a roughly $2,000,000 renovation transforming it from an old-time movie theater to the fully restored and fully functioning theater.
            Now that the renovations are coming to a close it is time to fill the theatre with people. However, a trend seems to be forming that The Strand is catering to certain community members over others. A large number of sponsors for The Strand renovation included older prominent community members. There is speculation among youth community members that shows and events are aimed to please these sponsors and their interests.
            Local community youth, Daniel Brzywczy said, “They are stuck in a particular demographic and only cater to that specific demographic. When it comes to a younger crowd they simply don’t cater to them. The event I did attend was an interesting experience. I stood up with a friend to dance (during an otherwise great concert) and, after feeling the glares of annoyance, quickly sat back down.”
            Although The Strand has had several events that they believed could be enjoyed by all ages the crowd (or lack there of) remained the same. The question of how to engage the youth of the Plattsburgh community remains.
            Beth Fitzgerald, a SUNY Plattsburgh student, said, “It might help to have a community input section on their web page. People might feel more involved that way.”
            The increased use of bulletin boards surrounding the college campus as well as offering Cardinal Cash at the events offered at The Strand Theatre might attract more college students to events. Also, offering discounts to greek life to rent out the theatre for events could attract attention and create a need for the college campus to work with The Strand. Both of these things would play a huge role in creating awareness for events.
            Chris LaRose, a SUNY Plattsburgh student, said, “I have never noticed anything advertising The Strand on campus. It could be there, but has never caught my eye.”
            Now, what does this older crowd think? Steve Martin is a local businessperson in Plattsburgh. He is owner and head auctioneer at Martin and Sons Auction Gallery. Martin has been a longtime member of The Strand. He has helped with various fundraisers and donations.
            Steve Martin said, “I would love to see young people. The performances are concerts that everyone should enjoy.” When asked about the unsaid rule of staying in your seats as to not disturb other concertgoers he said, “I think people should get up and dance if they want to!”
            Paula Lapham said, “I am not positive if The Strand markets to the college or advertises at youth hot spots but if not they should. It would be great to have a younger crowd in with us. If they are marketing to SUNY Plattsburgh they could probably do a better job.”
            Lapham is a Plattsburgh local and a prominent member of the medical community in Plattsburgh. Lapham is a long-time member of The Strand and has attended several charity events held by the organization.
            So, how does The Strand break the barrier between the old and new generations? Is this an impossible task? Visit or contact Josh Kretser, the Executive Director at to get involved!

Boilerplate: Kretser could not be reached for comment in the allotted time.


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