New York venues unite for #lightsUPstateNY initiative

Local News

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ten performing arts venues from across Upstate New York are coming together in an effort to restart successfully:

  • Clemens Center in Elmira
  • Landmark Theatre in Syracuse
  • Palace Theatre in Albany
  • Proctors Collaborative in Schenectady
  • RBTL’s Auditorium Theatre in Rochester
  • Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo
  • Smith Center for the Arts in Geneva
  • Stanley Theatre in Utica
  • State Theatre in Ithaca
  • The Bardavon in Poughkeepsie

Combined, these ten arts centers have canceled or postponed hundreds of performances and events that typically inject millions into local communities across the region. They’ve been biding their time, preparing to safely reopen—and they say they need government support to do so.

“The large theatres of Upstate so often share similar realities,” says Philip Morris, Proctors Collaborative CEO. “As we think about our restarts sometime in 2021, we decided to come together to speak with one voice about our needs and challenges as we get back to being at the heart of our cities and communities.”

Upstate’s theatre lights went dark in March and the curtains are still closed. These organizations and facilities will need support to operate with new protocols, requirements, and staffing requirements. A press release from proctors says, “Every month of closure costs these venues a collective $1,500,000,” and estimates the cost to potentially reopen in January 2021 at $15,000,000 or more. Without federal and state funding, the venues argue, their historic arts organizations are at risk.


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