Arts Trail map

A map showing stops on the planned Glens Falls Arts Trail is seen.

Courtesy of Advocate

GLENS FALLS — Artistic banners will be going up on streetlight poles this spring as the first visible component of a new “Arts Trail” that will literally and metaphorically connect 13 arts and cultural organizations within a 1-square-mile radius in downtown Glens Falls.

Banners will have a common background, with each banner having a unique scene designed by a different local artist.

“Keep your eyes open for the banners when the snow starts melting,” said Candice Frye, executive director of Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council and coordinator of the Glens Falls Arts District.

The goal of the Arts District is to make local residents and tourists aware of the critical mass of arts and cultural organizations in Glens Falls.

“It’s the unexpected arts mecca,” said Kate Austin Avon, owner of Advocate marketing agency and a member of the Arts District committee.

The Glens Falls Downtown Revitalization Initiative plan has recommended providing $125,000 for the Arts Trail from the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative state grant.

The allocation is part of the plan the DRI Committee will present at a public forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Heritage Hall at Glens Falls Civic Center.

The state funding, which is contingent on approval from the state Department of State and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would expedite completion of the Arts Trail, Frye said.

“If this happens the way it’s all expected to play out, it will have a great impact instead of a trickle impact,” she said.

The committee is seeking private cash donations to be ready to match the state grant, if it materializes.

An exact dollar amount needed in addition to what the Arts District already has on hand has not yet been determined, but it will be significant.

“We’re going to need at least (another) $25,000,” Austin Avon said.

Tax-deductible donations, made payable to Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council and designated for the Arts Trail, can be mailed to LARAC at 7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls, NY 12801.

The literal element of the trail will be sidewalk logos, streetlight pole banners, outdoor murals and sculptures designed for use as bicycle racks along a route stretching from the Chapman Historical Museum to Glens Falls Civic Center on Glen Street, and east to The Shirt Factory arts and healing center on Lawrence Street and The Hyde Collection art museum on Warren Street.

The metaphorical part will be joint planning and marketing, including brochure racks to be placed at various locations this spring, establishing “welcome center” kiosks at Chapman Historical Museum, Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls Civic Center, The Shirt Factory and The Hyde Collection, and joint planning of special events.

A long-term marketing strategy and a website that could be easily accessed using mobile devices would be developed.

The Arts District, which recently merged with the Glens Falls Collaborative, has taken over organization of the Out to Lunch noon concert series in City Park this summer, Frye said.

The joint planning and communication aspects of the Arts District are already underway.

“Keep in mind, we’ve been working on this for three years, “ said Jacqueline Touba, president of North Country Arts and a committee member.

Follow staff writer Maury Thompson at All Politics is Local blog, at PS_Politics on Twitter and at Maury Thompson Post-Star on Facebook.

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