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Introducing the City of Beacon Arts and Culture Committee

Dear Arts Community in Beacon,

I am excited to announce that the City of Beacon is starting an Arts and Culture Committee.

The nature and scope of the Committee is to support the arts organizations and individuals by advising the City Council to develop ordinances, work on projects with organizations and individual artists, help to market the arts in Beacon, and more. It will be composed of members of the Beacon arts organizations, business owners, artists and residents. Please find below the official introductory letter that will help explain this further.

I have asked Cabot Parsons to Chair and Rob Rutigliano to Co-Chair the Committee. Over the last few months they have put a great deal of thought and planning into making this committee the valuable resource I know it will become.

Cabot Parsons
By day, Cabot Parsons is owner/partner in two brand architecture, marketing and graphic design firms, consulting to international corporations, national and regional nonprofits, municipalities and small businesses. By night, Cabot is a Puppetry/Object Theatre Professor at SUNY Orange’s Arts and Communications Department. An accomplished artist in several fields, he has developed national variety television programming, performed in theatre for heads of state as well as directing and designing over 100 productions, danced at the internationally renowned Next Wave festival at BAM, plays several instruments, is a playwright and composer and dimensional media visual artist. He has served on the board of several statewide and municipal arts organizations in his career, served as marketing or board development consultant to several fine arts nonprofits, including one of the tenants of Lincoln Center, in addition to his professional degree in theatre holds a certificate in Arts Administration from NYU and also has a small nonprofit organization, cabot | andcompany performance collective, who recently received a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council for their work bringing artists from other disciplines into the visual elements of the performing arts.

Robert Rutigliano
A third generation Beaconite, Robert Rutigliano is an accomplished sales, marketing and financial business executive with over 24 years experience building and leading successful teams and organizations. A former Xerox General Manager managing a $25M + organization with 100+ employees. He has successfully created national markets and successfully managed national teams for several international software and outsourcing companies. Currently he is Senior VP of a multinational corporation, responsible for a $180M national marketplace. A professional photographic artist who has worked in the New York City commercial photographic industry with world renowned photographers like Robert Farber and is an accomplished musician, Robert has finally brought his love of Beacon and the arts together with his team-building skills and business acumen to form The Rutigliano Group, which is currently developing and managing several arts-related nonprofit and for-profit ventures springing from the current renaissance of living musical, performance and visual artists in Beacon and the Hudson Valley

I encourage you to join the committee. If you have any questions please contact me at (845) 249-5571 or email: mayor@cityofbeacon.org. I will be glad to send you an application (one is attached here)

______________________________________________

NOW THE OFFICIAL LETTER (also attached to this discussion is an overview document and application)

To the artists, arts organizations and arts patrons of Beacon:

Beacon has many amazing resources, natural and manmade. One extremely precious resource is the creative capital of our performing and visual artists and arts-related businesses, what they give to our community and the volunteer support they receive from so many residents and arts organizations. In times such as these it behooves us to do all we can to support and grow all of our resources for the benefit of the city and its residents, and to that end I am pleased to announce the formation of the City of Beacon Mayor’s Arts and Cultural Development Committee.

This is a committee that has been provided for in our charter but unpopulated until now. For some time both individuals and groups such as The Howland Cultural Center, Beacon Business Association, Beacon Arts Community Association, Beacon Art Salon, The Rutigliano Group and others have created projects and promoted Beacon as a cultural destination in ways too numerous to count. It is time for the city to formally support the arts in Beacon - to enrich all of us who call it our home, and as a significant economic driver where art is made and sold: creating jobs, filling our storefronts, bringing countless visitors to our city.

The committee’s task is to strengthen the arts in Beacon in all its facets, to support the efforts of the arts and business community organizations, and the Beacon community in all art related manner, including: serving as an advisory group to the City government, facilitating and/or sponsoring projects, creating ordinances and procedures for public art exhibitions and performances and other art-related programs that may be developed, providing a sounding board for city residents on issues related to arts and culture, promoting an understanding of the value of artistic and cultural expression and exchange in a free society as a rich resource to all Beacon citizens, businesses and visitors and at the Mayor’s request to represent the city in a larger context throughout the mid-Hudson valley and beyond.

In a formal sense the Arts and Cultural Development Committee is not authorized by the City Charter or by the Mayor to have regulatory powers such as the Planning Board, Zoning Board, nor does it have an annual operating budget. As outlined in the Charter its members will serve at the pleasure of the Mayor. The Mayor will be advised of the projects and priorities of this committee to ensure the support and agreement of the organizations represented in the committee’s membership and the public at large. The committee will neither replace any of the existing or future arts based organizations.

I have asked Cabot Parsons and Rob Rutigliano to lead this committee. The Committee will be composed of up to fifteen members of the Mayor’s selection and will include both artists and non-artists, long term residents and newcomers, and representatives of business including but not limited to (BBA, BACA) and individual artist (BAS) organizations. The committee will also involve members of such groups as The Howland Cultural Center, Dia: Beacon and the Main Street Corridor Committee as well as individuals representing all forms of visual and performance art.

If you’d like to be considered to serve on this committee, or to perhaps be involved in specific projects involving public art, cultural tourism, industrial development, education or special audience accessibility, please send a message of interest to mayor@cityofbeacon.org

I look forward to your support of this effort as we strengthen the civic commitment to the arts in Beacon as a real economic development engine and nourishing boon to all.

Thank you,
Steve Gold, Mayor

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This looks good, it sounds like it's set up to help bring things together and move forward. Obviously the danger to avoid is the dreaded additional "layer of bureaucracy." Forgive my ignorance, but do we have a similar committee to attract and promote light industry and small business?
Mark Roland said:
This looks good, it sounds like it's set up to help bring things together and move forward. Obviously the danger to avoid is the dreaded additional "layer of bureaucracy." Forgive my ignorance, but do we have a similar committee to attract and promote light industry and small business?


Mark, you are on target and economic development is the other side to this coin. Last week I sent out the following Email to the Beacon Economic Development Task Force regarding a meeting taking place this week.....

The City of Beacon is pleased to announce it has retained the services of Jonathan Drapkin, President & CEO of Patterns for Progress, to assist Beacon in formulating an economic development entity. I have invited Jonathan to the upcoming meeting to benefit from your rich input. The BEDTF has held several productive meetings discussing this issue. With Jonathan’s vast experience his goal will be to identify a few scenarios that will best suit our city.

Previous discussions included these questions:

What organizational form should the economic entity take (chamber, private, public, etc)
What form will the internal organizational structure take, will it be staffed?
Will the entity report to anyone or any organization?
How will it be financed?
What will be its goals, objectives and tasks?
Where will it be located?

Thank you,
Steve Gold
i second that, christine. we've already had many discussions here about the idea of beacon becoming a model net-zero waste city, improved recycling programs, energy efficiency programs, enticing alternative energy manufacturers into the city, and so on. i'd like to know more about what programs are out there and where i might be able to participate. is something like that available on the city of beacon's website? speaking of.. when will the new site be launched?
Christine: I'll try my best to keep you informed. Thanks for the interest!

Venessa: If you or anyone is interested in environmental improvements in Beacon, I've just increased the size or our Conservation Advisory Committee so that we can have the human resources needed to tackle these issues and really change things for the better. You are correct, zero waste is one of many issues that we need to work on, and in fact we are holding meetings on that right now. Hyro, wind, solar, hybrid vehicles, etc. all need to be explored more fully. They require a commitment to put together a full analysis of how it can work in Beacon, what it will cost and how we can get it funded. So if you are interested contact Tom Baldino, Chair of the CAC at nastalbald@hotmail.com.

Not sure yet of the launch date for the new site but within the next two months is my guess.

Thanks, Steve
amazing, i'm emailing him right now. can't wait.
Steve, exciting news -- about the arts & culture committee and the BEDTF.

How can I get more info on the BEDTF? I'm planning to open a coworking space and would love the city's support, as part of the reason I'm starting it is to support the city. Coworking is a growing trend in work collaboration. We'll offer a shared space for freelancers, solopreneurs, consultants and cultural creatives in Beacon to work in both focused silence and collaboration.

We're hoping this space can help inject some energy into Main St. by corralling talented folks out of their homes and into one place to create a buzzing community beehive. And taken a step further, ideally we'll foment some ideas to help in creating a lively, living community and collaborate on community-based projects.
Charlene Vesuvius said:
Scott, your idea sounds fine, but why is it that you need the City's support. Why not just rent the space and do it. Don't you think the City and the Mayor has great priorities to spend time and resources on these days.

I'm planning to rent a space and do it. But my biggest concern is rent and making the numbers work so the space is sustainable. As a real estate agent told me, taxes are extremely high and that's a big reason why rents aren't coming down much. Separately, a developer/Main St owner/Main St committee head told me the vacancy rate on Main St is 26% and climbing.

I see this space as benefiting the city in several ways, one of which is to bring some energy to Main St. That has economic development advantages (among others). I presume the Beacon Economic Development Task Force is being formed for that very reason.

The city should do all it can to make Main St. lively, don't you think?
I am wondering if the new Arts and Culture Committee could make any headway with the reopening of the movie theater on Main Street. Since we moved here 2 years ago. I have heard rumors flying about the reopening of this movie theater as a place for art house films, mainstream and kids films, etc. but with no apparent results.
This would be such a great draw for Beacon and would help the local restaurants as well.
someone's going to have to buy it first. it's somewhere around a million bucks. imagine if it could be a multipurpose space, for screenings, like you say, but also as an intimate live music venue. that would be great for beacon. it would be a nice draw as an alternative to the chance in poughkeepsie to hear a good band or solo artist.

melissa mcgill said:
I am wondering if the new Arts and Culture Committee could make any headway with the reopening of the movie theater on Main Street. Since we moved here 2 years ago. I have heard rumors flying about the reopening of this movie theater as a place for art house films, mainstream and kids films, etc. but with no apparent results.
This would be such a great draw for Beacon and would help the local restaurants as well.
Maybe the city could participate somehow in getting this going though, considering the how profound the benefits would be, especially as a non-for-profit.
Here's an interesting and inspiring read about how the Jacob Burns Film Center started in Pleasantville.
http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org/about/mission-history



Venessa Miemis said:
someone's going to have to buy it first. it's somewhere around a million bucks. imagine if it could be a multipurpose space, for screenings, like you say, but also as an intimate live music venue. that would be great for beacon. it would be a nice draw as an alternative to the chance in poughkeepsie to hear a good band or solo artist.

melissa mcgill said:
I am wondering if the new Arts and Culture Committee could make any headway with the reopening of the movie theater on Main Street. Since we moved here 2 years ago. I have heard rumors flying about the reopening of this movie theater as a place for art house films, mainstream and kids films, etc. but with no apparent results.
This would be such a great draw for Beacon and would help the local restaurants as well.
Who said anything about subsidizing my rent? I suggested having the city support this venture and there are many ways of doing that beyond getting a monetary handout. And in any case, I'm not doing this to make a profit, though I do want it to be sustainable. I'm actually considering doing it as a nonprofit, though I probably won't just because of the additional expense and filing requirements of doing so.

It's a shame you are insulted, "Charlene."

Charlene Vesuvius said:
No! I don't think the city should subsidize your rent. I think even proposing this is preposterous and insulting to all the hard working folks here that are struggling to get by and not asking for a handout from a city that can't afford to fix its pot holes. Time to get real. 90 percent of launching a good idea is finding the money -- but not at the expense of the taxpayers. There are plenty of other places for a non-profit venture that benefits communities to seek funds. For profit-making activities, Main Street is already an enterprise zone with all sorts of tax advantages for those who meet the requirements.
Hi....
Scott, good luck with the coworking space. It’s a terrific idea. I will try to think of a way to help you but let me know if you have an idea. The Beacon Economic Development Task Force (BEDT) is not a service organization. It is more of a strategic planning group. We met today to give our thoughts to a city hired consultant charged with creating a truly Beacon economic development entity that will do more of the type of assistance you are looking for with your coworking space or, for example Melissa, to help if a client is interested in the theater, among other things (see the thread response to Mark Roland). Charlene, you are right, the city is not in a position at this time to offer incentives. But at some point in the future we may formulate something for that type of enterprise. At one time in the not too distant past incentives were offered by Dutchess County in what they called an “incubator” located in an office building on Route 9.

If you want to find out more about the Arts and Culture Committee please contact Cabot Parsons (cabot@parsonsjames.com) or Robert Rutigliano (rrutig@optonline.net)

Steve Gold

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