History

GCCA Milestones:

 1975

  • Sept. 6 – Steering committee established to assess need for local arts council. Public meetings were held in Tannersville, Athens, Cairo and Catskill.
  • Nov. 1 – Fundraiser for GCCA: “House Tour and Crafts Exhibition at Salisbury Manor” drew approximately 1,000 people who paid $1 each.

 1976

  • Spring – Survey of school students conducted to assess needs.
  • May – Dena Crane appointed first Executive Director of GCCA, Ed White becomes President.
  • July – GCCA awarded first grant of $6,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)
  • August – Introduction of “Portfolio” published weekly in Weekender Edition of the Daily Mail – a four page spread highlighting artists and cultural organizations.
  • August – Greene County and GCCA fund visiting artist series in recreational centers throughout the county.
  • September – First issue published of “News”, GCCA newsletter.
  • December – GCCA opens office space and gallery in the Athens Community Center.

 1977

  • January – GCCA receives $1,500 from the Erpf Catskill Cultural Center to participate in cultural survey of the Catskills. $500 received from the Sayour Foundation for operating expenses and cultural activities.
  • March – GC Promotion Dept. and GCCA design and distribute arts brochure.
    • GCCA sponsors craftspersons for wholesaling in International Crafts Fair at the Coliseum in New York.
  • April – “Young People’s Art Workshops” initiated, sponsored by the State Division for Youth and GCCA.
  • June – O’Connor Foundation grants GCCA $1,000 for membership development
  • Summer – GCCA replaces newletter with newspaper format “The Greene County Arts Season” produced in cooperation with Daily Mail newspaper.
  • August – Paul LaPierre becomes President
  • September – GCCA facilitates artists in schools through BOCES.
  • GCCA facilitates Crafts Trail of the Catskills coordinated with Lt. Gov’s office, Anna McIntosh.
  • October 22 – Membership party at Catskill Country Club to celebrate 1 year of “Portfolio” in Daily Mail Weekender
  • December– GCCA begins first in  series of “Concerts in Historic Sites” with partial funding from NYSCA.

 1978

  • May – First annual Spring Showcase at Greenville HS featuring LCT, Sabina Foote Free Movement Dance Company, Rich Kuperberg Mime Theatre Company, Brown’s Crossing, Ruben Garcia (dance), Felicity Foote’s Greenwich Ballet Company, Suzi Castellanos (puppet shows) and Bert Castellanos (sets).
  • August – Ariel Dougherty replaces Dena Crane as Executive Director, Kay Stamer becomes President.
  • October – GCCA awarded $2,000 from the Visual Arts Program of NYSCA for gallery programs.
  • December – 350 elementary school children visit “Americana” show at GCCA Gallery in Athens.

 1979

  • January – ARTSREACH project started, funded by CETA with five people working on developing indigenous art of Greene County and establishing a regular audience for various arts activities. Business Reach was started led by Thomas Culp.
  • February - First  “Artists Do the Mountains” paint out coordinated by Elaine Scull of Hudson River Associates.
  • June – GCCA opens Mountain Top Gallery in Windham thanks to massive artist volunteer labor and support.
  • August – Ruben Garcia becomes President.

 1980

  • January – GCCA receives first funding of $14,000 from Greene County for ongoing programs and services.
  • Summer – GCCA moves from Athens to Catskill – opens Catskill Gallery and offices.
  • August – Eric Egas replaces Ariel Dougherty as Executive Director; Bob Turan becomes President.

 1981

  • Spring – Major research project begun with goal of publication and traveling exhibition of Hudson River School painters “Lives and Studios.”
  • August – Ulla Darni becomes President.
  • September – GCCA organizes first official meeting of Greene County Cultural organizations to meet and share information and successes.
  • November – GCCA sponsors artists in “Artists & Artisans of the Catskill Region” at the Empire State Plaza Concourse.

 1982

  • June – GCCA installs display cases at the Amtrak Train Station in Hudson.
  • July – Kay Stamer replaces Eric Egas as Executive Director; Enrico Scull becomes President.
  • August – GCCA appeals to County Legislature for funding of major county arts organizations.
  • Fall – The Poets’ Forum is initiated – series of public readings coordinated by Allen Kovler. The Poets’ Forum continued through 1985 with funding from NYSCA’s Literary Program.
    • CETA program ends. GCCA struggles to maintain programs and services with greatly reduced staff. CETA funded Media Team and Artsreach programs end. Youth Artsreach continues with funding from the Greene County Youth Bureau.

 1983

  • January – GCCA receives additional $10,000 from Greene County to regrant to major county arts organizations. The Greene County Cultural Fund is born.
  • July – Jaap Penraat becomes President.

 1984

  • Spring – GCCA publishes First Annual Literary Supplement produced by Leonard Seastone and Allen Kovler
  • Fall – First Arts Ball fundraiser with live and silent auctions

 1985

  • June – GCCA presents first Riverboat Cruise featuring Skip Parsons Riverboat Jazz Band.
  • July – GCCA is placed on NYSCA’s “Primary List” of organizations throughout the state.

 1986

  • July – GCCA receives first Arts in Education grant funds from NYSCA.
    • GCCA receives first Decentralization regrant funds from NYSCA.
    • Ernie Reis becomes President.
    • “Sprouts” (initially called “Dandelion”) summer arts workshops for children ages 3 to 5, is created by Board member Gretchen Mallory. This program is added to our ongoing Youth Artsreach programs.
  • November – Guy Chirico becomes President.

1987

  • Summer – GCCA buys building at 398 Main Street in Catskill.
  • October – David Slutzky becomes President Pro Tem.

 1988

  • Summer – “Charmed Places” opens at Bard and Vassar Colleges.

 1989

  • March – David Kukle becomes President.
  • Spring – Distinguished Service Award is created by Board member Barry Hopkins.
  • August – John Griffin becomes President.

 1990

  • August – Betty Cure becomes President.
  • Fall – GCCA begins remodeling building on Main Street in Catskill to accommodate  first floor gallery with handicap accessibility, conference room and offices on second floor, third floor studio space. Grant from Architecture, Planning & Design Program of NYSCA matched by over $50,000 of in kind labor and donations. A talented artist volunteer construction team headed up by Karl T.Anis was crucial to accomplishing this major renovation which we dubbed “the miracle on Main Street”.

1991

  • Spring – GCCA hosts grand opening of new gallery on Main Street with exhibition entitled “Greene County Folk Arts Today” curated by Field Horne. Funding  received from NYSCA’s Folk Arts Program. Accompanying publication produced by Black Dome Press.
  • Summer – NYS funding for the arts plummets by 45%. Greene County and Senator Cook come to the rescue with support for staffing and a multitude of in kind services. GCCA struggles to maintain programs and services with greatly reduced staff.

1992

  • David Slutzky becomes President.

1994

  • Woodstock ’94 – GCCA participates with 420 volunteers operating food concessions for Fine Hosts. For our efforts we made $25,000.

 1997

  • January – First issue of GCCA’s redesigned quarterly newspaper “Arts Alive” published by Daily Mail which became Hudson Valley Newspapers. In 1999 GCCA and Hudson Valley Newspapers wins coveted “New York State Millennium Arts and Business Partnership Award” from the Arts & Business Council.
    • Façade and Main Street Revitalization Programs begins in partnership with newly formed Heart of Catskill Association and funding from the Architecture, Planning & Design Program at NYSCA and Rural Preservation League.

 1998

  • GCCA joins Greene County’s Committee 2000 to plan for the future. Works in partnership with county to restore historic Catskill Point and establish Arts & Crafts Market, workshops and performances in former warehouse building.

 2000

  • April – “Arts Alive” publication and distribution, expanded in July 1998 to cover Columbia County cultural news, taken over by Betts-Riedinger Associates.

 2001

  • GCCA provides performers and artisans for the grand opening of historic Catskill Point
  • GCCA sponsors first Jazz Festival at historic Catskill Point.

 2002

  • GCCA establishes Arts & Crafts Market and Music at the Market to accompany Cooperative Extension’s Farmer’s Market at historic Catskill Point.

Addendum to Milestones

1977 Media Team – The first six media specialists were Bill Hoare, video journalist; Audrey Leanza, photographer; Bill Martin, graphic artist; Paul Parisi, radio journalist; Joel Scherzer, staff writer; Hilde Schuster, public relations director. Grants for additional expenses received from NYSCA ($1000) and Erpf Catskill Cultural Center ($500). Early organizations receiving promotional assistance were Bronck House, GC Tourism for Maple Sugar Festival, Village of Athens Historic Preservation project, LCT (Lexington Conservatory Theatre), Memorial Hospital of Greene County, Cooperative Extension, GC Dept of Aging, GC Arts & Crafts Guild, GC Planning Dept, Iowa Theatre Lab.

International Crafts Fair at Coliseum in NY – represented were Craig McClean, leatherwork; Fred and Laurel Koschetzki, masterworks in clay; Loretta Simon, pen and ink drawing for note cards; Carol Kovler, macrame; Paul LaPierre, woodworker; Ace and Jackie Eldridge, macrame; Trudy Litto, potter; Frank Litto, trompe l’oeil type sculpture.

1978 Concerts in Historic Sites – Hancock Woodwind Quartet at Stillwood, home of Bill and Mary White (December). Special concerts included Jazz with Nick Brignola at Catskill Country Club (March 1978), Hudson Valley Philharmonic at the Catskill HS (April 1978), Skip Parson’s Riverboat Jazz Band at Catskill Country Club (February 1979)

1979 ArtsReach – First coordinators were Youth Arts, Wayne Vincentz; Visual Arts, Natalie Pohrebynsky; Performance Arts, Woody Leafer. By February 1981 Artsreach Youth Program coordinators included Visual Arts, Brenda Vincentz; Contemporary Dance, Brita Leafer; Musical Theatre, Pam Danz; Film Animation, Carol Clement.

1981 “Lives and Studios” evolved over seven years to become “Charmed Places: Hudson River Artists and Their Houses, Studios, and Vistas” curated by Sandra S. Phillips. The New York State Museum wanted to host the opening exhibition, however we were unable to raise sufficient funds for production of the catalogue and exhibition. On the advice of our scholars, GCCA turned the material over to Bard and Vassar Colleges. In 1988 a full color catalogue was produced by Harry N. Abrams Publishers of New York. This beautiful catalogue accompanied an exhibition of historic paintings and drawings at Bard as well as the photographs of Len Jenshel at Vassar.