Old Songs gets $10K for pandemic recovery

— Enterprise file photo

Old Songs is known for its annual festival at the Altamont fairgrounds, which has been held virtually during the pandemic.

VOORHEESVILLE —The Old Songs Community Art Center, based in Voorheesville, has received $10,000 from the state to support pandemic recovery efforts.

“Since 1977, Old Songs has been at the forefront of presenting traditionally based music and dance in the Capital Region through festivals, concerts, music classes, jam sessions, open mics and educational workshops,” said Joy Bennett, director of Old Songs, in a statement.

“We are honored and grateful to be a recipient of a New York State Council on the Arts Recovery Grant that will directly support Old Songs’ programming, staffing, and vision for traditionally-based music and dance,” she said.

The funding was part of the New York State Council on the Arts’ third round of grant awards this year, aimed at supporting local artists and institutions that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council’s fourth and final round of funding, a $20 million Capital Projects opportunity, is currently accepting applications. The application portalhttps://arts.ny.gov/ — will close on Jan. 14.

“While many of the Capital Region’s arts institutions have reopened, the majority are working with budgets that have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey in a release, announcing four grants totalling $174,000 in Albany and Greene counties.

“That’s why this extraordinary level of state funding is being delivered right now, at this vital moment, to help our cultural sector workers survive this time of profound hardship and get a significant jumpstart on their revival strategy,” said Hinchey.

“Without arts and culture, we lose so much of what gives our communities character, what brings us together for unforgettable experiences that can inspire our own personal growth, and what drives investment across our whole Capital Region economy,” she went on. “For nonprofits serving more rural upstate regions — like Prattsville Art Center, Wave Farm, CREATE Council on the Arts, and Old Songs Inc. — this grant funding demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that arts and entertainment are accessible and successful in all corners of our state.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has derailed New York’s arts and cultural sector, which before 2020 had accounted for nearly half-a-million jobs and generated around $120 billion for the state. A 2020 study conducted by the Brookings Institution estimates that more than 280,000 creative industry jobs and $26.8 billion in sales have been lost in New York, second behind California, which leads the nation in estimated job loss.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

More New Scotland News

  • “As marketed, it has not generated a buyer,” said Chuck Marshall of Stewart’s Shops of the former Smith’s Tavern. 

  • Voorheesville Mayor Rich Straut said he wasn’t sure why the same state funding was announced again, but surmised it had something to do with the village hitting another threshold in the project, what Straut called “closing on the financing.”

  •  “They say 83.28-percent complete,” Councilman William Hennessy said during the Jan. 12 town board meeting of the Hilton Barn’s new slate roof. “Whereas they’re really more like probably 90-percent done.”

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.