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  • The Resource Center opens new Art House

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held August 18 to formally unveil the KeyBank Art House at Edgewater, the new home of The Resource Center’s art program for people with disabilities.

    The Art House, located on Eighth Street in Jamestown across the river from McCrea Point Park, was created out of an old garage.  The 1,700 square-foot structure will offer a variety of classes including painting, drawing, mixed media and ceramics.  A gallery space will allow those participating in the art classes to showcase their work.

    “We are excited to formally unveil the KeyBank Art House at Edgewater,” said Denise Jones, The Resource Center’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Today represents the culmination of our long-held dream to give more people with disabling condition the opportunity to express themselves through art.  We are grateful to KeyBank and First Niagara Foundation, Empire State Development, the City of Jamestown, and everyone else who helped make this facility possible.  We can’t wait to see the amazing art that will be created in this beautiful space, and we look forward to partnering with other local entities to expand access to the arts in the community.”

    Major funding for the project came from KeyBank and First Niagara Foundation, which jointly provided $225,000.  Empire State Development will provide a Regional Council Capital Fund grant of up to $134,440.

    “KeyBank is so proud to support the KeyBank Art House at Edgewater and the award-winning art programs it will provide to individuals with disabilities in Jamestown and the surrounding communities,” said Chiwuike Owunwanne, KeyBank’s Corporate Responsibility Officer. “The Art House will be a wonderful opportunity to allow people to express themselves and tap into their creative thinking. We look forward to the positive outcomes it will bring to Jamestown for years to come.”

    “Broadening access to art can change lives, and communities, for the better. The KeyBank Art House at Edgewater is a unique redevelopment project that provides an inclusive artist hub for individuals with disabilities and enriches everyone involved,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight.  “It also reflects Governor Hochul and the City of Jamestown’s ambitious efforts in waterfront revitalization and community development, aimed at creating a vibrant, mixed-use, residential, commercial and recreational river corridor.”

    The ESD grant was obtained thanks to the efforts of the City of Jamestown.  “I am excited to see this redeveloped waterfront space provide an inclusive artist hub for individuals with disabilities, as well as the community at large,” said Mayor Eddie Sundquist.  “This project adds to the strong momentum of further development of the Chadakoin River that will attract small businesses, entrepreneurs, visitors to the area, and will continue to support the progress of economic development and improvements in the quality-of-life for the residents of Jamestown.”

    He recognized Paula Pichon, the city’s Grants Coordinator, for submitting a successful application for the ESD grant, and he noted it had been Pichon’s first grant proposal.

    Additional grant funding was provided by The Lenna Foundation and Filling the Gap, Inc.  Employees and board members of The Resource Center, plus their family and friends as well as the families of people with disabilities who receive supports from TRC, collectively contributed more than $50,000 to the project.

    Preparing to cut the ribbon are, from left, Assemblyman Andy Goodell; Karen Utz from Empire State Development; Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist; Chi Owunwanne of KeyBank; artists Maria Jacobson and Taynisha Lynch; Susan Gutierrez, TRC’s Art Instructor; Christine McAllister, representing Congressman Nick Langworthy; and County Executive PJ Wendel.


    The project’s architect was LaBella Associates.  The lead contractor was Hayes Construction Services.

    The KeyBank Art House at Edgewater is situated on the waterfront of the Chadakoin River on Eighth Street, adjacent to the Riverwalk and across from McCrea Point Park.  This location is a favorite destination for waterfront path walkers as well as those using the park for recreation and or for boating and fishing on the lake.  The location will also allow indoor/outdoor classes to be held on a patio overlooking the waterfront.

    Art has been a hobby and a passion of people with disabilities at The Resource Center since the agency began offering educational classes in 1959.  Art has remained an important facet of The Resource Center over the years, and, since 2007, collaborations with area arts organizations and independent artists have broadened the center’s class offerings to encompass painting, mixed media, dance/movement, drama, music and song writing. The overwhelmingly positive response has resulted in staff additions and growth in class sizes and offerings, including individually tailored classes for people who need carefully structured environments and supports.  What began as simple painting projects has grown into ceramics, clay, printmaking, jewelry-making and more.

    Until now, The Resource Center’s art program had been based within a state-certified day habilitation program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and only people enrolled in the day program could participate in art classes.  With the establishment of the KeyBank Art House at Edgewater, other people with developmental disabilities and people with behavioral health challenges will be able to take art classes.  In addition, The Resource Center looks forward to collaborating with schools and area arts organizations, as well as making art classes available to community members.

    Other elected officials who attended the ribbon-cutting event included Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and County Executive Paul Wendel.  Also present were officials representing Congressman Nick Langworthy and Senator George Borrello.

    Though the Art House is completed, we still need money to buy equipment and supplies. Click here to make a donation and help us give more people with disabilities the opportunity to create amazing art!

    200 Dunham Avenue, Jamestown, NY, 14701