Alive Downtown! Including The Stanley Theatre To Receive State Funding
May. 17 2023

Alive Downtown! Including The Stanley Theatre To Receive State Funding

In a remarkable statewide effort, downtown historic theatres, including Utica’s Stanley Theatre, are set to receive $5 million in funding allocated in the recently passed state budget.

“As a group of 13 historic theatres throughout upstate New York, it goes widely unnoticed and underrecognized that we have combined budgets of more than $100 million, attract 5 million visitors and pump an estimated $350 million into the economy annually,” Lisa Wilsey, executive director of The Stanley Theatre, recently said.

Wilsey explained that theatres are the ‘heart and soul’ of the communities they serve.

“The Stanley Theatre for nearly a century has provided civic identity and is an economic engine benefitting residents and businesses, while also being a key anchor to the vitality of downtown Utica,” Wilsey said.

New York District 119 Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon explained, as someone who values the arts and their role in our communities she advocates for this collaboration.

“Theatres enhance and promote the true meaning of the Arts,” Buttenschon said. “The Stanley Theatre has been serving my district for 95 years. I whole heartily support the efforts of the Stanley Theatre in Utica as well as all 13 downtown historic performing arts centers included in this group.”

The leaders of the 13 theaters, going by the name Alive Downtown!, united to seek state support as they dealt with the impact of shutting down during the pandemic and now rebounding from the period when their lights went dark.

The Stanley Theatre will be using the funds mainly for restoration and major repairs of the building.

This is a boost for The Stanley Theatre that currently receives no annual financial assistance from the City of Utica or Oneida County.

The theatres that comprise Alive Downtown! are:

●      The Stanley Theatre in Utica

●      Bardavon 1896 Opera House in Poughkeepsie

●      Clemens Center in Elmira

●      Palace Performing Arts Center in Albany

●      Proctors Collaborative in Schenectady, Albany, and Saratoga

●      The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts in Jamestown

●      Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s Auditorium Theatre in Rochester

●      Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo

●      The Smith Center for the Arts in Geneva

●      State Theatre in Ithaca

●      Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre

●      Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

●      Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston