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May 16, 2013

Cherry Valley Artworks ready for another season

For the third year in a row, Cherry Valley will host young opera artists who perform at Glimmerglass as part of the The Glimmerglass Festival Artist in Residence Program.

The young artists will be hosted by area residents, many of whom support Cherry Valley Artworks - the community center on Main Street in Cherry Valley.

“You will be walking down the streets and hear the opera singers rehearsing,” said Cherry Valley resident Keith Schue. “All summer long you will hear the beautiful music all over Cherry Valley. They will be practicing arias while you are just strolling down the streets. It is really special to hear.”

The center of artistic endeavors in Cherry Valley is the foundation Cherry Valley Artworks, which occupies one of the oldest buildings on Main Street. The building was acquired from the village of Cherry Valley in 2009 by the foundation, Cherry Valley Artworks, in a long-term lease.

The two-story, limestone, block building has offices in the lower floor and a large theater on the upper floor. The Star Theater was once a bustling movie theater.

“In the 1950s, this was a community space,” said Cherry Valley Artworks executive director Jane Sapinsky. “They showed films in the theater, they had dances, and the village had offices downstairs in the building.”

The foundation is raising money to restore the 1820s era building, which was originally a foundry and later used to store horse-drawn fire wagons.

“We had to put a septic system in,” Sapinsky said. “If we only had that money to put into the restoration, but you have to put a septic system in – and we have to be handicapped accessible. These are the things that must be done, but you can’t really see.”

Cherry Valley Artworks is not opened in the winter months, as it is costly to keep it heated. But when the weather warms and spring begins to bud out, Sapinsky and Artworks’ volunteers begin to air out the old building and plan for the summer season.

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