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On the Bright Side

September 11, 2012

City grant helps fledgling arts school

A school opening with help from the city of Oneonta next month is as much about creating jobs as it is about the fine arts.

CANO, Community Arts Network of Oneonta, has leased its carriage house off of Ford Avenue downtown to Carriage House Art Studio, a new business, Doug Hallberg said, he opened with Christy Parish and Tom O’Brien.

The project is supported by a $25,000 Microenterprise Grant from the city of Oneonta, Hallberg said. The five-year project is designed to generate jobs, he said, and the studio will be hiring art teachers.

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said the business is a different from other Microenterprise Grant projects, funded with state money, because it involves the fine arts, while other ventures focus on restaurants and retail. The project also helps meet a goal of developing Oneonta as an arts and entertainment center, he said.

``It’s an arts-related business downtown taking advantage of an empty space,’’ Miller said Monday. ``It’s terrific.’’

CANO, formerly known as the Upper Catskill Community Council on the Arts, is located in Wilber Mansion at 11 Ford Ave., and the carriage house, formerly used for art lessons, is behind the mansion.

The arts and crafts school will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturdays, with emphasis on small group and individualized instruction, a media release said. Hallberg, a long-time public school art teacher, said his stained glass business also will be located at the site.

Hallberg said the tentative opening is Oct. 6 and many area artists will be employed to teach a variety of classes.

Improvements, including replacing some windows and doors, will be made before the building is re-opened, he said.

Raina D’Amico, CANO board president, said upgrades are being made to the electrical service at the carriage house building. CANO will reserve use of its ``Fenner Art School’’ name for possible future programs and scholarships, she  said.

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