Alive Downtowns! Applauds New York State Government’s $5 Million Commitment to the Arts

Photo by Jan Regan



Alive Downtowns!, a coalition of 13 downtown historic performing arts centers across Upstate New York, applauds New York State government’s decision to invest $5 million in hardworking arts organizations. These facilities serve over five million people annually and are the heartbeat of their respective downtowns. The combined annual economic impact of the 13 theaters is $900,000,000.

“It is heartening to have focused support from our legislators and Governor Hochul. Investing in the downtown performing arts centers is a direct investment in the continued success of upstate’s downtowns,” says Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors Collaborative.

Formed in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the arts centers, Alive Downtowns! includes 13 historic theaters with an average age of nearly 100 years. Representatives from the member theaters have been meeting with their New York State legislators and the Governor’s office to underline the role their theaters play in making their city safer, more lively, and more economically viable. Even as the pandemic picture brightens, these theaters remain understaffed as they coax audience members back through their doors.

The Smith Center for the Arts in downtown Geneva thanks State Senator Pam Helming and State Assembly Member Jeff Gallahan for their support of Alive Downtowns! and for demonstrating their commitment to arts funding in these Upstate cities.

“The cost of the care and maintenance of our 128 year old building is daunting. This commitment from the state will protect this cultural asset and the work we do enlivening downtown Geneva and delighting our patrons,” says Susie Monagan, Executive Director of The Smith.

$5 million dollars will be spread across the 13 members theaters of the Alive Downtowns! Coalition:

The Bardavon 1896 Opera House (Poughkeepsie),
Clemens Center (Elmira),
Palace Performing Arts Center (Albany),
Proctors Collaborative (Schenectady, Albany, Saratoga),
The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts (Jamestown),
Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s Auditorium Theatre (Rochester),
Shea's Performing Arts Center (Buffalo),
The Smith Center for the Arts (Geneva),
Stanley Theatre (Utica),
State Theatre of Ithaca,
Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre,
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and
Ulster Performing Arts Center (Kingston).

More information about Alive Downtowns! can be found at

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. To learn more about events offered by The Smith Center for the Arts visit, or visit or call our box office for phone and in-person sales, 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Friday. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Please email or call (315) 781-5483.

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