What follows is an essay by the Board of Trustees of the Tannery Pond Center, located on Main Street in North Creek.
Enhanced collaboration between the Town of Johnsburg (TOJ) and the non-profit Tannery Pond Center (TPC) organization has brought this region the wonderful opportunity of having more varied and more frequent entertainment, educational programs, and other events scheduled at the Tannery Pond Community Center (TPCC) for the benefit of the residents of, and visitors to, this region.
In this special partnership between the TOJ and the TPC, the TPC raises money (currently about $65,000 a year) to bring an amazing variety of musicians, lecturers, and other entertainers to the Center and manages the operations; while the TOJ, which owns the facility, maintains the building and funds a part-time employee whose primary charge is scheduling. Over 500 events, meetings and activities were held in the building in 2016, with only a handful of days in which no one occupied any space.
Many local and regional individuals, groups, and organizations book one or more of the different venues within the facility. These versatile spaces at the TPCC include: the Lyle Dye Auditorium, with its highly praised acoustics and projection equipment, and which, with the seats withdrawn, doubles as a dance floor; the Widlund Art Gallery, hosting monthly fine art exhibits; a kitchen, three meeting rooms, and two large lobbies for banquets, private parties and other celebrations. Hundreds of local citizens of all ages have held their weddings, birthday parties, and other receptions here, and many others have taken music and art lessons, enjoy yoga classes and other exercise groups, in addition to attending events, programs, meetings and workshops.
The Widlund Gallery, which is managed by TPC, has showcased an outstanding new exhibit each month for the last 15 years. These exhibits have displayed the work of numerous local and regional artists with expertise in one or more of the following media: drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, metal working, woodcarving, weaving and other fiber arts. There will be twelve such exhibits again this year.
Currently thirteen events have been scheduled by TPC for the remainder of 2017 and a few more are in the works. These include: The Oliver Lake Trio, headlined by a multi-reed player who puts forth a bold blending of R & B with swing; Professor Louie and the Crowmatix, who play a lively rock ’n’ roll blues, gospel and American roots vibe in a concert honoring veterans; a summer workshop by Professor Louie will give vets an opportunity to create their own song lyrics and hear them played; and Mike Dekle, a Nashville singer/songwriter who will be here with country music. Returning to our stage is the Seagle Colony presenting a wonderful Children’s Opera, and back by popular demand is the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the “orchestra of the Adirondacks. On Labor Day weekend we welcome Ovidiu Marinescu Duo, renown cellist and pianist playing classical and chamber music; followed by Simple Gifts, two women with ten instruments who play a wide variety of ethnic music; and the legendary Tom Chapin will present a contemporary folk music program especially appropriate for fans of all ages.
Tannery Pond Center’s very part-time managing director, Deb Zack, and the all-volunteer TPC Board of Trustees apply for bed tax funds, write grant applications, and solicit the generous support of local businesses and individuals through fund drives. Each year the Tannery Pond Board and its Managing Director works hard to accomplish these ambitious fundraising goals. Thanks to supporters of the arts and cultural heritage, the trustees manage with sufficient success to sustain TPC’s efforts to maximize the value of this unique facility to our community. The next time you hear anyone ask about the Tannery Pond Community Center, tell them about this unusual partnership and all the great things that go on in this building. Encourage your friends and neighbors to come and enjoy this remarkable geothermal state-of-the- art Adirondack structure by attending an activity or event (or host one!) offered by the town and its performance/arts-loving community. It takes all of us to make the magic happen!
Photo: Tannery Pond Community Center, courtesy Tannery Pond Community Center.