Council OKs application for $2M grant for Glove – The Gloversville … – Gloversville Leader-Herald

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Glove Theatre Executive Director James Hannahs Tuesday night gives a presentation to the Common Council regarding the city’s application for a $2 million Restore NY grant for the theater.
Hoping New York state will once again double down on its support for the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects, the Common Council Tuesday night voted 6-0 to apply for a $2 million Restore New York grant to help fund the approximately $4 million Glove Theatre Restoration project.
The city’s grant writer Nick Zabowsi told the council Tuesday night that this year is the first time New York state has ever offered the Restore New York grant program two years in a row.
“It’s never happened before, so, go grab the money while it’s available,” quipped Zabowsi, describing the unusual back-to-back nature of the 7th Round of the Restore New York program.
James Hannahs, president of the Glove Theatre’s Board of Directors, Tuesday night explained to the council how the theater would use the money.
“The Restore New York grant would looking at doing work on the second and third floors, so we can make the balcony more accessible and [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant,” Hannahs said. “So, we’re looking at making that accessible through an elevator we have an agreement for use of with the Schine Building. On the third floor we are looking to re-do the studio up there, and have a ‘Black Box’ theater, where we can offer various different sorts of programming, with more intimate audience members.”
Hannahs explained that the “Black Box” theater concept, is essentially a smaller space for a smaller audience, enabling more intimate shows with seating for about 75 people, rather than larger shows meant for the full capacity of a restored Glove Theatre, which they anticipate will be about 700 seats total.
“That would enable us to offer the community different sorts of programming we aren’t necessarily able to offer now, enhancing the personal experience of going to the theater itself,” he said.
“Are you planning on running it as a regular theater, also?” 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio asked.
Hannahs said the ultimate vision for a restored Glove Theatre is a performing arts theater venue, capable of putting on many different types of live performance entertainment, including music and plays. He said the Glove Theatre has a “feasibility study coming out” soon that will describe in greater detail the venue’s current and future capabilities.
“We have the capability of running it as a theater that can do live shows; we can do movies, but with the advent of having the third floor in play again, we can do ‘open mic’ nights; we can do poetry sessions, things like that,” he said.
Earlier this month the Gloversville Recreation Commission announced it was sponsoring for $1,000, eight “family friendly” movies in 2023 to be shown at the Glove at 2 p.m. on Sundays. The dates and titles include: Jan. 15, “The Goonies”, Jan. 22, “Footloose”, Jan. 29, “E.T.”, Feb. 5, the 1971 version of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” starring Gene Wilder, Feb. 12, “A League of their Own”, Feb. 19, “Jumanji”, Feb. 26, the 1998 version of “The Parent Trap”, starring Lindsay Lohan, and March 5, “Jurassic Park.”
If Gloversville receives the $2 million Restore New York grant for the Glove Theatre, that would be second Restore New York grant Gloversville has gotten in a one-year-period. In December Gloversville was awarded a $1.5 million Restore New York grant as part of the 6th Round of that program, with the money going towards the $4.7 million rehabilitation project for the historic “Carriage House” building at 39 N. Main St., owned by local businessman Matt Capano.
The Glove Theatre ($1.994 million DRI grant funded) and the Carriage House project ($1.3 million DRI grant funded) were the first and second highest DRI grant awards from the 12 total projects receiving funding from the $10 DRI million grant, all announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul at the Glove Theatre in December.
Local and state economic development officials has often said New York state government is more likely to provide additional state grant funding for projects inside a DRI zone, including projects that have already received money, as a way of literally “doubling-down” on the state’s investment.
Hannahs said the Glove Theatre has yet to draw down on any of the $1.994 million DRI grant for the theater, which will mostly go towards various interior improvements on the first floor, including restoration of its decorative plaster walls. He said the state only recently assigned a few state economic development employees to oversee the distribution of the DRI funding to the Glove and he’s uncertain when the restoration work may actually begin.
“We’re past the award point, but we’re not to the point of implementation yet,” he said.
Hannahs said there is a 10% local match required for the Restore New York grant, which would be about $200,000, but the Glove Theatre Board of Directors actually plans to offer up more than that, using funding from the $1.994 million DRI grant.
“To remain competitive for the Restore New York grant, we want to make sure we have a healthy contribution, so we can remain competitive to get the grant to help us with what is turning into a $4 million [restoration] project,” he said.
The Common Council also voted 6-0 to declare the Glove Theatre a Type II project under New York state’s State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) law, meaning the project has already be deemed not to have an adverse environmental impact. Councilman-at-large Wayne Peters was absent from the meeting.
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