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Caroga Arts Collective Receives Million Dollar Grant

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It can be impossible to live in the Lake Caroga area and not have an affection for Shermans Amusement Park. For native Ted Farnsworth, the importance of the park is something he describes as immeasurable. Now many years later Farnsworth once again gives back to the park with a million dollar donation that will help transform the space into an amphitheater for the arts.

Farnsworth, along with business partner Rod Vanderbilt, presented founder and executive art director Kyle Barrett Price with a $ 1 million ceremonial check to the Caroga Arts Collectivelate last month. The check helped celebrate Shermans’ 100th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the Caroga Lake Music Festival, now under the auspices of the Caroga Arts Collective.

Growing up in Caroga Lake, Farnsworth attended the Wheelerville Union Free School. Today he has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry, including being recently named one of Variety Magazine’s Top 30 Entertainment & Media’s Top 30 Visionaries and Disruptors of 2021. As Executive Producer of films starring Al Pacino, John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis, he’s no stranger to working with the biggest celebrities. Recently, Farnsworth has acquired one of the largest short video platforms, Lomotif, which has just signed an agreement with Universal Music in the world. This agreement gives Farnsworth access to the video and music rights of several artists such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Kenny Chesney. Farnsworth despite his busy schedule, his hometown is still a priority for him.

It seemed like the right time to reach out to Kyle and get things going. It’s the city that I love and truly believe in its ability to be a premier entertainment destination. You will have an amphitheater with a sunset and a lake as a backdrop. And to have him in Shermans, a place where I always felt taken care of, every kid in town did, said Farnsworth.

Sherman’s 8-acre lakefront property, located at Routes 10 and 29A on WestCarogaLake, was transferred to the arts collective in 2020 for $ 1 by former owner George Abdella, a local lawyer.

Price said Farnsworth’s donation came at the right time, noting that Farnsworth has been an invaluable resource for the Caroga Arts Collective.

The donation came almost by accident, ”said Price. “I’ve gotten to know Ted and Rod over the past few years and it’s always a pleasure to talk to them. When I told Ted about our goals he was very intrigued. We both call this place. with us The donation provides a special spark to our plan, it is a game changer for us.

The collaboration between Farnsworth and Caroga Arts Collective has already proven itself. Price started booking shows next year for the Caroga Lake Music Festival and Farnsworth will add Hollywood talent. It is also planned that a film festival will take place as an extension of the Myhill film series.

My dream is to see Shermans Amusement Park as it once was, a place of family entertainment in the Adirondacks, ”said Farnsworth. “I believe our collaboration will raise the profile of Caroga Arts Collective to new heights in Hollywood and the entertainment industry.”

Hecredits its recent success to Zash, a shorthand video app with over 400 million lifetime users worldwide. The company combines films, music, syndicated television and short-lived video content, which will help bring Caroga Arts Collective into a new field, according to Farnsworth.

Price said they were still in the early stages of developing the property in such a location, adding that the donation brought them very close to their goal, as well as 100% ownership of their board and their advice. Price said they decided to work with LTRW Architecture and Preservation of Albany after seeing their transformation from Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs.

We look forward to hosting unforgettable moments and experiences for present and future generations, ”said Price. “In turn, this will help restore this wonderful city and its culturally significant sites to an Adirondack destination. This transformation will allow us to have artist programs and residencies all year round.

The Caroga Arts Collective was formed in 2016 when a 10.5-acre property known as Myhill was donated to the Caroga Lake Music Festival by Bruce and Richard Veghte. It is located about a quarter of a mile from Sherman’s. Myhill was the former estate of Myer and Hildegarde Schine, who were the owners of the Glove and Racecourse theaters in Gloversville. The Myhill has a rich history with Frank Sinatra, Irving Berlin and Elvis Presley. Today, they attract over 100 musicians from the world’s leading orchestras, ensembles and music schools. Price said this gift by Farnsworth and Vanderbilt will specifically help build the new stage house and renovate the Carriage House in Myhill, all as part of the first phase of the project.

Despite FarnsworthIn his busy schedule in Los Angeles, he is still heavily involved in New York-based projects, including film projects in Syracuse and nearby Little Falls. He attributes his childhood to his ability to maintain his warm and down-to-earth nature.

It’s such a special place, it’s very emotional for me, it’s the place that gave me so much, ”said Farnsworth, who is unrelated to the reporter for this story. “In this industry, it’s important to respect your values, the importance of family, and that’s what this city has done for me. We have given Kyle open access to all of our offerings and we are happy to be able to help him. The big story is that they’ll be able to book bigger acts and really get attention to what they have to offer. “

To learn more about Caroga Arts Collective visit carogaarts.org.

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