Schenectady’s Electric City Barn strives to connect communities

Mitchell Famulare, Arts Editor

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This sping term, Professor Lorraine Cox in the Visual Arts Department is teaching her popular course “The Business of Visual Art and Contemporary Entrepreneurship,” where she elaborates on design-thinking and the various business outlets the art world has to offer.

Throughout the course, Cox brings various speakers onto campus as well as take her students on field trips into the community. The class’ most recent trip was to the Electric City Barn, a new creative hub organized to boost the “creative economy” of our community.

With a space that is larger than 9,000 feet squared, the Electric City Barn is located at 400 Craig Street in Schenectady, NY and offers technical needs for artists and business owners who cannot regularly afford the typical state-of-the-art utilities to carry on their businesses.

As a place that strives to suport local artists, the team, consisting of Executive Director Kristen Holler, Operations Coordinator Erin Eckler and Community Engagement Coordinator Tim Sheldon, stresses the space as one that supports immese collaboration.

With membership broken down by space and studio, the prices vary with what one’s current income is and what they need. There goal is to make the Electric City Barn an affordable business investment.

With a wood shop, print shop, metal shop, fiber arts studio, electronics lab, digital media lab, a screening room and a stage, the organization of these spaces is still a work in progress. The Barn has recently opened a small gallery space which currently holds art from the Hamilton Hill Arts Center. They recently closed applications for future exhibitions.

With a major goal of engaging the community, the Barn has applications for volunteers who are willing to help out with various events, tabling around the area or simply doing clerical work.

As an up-and-coming non-profit, the Barn is asking for Union students to pass in applications. Students will be able to get involved with the community while helping a new business prosper.

Upcoming events at the Electric City Barn include the Master Class Performing Arts youth theater’s rendition of “Mamma Mia!”

Showing this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, more information can be found on their website, electriccitybarn.org.

Their “raise the barn” mindset stems from where the organization draws its name. They strive to lift local artists and youth and city neighborhoods with the help of the surrounding community.