By JASON SUBIK
The chief herald
CAROGA – Thanks to a million dollar donation from the Town of Caroga, entertainment veteran Ted Farnsworth and Rod Vanderbilt, the Caroga Arts Collective is now halfway to its goal of raising $ 4 million to build a world famous center. Level music and entertainment room with a new amphitheater stage on the site of the former Sherman Amusement Park.
It has been almost two years since the nonprofit Caroga Arts Collective – after years of legal and political wrangling with the city government – finally acquired Sherman for $ 1 on December 31, 2019 from Gloversville attorney George. Abdella, through his company Balboaa Land Development.
Since then, ACC Chairman Kyle Barrett Price has said the organization has embarked on what he called “The silent phase” the $ 4 million fundraising campaign. He said that after Farnsworth and Vanderbilt’s $ 1 million donation, the CCA fundraiser is now set to start making a lot more noise.
“This giveaway really launches us to a whole new level in terms of completing our first phase in a very short timeframe, hoping we can build at Sherman and at [the Carriage House at] Myhil, “ he said. “We have the full participation of our board of directors to launch the campaign, and we will be speaking more formally to the public in the coming months.”
The ACC 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. Myhill was the former estate of Myer and Hildegarde Schine who owned the Glove and Racecourse theaters in Gloversville.
Since then, the ACC has gone from a small series of non-profit summer concerts inside the bumper car building at Sherman’s to the owner of the property who raised almost half of the money. needed to reach its goal of $ 4 million.
“In addition to the million dollar donation [from Farnsworth and Vanderbilt] we have nearly another million dollars in internal donations from our board of directors and advisory board ”, Price says.
Farnsworth and Vanderbilt now join the ranks of business leaders and investors like Brad Dake, of the Stewart’s Shops’ Dake family, who pledged to match every donation up to $ 10,000 made to the ACC, and the chairman of the ACC Board of Directors, Rick Ruby, owner of Ruby & The Quiri Furniture Store, who supported the ACC’s vision of transforming the long inactive Sherman’s Amusement Park of the 1920s into a major entertainment venue in the northeast.
Farnsworth is the president and co-founder of ZASH Global Media and Entertainment. He was recently named by Variety Magazine as “Top 30 Visionaries and Disruptors in the Entertainment & Media Industry of 2021.” His credentials in the entertainment industry include being an executive producer of films starring Al Pacino, John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.
Farnsworth grew up in the community of Caroga Lake, attending the Wheelerville Union Free School.
“This is the city I grew up in and this is the city I love” Farnsworth said in a press release announcing the giveaway. “Growing up in Caroga Lake gave me the basics of who I am today. I will never, ever forget the people who have been so generous to all of the children who have grown up here. I am truly honored to be able to give back to the city that has given me so much.
Farnsworth recently acquired one of the largest short video platforms, Lomotif. Lomotif has been recognized as one of the top contenders for social media app TikTok and recently launched his own label, Lomo Records. Lomotif recently signed an agreement with Universal Music in the world
giving them access to the video and music rights of several major artists, including Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Kenny Chesney.
“My goal and my dream, personally, is to see Sherman’s Amusement Park as it was years ago as a hub of family entertainment in the Adirondacks.” Farnsworth said in the press release. “I believe our collaboration will raise the profile of Caroga Arts Collective to new heights in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. It will happen because Zash is one of the fastest growing entertainment companies in the world. Our short video app alone has over 400 million lifetime users worldwide. Our company combines film, music, syndicated television and short-lived video content to place Caroga Arts Collective in a new realm.
Farnsworth has said he intends to tie his trade relationship with Lake Caroga.
“We have given Kyle, his artist team and management staff access to all of our talent management companies to leverage all that is possible in the entertainment industry to make Sherman’s a showcase. world class for entertainment ‘ he said in the statement.
Price said after an RFP process, CAC hired Albany-based company Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Preservation earlier this year. [LTRW] to create a master plan for the Sherman property and begin the design phase of the appearance and operation of the new stage once built.
Some Capital Region projects that LTRW has worked on include: the Universal Preservation Hall in Saratoga Springs, the new construction of the Yaddo Artist Retreat, and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
Price described what the ACC hopes to accomplish with the new milestone.
“We want a stage that can accommodate an orchestra of 80 people, something similar to the Albany Symphony and also comfortable and intimate enough that we can have events on stage, kind of like what. [the Saratoga Performing Arts Center] made with the ‘SPAC On Stage Series’ where the audience is on stage ”, Price says. “We’re also going to have a really cool effect where the front of the stage can be closed, and it becomes a kind of more interior and intimate place for certain occasions. Along with the design of the amphitheater, it will also have a really amazing kind of light and sound production, which in turn will help really accentuate the audience experience with bigger pop and rock artists.
Price said he envisions the ACC to break new ground in the amphitheater’s construction phase by fall 2022, pending the success of the rest of its fundraising campaign.
“If not the following spring [of 2023], so within one to two years, we hope to build the entire amphitheater and backstage, as well as the Carriage House in Myhil ”, Price says.