Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Creating a Catalyst: Stroud Arts Gallery Could Spur Economic Development

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Creating a Catalyst: Stroud Arts Gallery Could Spur Economic Development

Article excerpt

STROUD - To outsiders, the two-story building at 214 W. Main St. is just four brick walls with a retro Coca-Cola mural on the side.

Members of the Stroud arts steering committee, however, see the future home of an arts gallery. It's the first step for spurring economic development on Main Street, which is historic Route 66.

"We want to start with one building," said Don Neal, co-owner of StableRidge Winery and a member of the steering committee. "We hope that, one step at a time, another business will start. The whole idea ultimately is to keep the tourists in town longer."

The building's opening is closer to being a reality after the committee - organized through the Stroud Chamber of Commerce - received approval for $35,000 from the Lincoln County Industrial Development Authority. During its June meeting, the LCIDA approved another $25,000 in a matching grant.

The committee needed $30,000 to complete the plumbing, electrical, heating and air-conditioning work; replace the windows and doors; install a support beam; and install an art-hanging system. The LCIDA's initial $35,000 donation will allow the building to be opened to host events.

Another $30,000 is needed to replace the roofing, awning, and second-floor doors and windows. Then $15,000 would allow the committee to complete the wooden deck, create a patio outside, add lighting and fencing, and restore the historic Coca-Cola mural on the exterior. In total, the committee needs $75,000 to bring the building to top shape.

To raise the $25,000 in matching funds, Neal said, the committee plans to host an art contest in which people can vote on their favorite pieces for $1 per vote, as well as other events that are still being planned.

The LCIDA decision for all of the funding still needs approval from the Lincoln County commissioners, who will meet July 7.

Kent McVey, LCIDA chairman, said he thought the project was interesting.

"I hope it gets off well for them and becomes successful," he said.

McVey said the LCIDA approved the money for the project because of what it could do for the area.

"It is something that hopefully will promote economic stimulus in their area and will draw tourism and other dollars to that area," he said. …

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