With a hope creating a higher level of culture in the community, Town of North Hempstead officials have approved $850,000 in funding for the acquisition of the Great Neck Arts Center building.
The bond resolution passed by a 5-2 town board vote in Manhasset on Tuesday.
Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman said the town has been discussing for years ways to connect various North Hempstead communities through the arts. He said the arts center acquisition is part of a greater plan for an improved level of culture and greater economic development.
"We do that through senior centers, we do that through our community centers and we should be doing that through the arts as well," said Kaiman at Town Hall. "Arts is one of those things that we've made some strides, but we still suffer from great limitations."
According to the supervisor, acquiring the building and enabling the center to continue on with its mission gives the town the best of all worlds and will help the arts scene in Great Neck to become compatible with programs in Roslyn, Manhasset, Port Washington, New Hyde Park and Westbury.
"They will be brand as the Gold Coast Arts Center and we will continue with that brand moving forward," said Kaiman. "We will continue on with that partnership in the future and do it in a way that will enable us to promote arts in the town and not just the Great Neck area."
The acquisition will also solidify the Gold Coast Arts Center as home of the Great Neck Film Festival, now in its third year.
Support services for the arts center building on Middle Neck Road in Great Neck Plaza will be provided by the town, according to the resolution.
Opposing the bond resolution was Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio of Port Washington and Angelo Ferrara of New Hyde Park.
Editor's Note: While the proposal has been passed by the Town Board, it has not as yet been presented to the Arts Center's Executive Committee or Board of Directors for discussion or approval. Unless both sides are in agreement, obviously the proposal cannot take place.