Local artists are vital to the Cortland County community. Whether they are musicians, visual artists or writers, they help our county thrive. Artists attract people to our signature festivals, they expose us to culture, provide affordable entertainment at events and most importantly give all of us a reason to get together and enjoy the arts.
Now, more than ever it is important to support our talented local community. Theaters and venues are temporarily closed. There are limitations on gathering sizes. The creative minds have to find creative ways to share their work with us.
Here are 10 affordable ways you can support local artists and musicians in your community. Let's keep the arts alive in Cortland County!
1. Take in art, virtually.
The originals may be out of reach for now, but you can still see enjoy art - without the lines! Sikora Arts and Cortland Music have brought to you The Paintings of Keira Luzum, on display virtually through September.
2. Shop small, local and handmade.
Find entirely local and exclusively handcrafted, one of a kind gifts at Cinch Art Space. They carry the work of over 50 local artisans. Please be prepared to wear a face covering while in the shop. They have various sizes of adult and children's masks available for purchase from their neighbor, Magpie Custom Creations. If you'd still prefer to 'shop' from afar, they are still offering curbside pick-up, shipping and shop appointments continue to be available.
3. Channel your inner Van Gogh.
Whether you are a self-proclaimed artist or can barely color in the lines, be fearlessly creative at Cheerful & Creative Art Studio. The paint and sip events combine a professional-led painting class with a fun, laid back environment (and a few drinks). The studio offers public classes for all ages and skill levels, kids' classes, and private events to celebrate that special someone, organization or holiday event.
33 1/2 Main Street, Cortland NY
4. Experience local art from the sidewalk.
View the work of over 60 artists during the unique “Out of Gallery” Exhibit hosted by the Center for the Arts of Homer. Stroll down historic Main Street in Homer to view the work of local and regional artists on display in local business windows through August 15. Art lovers far and wide are invited to experience a “gallery style” art exhibition from the safety of the sidewalks!
5. Rock out on the porch.
PorchFest Cortland is gonna will be hitting the radio waves this year with X101 Always Classic. Due to the current situation, there will be no live bands in the neighborhood, but we can all tune in together to hear a once-in-a-lifetime radio show with all your favorite local acts! Tell your neighbors and your friends and family around the county to bring their radios out on the front porch on Sunday, August 16, and sing along to your favorite local tunes. If you want to take it a step further, click here to purchase from Radio Porchfest merchandise.
6. Travel the world at CRT Downtown.
Cortland Repertory Theatre Downtown will host a new exhibit of world-renowned and Cortland native photographer Tom Haskell. His images, including a Newsweek cover photo, have been seen in many major newspapers and magazines around the world including, but not limited to Time, US News and World Report, La Tribuna (Spain), Der Spiegel (Germany), The Times of London (England) and China Daily (China). His work has also been shown in galleries in Rome, Albany, Des Moines, Rochester, and New York City.
The exhibit, from the collection of Catherine Bertini, will be available for viewing from August 1 through 16, Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Ms. Bertini will be at the theatre on Saturday August 1 and Sunday, August 16 to answer questions and discuss the photos with visitors. An entrance donation of $5.00 is suggested, to benefit CRT. Most framed works and prints are available for purchase.
24 Port Watson Street, Cortland NY
7. Commission an art piece.
If you are able to, commission an artist to create a unique piece for your home. Not only will you help these local creative minds make a living, but you'll have a hand-crafted, custom art piece that you will enjoy for years to come.
Designz by Heather
|Good Neighbor Art
Frog Pond Farm Art Gallery
|Owego Street Makery
8. Catch some tunes in a parking lot.
The Whiting Theater at the Center for the Arts of Homer may not be open to the public, but that doesn't mean the music stops. The venue has been hosting a Parking Lot Performance Series on Thursdays featuring local musicians. Tickets are only $5/person and
72 S. Main Street, Homer NY
9. A virtual version of our monthly celebration.
Looking for something for your family to do together on a Friday night? Why not tune into Cortland County Cultural Council's Virtual First Friday! The informal nationwide movement celebrates the arts in local communities on the first Friday of each month. While New York State may be on PAUSE, Cortland’s First Friday is not. Visit the Cultural Council of Cortland County website as we get closer to the month's first Friday to get an updated list of performers, artists and available galleries.
10. Show your support through social.
You do not need to spend money to support local arts endeavors. A little time or thoughtfulness is free, and it goes a long way. If your favorite artist, musician or writer has a social media account like Facebook or Instagram, leave a glowing review or share a positive comment on a video or photo. Don't forget to share a link back to your own page. This may seem trivial, however it helps these local artists and musicians earn exposure to new fans and followers.
Share your Cortland County photos and videos with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.