January 29, 2014
Updated Jan 29, 2014 at 6:48 AM EST
Amherst, N.Y. (WKBW) – Rent, Oliver and Cabaret are all performances at the MusicalFare Theatre in Amherst.
Randall Kramer is with the theatre.
“MusicalFare has been in existence since 1990. Next year will be our 25th season,” Kramer said.
MusicalFare on the Damon College Campus is just one of the many places offering art and culture in Amherst.
“There is wonderful cultural life here in Amherst. The Amherst Symphony Orchestra is one of the oldest in the country. Of course, there is MusicalFare and O'Connel and Company and wonderful dance companies,” Kramer said.
Now, the town wants to celebrate those places and people, including actors and other artist, that contribute to the rich culture of the town and Western New York.
“The Amherst Arts Awards are a byproduct of the Amherst Arts and Cultural Places Board. It's a board put together by Amherst residents and we try to highlight cultural achievements in Amherst,” Kramer said.
Laura Mikolajczyk is a college student and has grown up in the arts scene.
“When it is a smaller community everyone knows each other and we help make each other better as performers and artists,” Mikolajczyk said.
Kramer said it is not only about the arts but the talent contributes to the economy of their town and the bigger area.
“Any cultural business knows you have an impact on the economy. Right now, we estimate that MusicalFare brings in about $1.6 million dollars a year. The goal is to create a place where people want to come, people want to spend money. People go out to dinner before the show often times at local restaurants and we want to increase our economic footprint on the Amherst area,” Kramer said.
The interest and passion Western New Yorkers have for the arts allows places like MusicalFare to grow. They are currently expanding the theatre and the art awards will be held in their new space come May.
“We want to draw spotlight on arts and culture. We do very well with this in Western New York. This award is our way of highlight that,” Kramer said.