Show your Support this Tuesday!

Public Informational Meeting
Tuesday, September 18 at 7:00 PM
Town Hall, Caroga Lake

Caroga Arts presents future plans for property


Join us at the Town Hall in Caroga Lake on Tuesday, September 18 at 7:00pm.

Caroga Arts Collective Artistic & Executive Director Kyle Price and members from the Caroga Arts Board & Advisory Council will present future plans for the Sherman’s property.

Price has been planning creative ideas for the use of Sherman’s since Fall 2014. Now four years later, George Abdella who made a conditional donation of Sherman’s to the Town of Caroga has agreed to assist in allowing the Town to transfer Sherman’s to Caroga Arts so that it could become a first-class performing arts venue. Additionally, an anonymous donor recently pledged a $125,000 matching grant for construction of a new performing arts venue.

Message from Barbara Lee

As most of my friends know, I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Caroga Arts Collective (CAC), a recently formed not-for-profit corporation which is the parent organization of the Caroga Lake Music Festival. In August, the Music Festival concluded its 7th season. This was our most successful summer yet, with an extended concert season, a variety of music, and an expanded number of performance venues. Best of all, we have had ever-increasing audiences for our concerts, including town and local residents and people from as far away as Albany and beyond.

Those of us on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council work very hard all year to ensure that the Music Festival is a wonderful experience for our musicians and our audience. We don’t only perform concerts; we have workshops for musicians and outreach programs in local schools and organizations, and we do a lot of teaching. Our concerts are free, but we appreciate donations, and have performed concerts for the benefit of local organizations, like the Caroga Lake Fire Department.

We have been extremely fortunate to be able to perform in a variety of venues, including the Canada Lake Store, Nick Stoner Inn, the Caroga Chapel, the Concordia Club, and numerous local and nearby restaurants and venues. For the past two years we have rented the grounds at Sherman’s from the town and have held a Sherman’s Revival Concert Series. Members of our board, members of our advisory council, and members of the community have volunteered countless hours at Sherman’s to work on the bumper car pavilion to bring it up to code and on the grounds of the property to make it beautiful again so that it can be used by the public. The money that has been spent has come out of the volunteers’ pockets.

The CAC has now offered to purchase the Sherman’s property from the Town of Caroga. George Abdella, who donated the property to the town amidst substantial controversy several years ago, has written a letter to the Town Board supporting the transfer of the property to the CAC. In this letter, he has stated that he will not sue the town for breaching the original donation agreement (which states that the property can never be sold) if the transfer is made to the CAC.

I know that this is a controversial and sensitive topic, and it has been one since the minute the Town of Caroga accepted the deed to the property. A Town Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18th at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall to provide information about this proposed purchase.

Barbara Lee
Secretary, Board of Directors, Caroga Arts Collective