By Kellen M. Quigley
A new partnership involving the village of Springville, the town of Concord and Springville Center for the Arts hopes to make free concerts an area attraction.
Outdoor concerts at Fiddler’s Green have long been a summer staple in the area, but in recent years attendance has begun to wane.
Now, there’s a push to reevaluate the series and grow attendance.
“This is such a perfect fit for us,” said Seth Wochensky, executive director of SCA. “We have developed great relationships with artists and booking agents with the concerts we program in our space. We’d love to bring that experience to the table to make the series a real attraction.”
Discussions have included considering moving the series to the new Heritage Park, including food vendors in the mix and making changes to the performance lineup.
At the March 14 Concord Town Board meeting, Town Supervisor Clyde Drake said there are 14 concerts held throughout the summer and he and other officials are hoping to get the events’ attendance up.
“We are leveraging the knowledge and experience of the Springville Center for the Arts on local acts to get in here and come up with some concerts that will have a bit more appeal,” he said.
Town Councilman Phillip Drozd said things such as the new restroom facilities at the park that are handicap accessible would be a big factor in “kicking this thing up a notch.”
It’s unknown what impact this partnership will have in the first year, but over time there is a hope to make the concerts a regular destination with a strong economic impact.
“It’s our goal to improve the enjoyment of the concerts in the park,” said Springville Mayor William Krebs at the village’s March 18 meeting. “It looks like a very promising partnership.”
Wochensky said from a personal perspective, he enjoys seeing the concerts and would like to see them be as successful as possible. From the SCA side, he said they are holding concerts all the time anyway and it seemed like partnering with the town and village would be a natural fit.
“What I’d really like to do over time is get additional money into the program, and that’s something that we’ll be able to apply for funding,” he said. “So if the town and village can continue the funding for the concert series, I’m hoping we can get more money in.”
Looking long term, Wochensky said they hope to make the series a real attraction in the region with a goal of making it accessible to everyone.
“We want to have a nice, broad attendance for the community,” he added.
The process begins with a survey, which is available online at survey.springvillearts.org that asks questions about music genres, location and other aspects of the series.
Paper copies can be filled out at the Concord Clerk’s office at 86 Franklin St. or the Village Hall at 5 West Main St.
“We want to get some feedback and let the town and village signify that we are taking a slightly new direction or trying to see and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t,” he said. “This will be immensely helpful as we try to sculpt the program this year and going forward.”
For more information, contact SCA at 592-9038, the town of Concord at 592-4948 or the village of Springville at 592-4936.