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Thursday, September 04, 2008

New Shop and Economic Dev't Collaborations

Yesterday I attended a gathering in Northern NY on Rte. 37 near the St. Lawrence River with a number of other small business economic development specialists. The meeting was initiated by Steve Cook, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Office of Economic Development and attended by Lindsay of the same; Rachel, Steve's counterpart from the Canadian Northern Territory; John (I think, sorry), American Southern Territory Community Development; Michele, Canton SBDC; Ruby, Northern Adirondack Trading Co.; Nick, Comlinks/WEBC (Nick, thx for inviting me on ANCA's behalf). I look forward to working in partnership with Comlinks/WEBC and all the other talented people to present the most useful small business workshops soon on the reservation.

Lindsay and Steve both said that Tami, an artist, had just opened up a shop down the road. I found Tami Bonaparte and Brian Thomas at their gallery Originals on Rte. 37 a bit to the east of, and across the road from the Black Bear Trading Post. Tami who originally had thought this space would be her painting studio wanted to share the location on Rte. 37 with other artists. She is also setting up a matting service and Helen has brought a pottery wheel in to offer workshops.

Her generous heart and talent as an artist has drawn out 15 others since May to display for the first time in a gallery. The artists are Helen Falcone - clay (great personalities), Charlotte King - paint (wood block prints amazing), Bruce Phillips - wood, Theresa "Bear Fox' - vocalist/CDs, Vince David - paint/air brush, Bruce Boots - paint/air brush, Tami Bonaparte - paint/leather, Cassandra Gifford - wood carvings, Allison Benedict - meditation CDs, Chip Issacs (Tami, thx - my friend loved her heron earrings!), Laura Mitchell - baskets, Carrie Hill - baskets, Joe Barnes - paint/air brush, Jordon Thompson - pen and ink (exquisite work) and Tim Oskineegish - paint.

I had time before the meeting to visit the Massena Chamber of Commerce, where Barb was very helpful, and the Seasons Gift Shop. The shop, in a historic home with original stained woodwork perched on a hill with lawn and trees, is full of folk, country, food and candle gifts. Its wrap around porch is a wonderful stop to sip freshly brewed coffee. They have been benefiting from the increased traffic from the hotel across the street which has almost completed its major renovations.

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