The Broome County Arts Council may be one of the biggest, poorly-kept secrets in the area but is a very big component in the quality of life.

Speaking on the July 8th edition of the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, Laura Knowhen-Davis about the evolution of the Council over the decades. That evolution has included going from a board promoting the arts to the Council becoming a full-fledged not-for-profit, writing grants and able to fund many aspects of the arts scene.

Knowhen-Davis says former Binghamton Mayor Juanita Crabb was a big advocates of the local arts scene, including the performing arts.  That's no surprise since, Knowhen-Davis says many on the Arts Council were in Ms. Crabb's art classes in grade school.

In the 1980s and '90s, some people scoffed at Crabb's claim that the arts would be a big economic boon to the region, saying that only musical and theatrical performances would draw people in to the area.  Now, things like the First Friday Arts Walk have grown and attract a wide variety of people including the students and young professionals who now live downtown.

More information in the Broome County Arts Council can be found at

Southern Tier Close Up can be heard Sunday at 6 am on 99.1 The Whale.

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