Tannersville, NY has once again been featured on NBC’s Today Show under the caption: “Brightly hued makeover revives rural town.” As discussed in the blog entry “A New Coat of Paint,” Tannersville, NY was a typical American Main Street Town, destined to perish from economic decline. This was the case until resident Elena Patterson took her paintbrush to the buildings, trashcans, and rocks along Main Street. NBC’s Mike Leonard reported on the “Tannersville Paint Program” at its start in 2003; this past week, he revisited his story to show the transformation of a once “standard-issue faded country town” into a vibrant tourist destination.
Mike Leonard’s stroll through Tannersville after its “multi-hued do-over” shows how far the small Catskill town has come from its “drab and faded portrait” days to its current, reviving status. When Leonard’s story on the creative conflict that first drew him to Tannersville back in the summer of 2003 aired on the Today Show, it drew more media attention to the small village that in turn encouraged more visitors, prompting more business owners to “take the colorful plunge.” Elena Patterson’s vision of luring the visitors with alluring colors certainly worked. The town needed to “Make a statement! Make a splash!” We can see that the colors have brightened not only the buildings, but also the prospects, of Tannersville, NY.
Could a basic change of colors miraculously alter the fortunes of a small village? Leonard’s story shows that it can. To harken back to the blog entry “A New Coat of Paint,” we have validation that art certainly does have the potential to revive depressed economies. Not only must we hope that this story of the healing power of art will inspire even more innovative projects around the globe, we must continue to substantiate the link between art and the economy. The proof is in the paint.
To view Mike Leonard’s story, see: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/49725530