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West End Arts Campus Moving Forward


Two Auburn cultural institutions are one step closer to transforming their properties into an arts campus.

The city’s planning board approved their site plan earlier this week, allowing the Cayuga Museum of History & Art and Schweinfurth Art Center’s proposed West End Arts Campus to move forward.

Speaking with Finger Lakes News Radio, Geoff Starks with the museum said this project will better promote the arts in the city.

“It’s the philosophy of if you build it they will come. Kind of the idea of using the arts and an anchor using our two distinct institutions to promote the transformative power of the arts here on the west end,” said Starks.

Both institutions already work together on joint programming. The campus is expected to allow for more cooperation.

“We have always worked closely together but this is going to bring us even closer together to create an area that has all sorts of cultural attractions for people,” Schweinfurth Marketing Director Maria Welych told Finger Lakes News Radio. It’s going to have history; it’s going to have art; it’s going to have theatre.”

The project plans to improve accessibility, sidewalks, and parking as well as add signage and lighting. The Schweinfurth will also create a new handicap-accessible entrance from the parking lot and space in the back of the property for outdoor programming.

“Our goal with that is to get more community involvement and provide community programming,” Welych said. “This is a great opportunity for us to hold a joint festival during the summer months that celebrates all the cultural attractions these two institutions can offer.”

Funding for the project comes in part from the city’s 2018 DRI grant funding through a $1.9 million matching grant. Both the museum and the center are currently fundraising for the project.

Work on the campus is expected to begin in the spring of 2024.

Proposed West End Arts Campus (Provided)
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