Niagara Gazette

Communities

July 11, 2013

Staging a comeback -- George Osborne brings new ideas, and free concerts, to Artpark

George Osborne brings new ideas -- and free concerts -- to Artpark

Niagara Gazette — “Artpark. An extension of that time in Western history when artists journeyed from one place to another, singing songs, making plays, painting a portrait-on the open road, in the open space. When once upon a time these things were not taken as ponderously as they are today, but that is the whole idea of Artpark.”

That is how former Niagara Gazette society editor Grace Russo Barbor described Artpark back in 1974. In two weeks, the park gets ready to commemorate its 40th season with a special concert recreating their opening night, July 24, 1974.

In 1974, there was no Tuesday in the Park or Coors Light Wednesdays but the concert calendar in August of 1974 did include Blue Oyster Cult and Buddy Guy, both of them return to Artpark this year.

The history of Artpark can be neatly placed into three eras. The years of conception and growth, the years of decline and near failure, and the resurgence at the turn of the century, which brings us to the present day and a thriving organization run by Artpark & Company.

At the helm of the ship is President George Osborne, who took on the job as president of Artpark in 1999.

It was a sunny afternoon when I arrived at the trailer that houses Osborne’s office next to the large amphitheater. He is not only Artpark’s leader, he is their resident historian and biggest cheerleader. Our hour-long conversation provided a wealth of material about the venue.

We began with his first impressions of Artpark when he arrived there in 1999.

“Artpark had a great reputation. To see the huge theater for the first time was impressive. The grounds were nice and I was into the visual arts stuff and I was excited about coming here, but after a week of digging into the financials I found out they were six months behind paying everybody.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Communities
  • NAD Artpark review art 072414 A warm welcome back for Aretha Franklin at Artpark

    The Queen of Soul returned to her Western New York roots Tuesday night in what has in recent years become an annual pilgrimage. Aretha Franklin spent a good part of her youth in Buffalo and even told the Artpark crowd she loved the name Tonawanda so much when she was a child that she told people she wanted to live there when she grew up.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Aretha Franklin 1 072314 SLIDESHOW: Aretha Franklin performs at Artpark Aretha Franklin performed Tuesday night at Artpark.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Western New York Land Conservancy nears funding goal for Stella Niagara Nature Preserve The Western New York Land Conservancy in partnership with the Sisters of St. Francis have now secured $2.6 million of $3.2 million in proposed funding for the creation of the Stella Niagara Nature Preserve by accepting a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

    July 22, 2014

  • 140721 Wallenda Staycation 1B.jpg Nik Wallenda Stay-cation in the Falls

    Nik Wallenda enjoyed a day-off in Niagara Falls on Monday, taking a jet boat and helicopter ride with family, friends and cast members of his Darien Lake show. (Photos by James Neiss)

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos 1 Video

  • NIA Bucci exhibit 1 072114 Local artist Nori Bucci's work on display at Main Street library Local artist and musician Nori Bucci's pencil art will be on display in the main floor exhibit cases at the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main St. through Aug. 3.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA Biz Column art 1 072114 Electric cars will get charge out of new IBEW 237 battery station

    Those who drive electric cars now have a free location to stop and charge their batteries, thanks to a new charging station recently built at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 237 at 8803 Niagara Falls Blvd. Beside offering free charging, the stations gave a class of apprentice electricians a chance to learn how to assemble the stations. "We think it's a great training tool," said Russ Quarantello, a business manager for the union.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • NIA New Skateland owners art 072114 Skating spot will re-open in fall under Rainbow Rink owners For Maurice and Barbara Cooper, purchasing the former Skateland rink on Lincoln Avenue in Lockport seemed a little like fate.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140717 Armenian Fest 2 [Duplicate] SUNDAY: St. Hagop's Church holds Armenian Festival on 9th St. A trio of church members were preparing a giant pan of rice recently, readying it to stuff the grape leaves for the Armenian Festival Sunday at St. Hagop's Church on Ninth Street. A bystander was lucky enough to get a sample of the stuffing, and could clearly taste the savory dill, tart lemon and sweet fresh mint that infused the rice. There were also Armenian cookies to be sampled, made from a beloved recipe that included ground cherry pits from a middle eastern tree, which gave the buttery dough a distinct sweet flavor.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • NIA Science camp art 3 071814 Students back at Hyde Park Elementary for week-long STEM science camp Hyde Park Elementary's halls are mosaicked with a rural scene, but the mentality of the teachers and students is decidedly technical.

    July 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Praxair employees give $17,000 to Hospice Praxair employees donated to $17,000 to Hospice Buffalo Thursday afternoon, a press release from the company said.

    July 18, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page