Artpark Revamp In The Works

Concert venues at Artpark in Lewiston, N.Y., will be getting much-needed upgrades thanks to a $2.5 million state grant.

Earl W. Brydges Artpark, which is operated by the nonprofit Artpark & Company, features a 15,000-capacity amphitheatre and 2,400-capacity theatre on the premises located near the Niagara River Gorge.

The funding will cover the facility’s first major upgrade since the park opened about 30 years ago, and officials are ready to move forward.

George Osborne, president of the nonprofit, said the timing couldn’t be better.

"Since I arrived here in 1999, Artpark & Company has been taking baby steps to improve the aging facility. New awnings, a renovation of the amphitheatre area enabling our Tuesday in the Park concerts to grow and improved safety equipment have been added," he told the Buffalo News.

"Now, with Assemblywoman [Francine] Del-Monte’s help, we are embarking on a major rehabilitation of both the Mainstage Theatre and Outdoor Amphitheatre."

Park attendance this summer reportedly set a 10-year record with more than 220,000 visitors at performances, so officials are working to upgrade programming along with the facility.

Improvements currently under way include repairing the theatre’s roof as well as replacing the carpet and draperies in the seating area.