Syracuse: International Film City USA!

Owen Shapiro, the artistic director and co-founder of SYRAFest, quoted Mallory Potosky's April 20 article in Movie Maker Magazine, which called Syracuse's Film Fest, "The United Nations of Film."

"When one thinks of towns in the United States known for their international flair and diversity, Syracuse, New York is probably not high up on the list," she wrote. "But when it comes to film festivals at least, it should really be one of the first noted."

"This speaks to the validity of Syracuse's Film Festival," Shapiro said.

Shapiro then went on to explain the reality of Syracuse as a smart place to make a movie. Because as complex as Syracusans tend to be, the city itself is simple. Okay, maybe not simple, but easy. Not like the Big Easy, instead the good kind of easy. Easy to get around, easy access to sports, recreation, higher education and the arts. Easy on the eye with its assorted enclaves of gorgeous architecture. Easy to get here by plane, train or automobile. Easy to get out in to nature. An Easy place to think. Easy to find good eats. Easy to find talented, skilled workers and artists. Easy on a filmmakers budget compared to the big movie centers. Add all this up and Syracuse is actually an ideal place to make a movie.

At the museum

Everson Museum's Executive Director Steven Kern, who reminded the audience that in the arts Syracuse is a city of firsts with:

the first museum to focus on American artists

the first museum to focus on ceramics as art

the first museum designed by legendary architect I.M Pei

All these firsts belong to the Everson, so he concluded that when one thinks of architecture in Washington DC and Paris they also must think of Syracuse.

He echoed Weiss's "More -- Creative -- Partnerships," and backed it up with statistics on the impact of the arts in CNY already. If one put all the Arts Council Organizations together it would be the 17th largest employers in CNY; The Arts generate $400,000 more in revenue than collegiate sports here in Syracuse; and the total impact yearly is $63,000,000.

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