Nelson Odeon puts the arts front and center

Nelson has always been known for its agriculture and picturesque views. But the work of the Schoenfeld family and the Nelson Odeon have been putting Nelson on the map for something a little more glamorous: entertainment.

Since last spring, the reopened historic Nelson grange building at 4035 Nelson Rd., three miles east of Cazenovia, has hosted several musical acts, from Little Toby Walker to Beaucoup Blue to Billy Eli, among others.

Jeff and Linda Schoenfeld purchased the historic Nelson Grange Building a year ago, in November of 2009. Together, and with some help, the Schoenfelds spent last winter renovating to convert the inner structure to the Nelson Odeon. Their plan was to create a community minded center for musicians, artists, receptions, practices and concerts.

Along with promoting local music from across upstate New York, one of the Odeon's missions is to bring small, well-respected national acts to the Central New York area to play for music lovers and music discoverers alike.

Now, the Nelson Odeon is becoming more and more well known across Central New York; you can't go to a bookstore or restaurant near Eagle's Syracuse office without seeing a Nelson Odeon flier in the window.

The old grange hall had a stage installed many years ago, complete with footlights and curtains. Going unused for decades, the Schoenfelds have breathed new life into the Nelson Odeon so that performers can take the stage and entertain audiences again as it was intended.

This week's artist, Andy Friedman, is sure to attract a crowd. With fans as varied as the New Yorker and popular musician Sufjan Stevens, it's definitely going to be a show worth watching.

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