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Southold Town’s community center may soon feature East End Arts

Pat Synder

East End Arts in Riverhead is looking to showcase artwork at Southold Town’s Peconic Lane Community Center.

Pat Snyder, executive director for East End Arts, proposed the idea at Southold Town Board’s work session on Tuesday.

She said she was partially motivated by Southold Town’s comprehensive plan that call for various “cultural programs and activities” to be hosted in the Peconic center.

“Another venue, another way of reaching people, is beneficial not only to East End Arts but also to the community we serve,” she said in an interview.

The arts organization would give priority to Southold residents when choosing which works to display in the center, she said, adding the initiative will also try to coincide its first show with Southold’s 375th anniversary.

“That will be a challenge because it is very optimistic, but even if it goes into the next year, you could certainly focus on Southold Town in some way,” Ms. Snyder said.

The exhibits in the hallways and auditorium at the community center would change every few months and Ms. Snyder is planning to bring programs there, including classes for children and fashion shows.

“To me, that’s what East End Arts is all about — making the arts accessible to as many people as possible that want it,” she said. “We’re not a Riverhead organization. Our mission is to serve the five East-End towns of Long Island, so any opportunity to have a presence further than Riverhead is beneficial.”

New lighting and an appropriate hanging system would need to be installed at the community center, Ms. Snyder said, adding those additions could cost the town about $6,000.

The next step includes having the town’s parks and recreation committee review the proposal.

Southold Supervisor Scott Russell said if all goes well, East End Arts could begin installing displays within six weeks.

The town purchased the building in 2008 when it was known as the Peconic School and reconstructed it through county grants. Currently, there’s three meeting rooms and an auditorium.

“We are trying to promote this very type of activity,” he said about Ms. Snyder’s proposal. “One of the reasons we bought the Peconic building was to expand our recreational and what we call human enrichment offerings. This would be very consistent with that.”

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Photo caption: East End Arts executive director Pat Synder. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)