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Global IMC Network

Big Bucks for Triple Cities: Innovation Districts

December 8, 2017 by pegjohnston

Strategic Economic Investment Plan Will Fund Key Projects in Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott
Investment Complements "Southern Tier Soaring" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced a call for proposals has been issued to implement transformative projects related to the $20 million Greater Binghamton Fund, a central part of the regionally designed Southern Tier Soaring economic development plan. The initiative will facilitate key economic development projects in Binghamton, Johnson City and Endicott in an effort to transform targeted urban centers, or "iDistricts," into communities where the next generation of workers want to live, work, and play. The fund will support innovative and creative projects, including mixed-use and commercial development, housing rehabilitation, and streetscape improvements to help catalyze the regional economic ecosystem through targeted downtown redevelopment. Submissions associated with this Open Call for Proposals are due no later than 4 p.m. on January 19, 2018. All eligible projects must be located within the geographic boundaries of the designated “iDistricts”.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The Greater Binghamton Fund will stimulate new investment and help to create sustainable downtown economies. This effort marks another exciting chapter in economic narrative of the Southern Tier which continues to take shape.”
Interested applicants are encouraged to attend any of the three public informational meetings for the Greater Binghamton Fund. Each will be co-hosted by Empire State Development, the Mayors of each “iDistrict” community and the Greater Binghamton Work Group:
Tuesday, December 12th:  3:00 p.m., Endicott Visitors Center, 300 Lincoln Avenue, Endicott, NY
Tuesday, December 12th:  6:30 p.m., Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, 120 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY
Wednesday, December 18th:  7:00 p.m., Johnson City Courthouse, 31 Avenue C, Johnson City, NY

The Greater Binghamton Fund will support projects that fall within the geographic boundaries of the designated innovation districts which are anchored by significant economic drivers. These include the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator (Binghamton), the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Johnson City), and the Huron Campus (Endicott), which is the site of Binghamton University's Center for Advanced Microelectronic Manufacturing (CAMM), and the recipient of a $20 million investment from New York State to conduct advanced research and development in flexible circuitry.
The Greater Binghamton Fund is an important part of the region's winning Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative plan which was announced by Governor Cuomo in December of 2015. The $500 million plan is working to grow the Greater Binghamton Innovation Ecosystem by establishing the region as a premier destination for talent, new business development and solidifying partnerships for commercialization of emerging technologies. The plan is also investing in regional strengths in advanced manufacturing, healthcare and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education as well as the supporting research and development capabilities of academia and industry in the region.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.
Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

2018 United Cultural Fund Campaign

December 8, 2017 by pegjohnston

Broome County Arts Council Kicks off the 2018 United Cultural Fund Campaign

                  The Broome County Arts Council announces the kickoff of the 2018 United Cultural Fund Campaign. The United Cultural Fund, now in its 30th year, supports the Arts in Broome County through general operating and program grants to Arts organizations, individual artists andcommunity organizations who conduct arts events and programs. In 2018 the United Cultural Fund will surpass 10 million dollars in grants to the arts since its inception.

                  BCAC Board President, Susan Appe says  “The United Cultural Fund (UCF) is the way to support all arts in Broome County from the world-class performances of the Tri-Cities Opera to the cutting edge multi-media presentations like Installation|Music. Funding through the UCF encourages students in the Emerging Artist program and the Binghamton Youth Symphony, as well as supports the musicians of the Binghamton Community Orchestra, the Downtown Singers and the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, it further sustains the performances at EPAC, The Goodwill Theater, the Summer Savoyards, SPARE Productions, the ART Mission and Theater and S.R.O. Productions. The UCF funded the poetry of the Binghamton Center for Writers and individual artist like Scott Danzig, Lori Dayton and Brian Murphy to present to works to our community.”

Arthur Garrison, BCAC Interim Executive Director adds that, “Through the UCF the arts are brought to many more people by collaborative efforts with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Kopernik Society, the Phelps Mansion and the Southern Tier Solar Works. It helps produce art exhibits at the Roberson Museum, Vestal Museum and Nanticoke Valley Historic Society which are available to the entire community. In addition, at the Broome County Arts Council, we provide exhibit space to local artists, deliver seminars on the business of art and promote artists and arts events.”

The Campaign Goal for 2018 is $282,000.

Contributions to the United Cultural Fund may be made through the Broome County Arts Council website,  or can be mailed to BCAC, 81 State Street, Suite 501, Binghamton NY 13901.


December 3, 2017 by imc-editor


SPONSORED BY Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club

January 5-27, 2018

            The Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club are sponsoring the 7th Bob Johnston Photography Show and Competition January 5-27th, 2018. “Now in its seventh year, this Photo Competition attracts incredible photography in both black and white and color,” according to Bill Gorman of the Cooperative Gallery. “We are very excited to welcome back Chuck Haupt, a professional photographer, formerly with the Press and Sun Bulletin and gallery member, as this year’s judge.”

            A reception for the photographers, friends, and the public will take place January 5th at the First Friday Art Walk from 6-9, with gallery hours starting at 3 pm that day. The Exhibit will be open Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 12-4 pm and by appointment until January 28th. Prizes and cash awards for the winners will be announced at First Friday, January 5th at 7:00 pm at a reception for the artists and the public.

            All photographers are eligible to enter up to three photos in any format in this open themed show. There will be cash prizes for Best of Show, two Judge’s Choice each in Black and White and Color, and ten Honorable Mentions will also be awarded. Photos may be submitted Friday, December 29, 4-6 pm, Saturday December 30 12-4pm. (Pick-up dates are Sat. Jan 27th 4-6 pm and Sun. Jan. 28th 3-6 pm. For complete guidelines, please consult the gallery website at or the club website Or email

            The Competition is named for Bob Johnston, a lifelong photographer and a gallery member who died in 2010. “Bob Johnston was an ‘Ansell Adams’ kind of photographer who worked mostly in black and white film and favored both urban and natural landscapes,” said Bill Gorman, also a photographer. Bob Johnston defined a good photo this way: “For me, the successful photograph is one in which both the abstract elements and the subject matter of the image reinforce each other to provide an emotional experience for the viewer.”

            The Two Rivers Photography Club has monthly meetings, skill building sessions, and competitions throughout the year. The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213 and sign up for a weekly e-newsletter on our website at or on Facebook.

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GOP Tax Plan Spells Fewer Jobs, Higher Taxes, and Less Benefits for Middle-Class Families

November 29, 2017 by imc-editor

Community Leaders Call on Congress to Reject the GOP Tax Plan
Corning, NY -- Community, faith, and union leaders rallied together to call on the Senate to reject the GOP tax proposal, which is currently being forced through Congress. If passed, the bill will result in a massive tax hike for millions of working families across New York State.

The latest report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirms that Americans earning under $100,000 a year will be significantly worse off under the GOP tax plan. The bill extends the bulk of its tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, with 62% of the giveaways going to the wealthiest 1% of Americans by 2027.

In addition to a higher tax burden for low- and middle-income earners, the bill eliminates deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest, and state and local taxes (SALT), while laying the groundwork for devastating cuts to education, health care, and emergency services.

“During this season of giving and generosity, the tax bill is particularly offensive and sinful. It
takes away a lot of money and benefits from poor and middle-class and gives it to the very rich while exploding the deficit and compromising our children’s futures,” said Rev. Peter Cook, Executive Director of the New York State Council of Churches.

“The Senate and the House leadership are attempting to ram through a poorly conceived and malicious tax plan.  Like the snake oil salesman of yesteryear, they are trying to tell us that this plan is good medicine for the poor and middle-class but nothing could be further from the truth.  These tax plans will raise taxes on many low- and middle-income New Yorkers and create greater income inequality in our state and country. We need a bottom up tax plan that provides tax breaks for our poorest residents rather than more trickle-down policies that only make those with the most resources even wealthier,” said Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

"The GOP tax plan is further evidence of the President and Congressional leadership's scorn for poor and working Americans. This is a blatant, immoral attempt to redistribute wealth from the bottom to the top. It is as shameful as its architects are shameless," said Rev. Emily McNeill, Executive Director of the NYS Labor-Religion Coalition.

“Why would our elected officials pass a tax bill that only benefits billionaires and hurts small business owners, middle-class families, and hard-working Americans? It’s not fair. It’s not right. It makes no sense. We must all come together to make sure our elected leaders understand that we cannot and will not stay quiet while a tax bill like this remains a possibility. For those politicians who vote ‘yes’ and betray American families, our message is clear: we will not forget this and we will remind you at the ballot box,” said Sarah Chmura, Board Member for the New York State Nurses Association.

Tax Bill Will Hurt Working Families in Central New York

November 17, 2017 by imc-editor

Albany, NY -- In response to the House passage of the tax reform bill, Citizen Action of New York Executive Director Karen Scharff and Central New York Citizen Action President John Furman issued the following statements:

"The passage of the House tax reform bill is a kick in the teeth to working families in New York State. This bill is nothing more than a giant bonus check for billionaires and large corporations. At a time of rising inequality, we can't afford to shift more wealth from poor and working class families to the excessively wealthy. Rep. Tenney should be ashamed at supporting a bill that hurts so many of her constituents. The bill not only makes taxes more unfair to working people, but it also will lead to deeper cuts to education, health care, and other vital programs we depend on,” said Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York

“We are very disappointed that Rep. Tenney voted to pass a giant tax cut for corporations and the wealthy. We know from experience that instead of generating economic growth and jobs, tax cuts and the resulting lost revenue leads to unacceptable cuts in education, health care, and vital public services. Currently, corporations already pay far less than their top statutory tax rate of 35%. The tax bill will not bring jobs back but instead will encourage corporations to send work offshore, replace labor with machines, and give higher compensation packages to their CEOs. This tax bill is a disaster for Central New York families. Corporations and the wealthiest among us will receive trillions of dollars in tax breaks. At the same time, needed revenue for investments in education, infrastructure, housing, and health care will be taken away from Central New York communities. Low- and moderate-income families in our congressional district will pay twice–by seeing their taxes go up, and by losing services such as Medicaid, SNAP, housing vouchers, education, and child care,” said John Furman, President of Central New York Citizen Action.


Holiday Show at Cooperative: All Members' Show

November 17, 2017 by imc-editor

Give the gift of Art!

Cooperative Gallery 213, 213 State St. in Binghamton, presents its annual Holiday Show; Find unique, original, and affordable artworks from more than 50 artists and fine crafters, as the Cooperative Gallery is transformed into a magical showplace for wonderful works from all Gallery members.
Featured works include paintings by Mark Green, Suzanne Lachman, Angela Cook, Eileen Schlag, and others; sculpture and photography by Duke Holdsworth, painted furniture by Narani O’Shaughnessy, jewelry both whimsical and elegant by Vivian Nguyen, Ellen Romano, and others; painted silks by Andrea Eastman and intricate tie-dye by Kirk Madsen; woodworks by Richard Nolan, artisan holiday ornaments, miniature paintings, and myriad other visual delights by members of the local arts community.
Opening Artists Reception Gala is Thursday, November 30, 6-8:30 PM, with live music and delectable catered munchies, some from the new Cooperative Gallery 213 cookbook, “Artists in the Kitchen.”
The show and sale continues through December 23 -- extended gallery hours for December: Fridays 3 - 7 PM, Saturdays 11 AM - 4 PM

For more information, contact the gallery at, or 607 724-3462. Cooperative Gallery 213 is a popular stop on Binghamton’s First Friday Art Walk. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter on our website at www., or on our Facebook page.

20 Gardens by 2020

November 9, 2017 by pegjohnston

As part of VINES' 10th Anniversary, we have launched a campaign to build 20 gardens by 2020. This expansion would not be made possible without the funding through a grant from the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation. With volunteer help, we were able to build two new community gardens this fall. We built a garden on Park Street, on the West Side of Binghamton. We also built a garden in Johnson City on Sherman Street,  our first garden outside of the City of Binghamton.

Our gardens, continue to be built with more volunteers, more support, and in less time. Garden plot rentals are already being inquired at both of the new locations, and are already proving to be a valued community space.

Other planning is underway with our development and expansion of our community garden efforts. This includes Spring 2018 garden builds. Additionally, VINES is launching a Community Garden Proposal Application Process. This will help streamline the efforts of VINES to build gardens where they are needed, and where the community drive is there! If you're interested in proposing a garden project in your neighborhood, you can sign up to learn more information here.

We're so proud to be partnering with communities and agencies beyond Binghamton and could not have done this without our dedicated volunteers and community members. Thanks for your continued support since our first garden build in 2007.

---VINES Staff and Board

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