The economy may be bringing some businesses down, but as our Lauren Unger found out, one town is hoping art will help reverse the trend. It’s been a busy few months for artist Terry Farrell, transforming an abandoned bank downtown. She’s hoping to turn the finished gallery into a place where all ages can go to learn about art. “Art is something you can always do, you learn it, you can do it at home, you can do it in the park, you can do it anywhere.”
It’s part of an overall push to revitalize the historic downtown area, turning it into a Mecca for arts, shopping, and food. And with the nationwide economy looking fairly gloomy, some might think the arts and history would be some of the first to go, but in Donaldsonville, they’re hoping the opposite will happen.
Steven Schneider and his wife own an art gallery and successful restaurant next door. Schneider says the softer economy is bringing business into the town’s backyard. “I think the trends are going back to locally made and locally grown and things like that. I think it’s going to be; that’s going to be the wave of the future.’
It is a trend Donna Schedxnaydre sees as well. As a bed and breakfast owner, she’s seen more people trying out a “staycation.” “I do see people in the United States are trying to do things locally.” Working together to paint a brighter future for downtown Donaldsonville.
The artists plan to do art walks in downtown Donaldsonville several times a year. Farrell’s Gallery will have its official opening on May 22nd.