11.17.15

SCHUMER LAUNCHES PUSH TO SECURE MILLIONS IN CRITICAL FED FUNDING THAT WILL HELP PUT JAMESTOWN’S NATIONAL COMEDY CENTER IN THE SPOTLIGHT – $3 MILLION PROJECT WILL ALLOW CITY OF JAMESTOWN & CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY TO COMPLETE NEXT PHASE OF CONSTRUCTION, WHICH IS EXPECTED TO GENERATE MILLIONS IN REVENUE & CREATE LOCAL JOBS

City of Jamestown & Chautauqua County Have Already Begun Construction of State-of-the-Art Museum and Performance Center, But Need Final Phase Funding To Make 

Schumer Says Jamestown, Home of Entertainment Legend Lucille Ball, Could Be Home to National Comedy Destination 

Schumer: Make Jamestown The “Cooperstown of Comedy” 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today launched his push to secure approximately $3 million in federal funds to aid the construction of the National Comedy Center (NCC) in Downtown Jamestown. Schumer said the City of Jamestown and Chautauqua County have applied for these federal funds through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. This funding would help the city and county complete phase four of NCC’s construction plan, which is estimated to generate more than $22 million for the local economy, create local jobs, and spur annual attendance of roughly 114,000 visitors. Schumer said this funding would enable the city and county to finish enhancements at the performance venue that will help shine a spotlight on Downtown Jamestown as a global comedy destination.

“It is only fitting that the birthplace of comedy legend Lucille Ball become a destination for comedy lovers across America, and across the globe. By approving the National Comedy Center’s request for federal funding to complete its final phase of construction, the Department of Commerce will ensure this great American art form can be preserved and celebrated in Jamestown, a place that understands best how important laughter is to our society,” said Schumer. “I will be fighting tooth and nail for this funding, which has the potential bring millions in economic revenue, hundreds of good-paying local jobs and national recognition to Western New York. This state-of-the-art venue has the potential to make Downtown Jamestown the ‘Cooperstown of comedy’ for generations to come.”

Schumer said this federal funding – which the NCC has applied for through the EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance grant program – would enable the NCC to continue its mission of bringing visitors, comics and scholars to the area, in order to help make Jamestown a unique comedy destination. Schumer said the NCC project grew out from a variety of celebrations for Jamestown’s most famous native, Lucille Ball, which makes it the perfect location to serve as a center created for the purpose of examining and showcasing comedy as an historic and valuable art form.

Over the last decade, Jamestown has attracted numerous national comedy acts, hosted marathon runs, showcased panel discussions and drastically increased its standing in the national comedy community and the Western New York area as a whole. Schumer said this kind of revival has been desperately needed in the area, as it has suffered over the last few decades from the decline in furniture manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication. Recent popular acts, such as Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Offerman, and Jay Leno, have been brought to the center and provided the much-needed spark this project needed. Schumer said this $3 million in federal funding is a small investment that will yield incredible results in completing the NCC, which is expected to serve as an anchor entertainment venue to draw tourist activity to Downtown Jamestown and the entire region.

In fact, Schumer said, it will uniquely re-utilize Jamestown’s Erie Railroad Station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was subject to a major restoration project that was finished in 2012. The enhancements in this phase will be centered on the design and creation of fixtures that will help facilitate live comedy acts, digital projection and other state-of-the-art features that promise to make NCC a one-of-a-kind destination.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to the Department of Commerce appears below:

Dear Secretary Pritzker,

I am pleased to write in support of the National Comedy Center’s application for funding under the Economic Development Administration’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance grant programs.  Such funding will allow the National Comedy Center to continue its mission in bringing visitors, comics, and scholars to help make Jamestown, New York a global comedy destination.

Once a thriving center for furniture manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication, the Jamestown area has experienced an economic downturn. Two strategic redevelopment plans - one prepared by the City of Jamestown and one by Chautauqua County - called for the creation of an anchor entertainment venue to draw tourist activity to Downtown Jamestown.  This effort is meant to stimulate the economic revitalization for both Jamestown and the surrounding communities.  The National Comedy Center project grew out from a variety of celebrations for Jamestown’s most famous former resident, Lucille Ball.  Over the last decade, Jamestown has attracted numerous national comedy acts, hosted marathon runs, showcased panel discussions, and drastically increased its standing in the national comedy community and the Western New York area as whole. Popular acts such as Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Offerman, and Jay Leno have provided a much needed spark to the efforts for the establishment of a National Comedy Center, created around the purpose of examining and showcasing comedy as an historic and valuable art form.

With funding, the National Comedy Center will begin the fourth phase of their ambitious construction project.  This phase will utilize both new and existing infrastructure to create a unique comedy destination.  The enhancements in this phase will be centered around the design and creation of fixtures which will facilitate live comedy acts, digital projection, and other state-of-the-art inclusions that promise to make this a one-of-a-kind destination.  I applaud the National Comedy Center for their foresight and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. 


Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

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