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When we founded the Catskill Mountain Foundation in 1998, we never could've imagined what it's become.
A Note From the Founders
Members of our family purchased property in the Village of Hunter over 100 years ago, and has been part of the community ever since. We work and live during the week in Manhattan, but our roots run deep in the Mountaintop community.
When we started the Catskill Mountain Foundation in 1998, the movie theater in the Village of Hunter was badly in need of some tender loving care, and was surrounded by several vacant storefronts. Our dream was to turn the Village of Hunter into a center for the arts, with the focus on film and performing arts, but with elements of regional crafts and fine art, along with classic and contemporary books. Our plan was to purchase the movie theater in the Village of Hunter, and renovate the movie theater space so that the one screen could also be used for performances, and sell books and work by regional artists in the building lobby. It was a one building dream, with an expected two or three employees. Instead, the Foundation now has 15 year-round employees plus another 20 part time seasonal employees or independent contractors, many of whom are faculty members for our many summer educational programs.
An unexpected outcome of this dream is that the Foundation’s facilities would become the home to a growing number of exciting educational residencies, which brings students of all ages to the Mountaintop community and also brings arts education opportunities to local residents and visitors to the area.
Since launching the Catskill Mountain Foundation, we have had to work very hard, and have encountered many challenges. But we have gotten through all of that, and we are always gratified when a local parent thanks us for the impact we have had on their child’s life by making the arts available and when members of the community tell us that they have just purchased a weekend home in the area, or have retired to the area, and wouldn’t have done so without the cultural offerings brought to the community by the Foundation. These comments make it all worthwhile.
We never imagined what the Catskill Mountain Foundation has become. We look forward with curiosity and excitement to the years ahead.
Peter and Sarah Finn