Industrialist Andrew Carnegie had amassed a staggering fortune so large that it was actually a great challenge to give it away. At his zenith, around the turn of the last century, his net worth in 2019 inflation adjusted dollars was over a third of a trillion. But he much preferred to be remembered as a great philanthropist. It turned out that he was as good at philanthropy as he was in building wealth.
Carnegie wanted to make a lasting impact on society. Western New York is home to one of 2,500 libraries funded by Carnegie. Built in 1903 in North Tonawanda – known as the “lumber city” – the library had a capacity of 18,000 books. A beautiful skylight provided natural light, while newfangled electric candles illuminated the pages for evening patrons. It was the center of civic pride, serving the public for over 70 years as a library.
Listed on the state and national register of historic sites, the library has changed its focus with a new moniker: The Carnegie Art Center. Innumerable volunteers and dedicated board members have transformed it into a regional jewel, with programming to meet the needs of the local community and beyond.
Throughout the year, there are numerous art exhibits, craft shows, musical events, educational seminars, children’s activities, and much more. One of the favorite events is the art off-the-wall auction, featuring several hundred original works of art by amateurs and professionals.
On Thursday, February 7, 6-8pm, The Carnegie Art Center presents a solo exhibit of artist Malcolm Bonney. 240 Goundry Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120.
Live music will be performed by guitarist Drew Azzinaro. East Aurora Brewery will feature their local craft beers, hard ciders and wine.
Free admission. See Facebook event.
Thank you, Andrew. Thank you very much.
Lead image courtesy The Carnegie Arts Center