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Old 09-24-2014, 02:30 PM
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I am super curious about your eventual settlement and whether you are still blacksmithing? Did you find open shops along the way to participate in? Looking for lady-centric shops to join.

Originally Posted by ladysmith View Post
Next place I visited:

Johnstown, PA (Yes the one that flooded.)

I can tell you more about Johnstown, because I talked to more people involved in the arts. Johnstown is just started their artist relocation program (in late 2005) [url=http://www.johnstownartspa.com]Kernville Arts District[/url]. The Kernville project has some amazing incentives, and the housing prices are incredibly low!!! That area, as well as other sections, are still extremely depressed with more empty houses and store fronts than full ones. Some streets are more like alleys, and expect hills.

However the city is working extremely hard to rebuild itself. Culture has come to Johnstown like the proverbial flood! They have a symphony orchrestra, quite a few historical museums, and a Shakespearian theater company. Galleries are beginning to pop up, and artists are moving to various sections of the city.

I talked briefly to Rosemary Pawlowski who is the director of the Bottle Works and seems to be the driving force to redefine Johnstown. She is also one the board of directors to create a working space of artist studios, gallery, etc. (The Art Space). Amazing woman with a real vision for the city. I also talked to Randy White of the Dept. of Community of Economic Development. We discussed studio options in some of the empty buildings. Commercial property is more than affordable. Also he didn't bat an eye at my fire safety requirements.

Then I went to the real reason for my visit... The Cambria Iron Blacksmith Shop
[url=http://www.jaha.org/BlacksmithShop/history.html]History of the Blacksmith Shop[/url]. This is an ongoing restoration of one of the nicest historical industrial blacksmith shops in existence. The restoration will continue for the next two years. When finished they hope to be able to rent it to a self-sustainable group that will possibly give blacksmithing demos and showcase the history of the shop. Yes I will be continuing to talk to them! This project puts Johnstown at the top of my current list.

I've thought about whether I would consider Johnstown if it weren't for the blacksmith shop. Honestly, it comes across as a very depressed city at first glance. However, once you leave the valley, Johnstown becomes decidedly more upscale. Crime is surprisingly low, and the majority seems to be drug related. Also within a couple of hours there are excellent economic markets.

Johnstown also hosts one of the largest motorcycle events in the Mid-Atlantic. While that may not be a boon for many artists, it presents opportunities for me. It also shows me it's possible to pull enough of an outside population base to allow Johnstown to become a destination city.

The people are amazingly friendly. Housing and commercial space are probably the least expensive I've checked. Yes it would still be on my short list of places to consider relocating. For someone that just needed a cheap base to live while doing shows out of the area, it would be ideal.

I have other places I will be visiting in the future, and I'll let you know my thoughts on each.

Anyone that has any ideas of other places to check out, I'm not limited to any geographical region.

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Old 09-25-2014, 09:08 AM
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Clinton, Aurora, Homer, Hamilton/Earlville and Trumansburg comes to mind in terms of NY.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:48 PM
Location: Lafayette, La
2,038 posts, read 4,563,526 times
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Originally Posted by peachesandsteel View Post

I am super curious about your eventual settlement and whether you are still blacksmithing? Did you find open shops along the way to participate in? Looking for lady-centric shops to join.
Ooh blacksmithing. There are two preserved cajun villages right in the middle of the city both with blacksmith shops. Really fun watching them work.
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