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Letter: Sharing our Vision for The Olde Theatre Building in Wickford Village

A letter from Albert and Renae Scartabello, owners of The Olde Theatre Building in Wickford.

Since we are at such an important moment in time with regards to the future of Wickford Village, we, as the current owners of The Olde Theatre Building, would like to share some of the possibilities we are exploring for this wonderful property.

Wickford Village is a beautiful seaside village and even though attendance has declined in recent years, Wickford is still the home to a major summer Art Festival, and houses a large, varied artist community. However, remarkably, Wickford has little to no music and theater activities. We believe that a collaborative performance and exhibition entity will thrive in the Village at the Olde Theatre Building. One of its goals will be to celebrate art and music and to involve local youth and adult talent. We believe that this participative structure will appeal to both older and younger residents, and bring the different communities within the Town together.

Even though we are truly optimistic about the possibility of making this a reality, we are also aware of the hurdles we face. The main obstacle to achieving this vision is lack of sewers in Wickford. Before we moved forward with our plan to acquire and revitalize The Olde Theatre Building, the overall viability of Wickford had concerned us. However, we decided to make a leap of faith because of our passion for the old building and the positive, creative energy we felt there. Also, our optimism that Wickford could, once again, become the working and living village that it once was helped nudge us to move forward with our plan of bringing more of the Arts into the Village.

The key to this revitalization and positive direction is the move towards sewers. The

ability to have thriving businesses here, and have more people walking the sidewalks. year- round

clearly depends on sewers. "A Night Out" for dinner and enjoyment of the Arts in Wickford

could become a reality.

ar

Our vision for The Olde Theatre Building would encompass a small PerformancelExhibitioniTheater space on the first floor, and Artisan Rental space/Create space/Apartment space on the first and second floors. Sewers would allow for more on-site parking spaces to achieve this mix. This combination would contribute to the "Live/Work" concept in the Village. We envision separate rental spaces occupied by different types of artisans: a guitar maker, a painter, a fiber artist, a weaver, a jewelry designer, etc.

We urge all to seize the moment we have here in front of us. We believe that Wickford Village can return to being a destination that all can enjoy. With the addition of sewers and the proper variety of businesses that will be able to locate here, the existing businesses will thrive and it will be a "Win-Win" for patrons and businesses alike. We, as the proprietors of the Olde Theatre Building, are excited about contributing to the fabric of this wonderful seaside village.

Albert and Renae Scartabello 

Stphen Maciel May 06, 2014 at 11:09 AM
" I heard there's a state law saying you can't make AND sell our own product in the same location." Anyone know if this is true?
CompassCarrier May 06, 2014 at 12:30 PM
http://www.jamestownrecord.com/Planning/Scartebello.letter.pdf
Ed Renehan May 06, 2014 at 02:00 PM
This sounds wonderful to me. I wish you much success.
Beth Cook June 04, 2014 at 09:23 AM
I envision living in a community where those who govern do so with the needs of the entire community in mind. The natural resources that draw people to our town need protecting. To only want sewers for the "business interests" is shortsighted. It does not serve the needs of this community of residents nor does it protect the environment. The state organization, Save the Bay, opposes this. I do, too.
Tricia Erin June 16, 2014 at 03:58 PM
I believe sewers are the only compromise to RETAIN Wickford Village. It will allow both public, private and historic interests to be served and ALLOW FOR THE SURVIVAL OF THE TOWN/VILLAGE. Sewers can attract and/or keep the businesses that contribute all that tax money, fees, licenses, permits, fire, etc, etc, etc.... which in turn can CONTINUE TO fund preservation efforts. Win Win Win Win. :)

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