Second career runs on passion

After renovating eyesore to arts center, business up and down for Patrizio Center

Michael Patrizio stands in the recording studio at The Patrizio Center for the Arts.

Michael Patrizio stands in the recording studio at The Patrizio Center for the Arts. Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— Although the business has been doing well enough to “pay the bills,” the arts hub has had its setbacks. This summer, the center set up a “Jazz Improv” class, where students could spend time learning specific improvisational techniques they wouldn’t necessarily get to focus on during a jazz ensemble. With a 10-week program lined up and teachers all set, Patrizio was disappointed when not a single student signed up. In a similar turn, a course in which students could learn how to set up a portfolio didn’t have enough students on board to run.

That still doesn’t stop Patrizio. He has plans to build an amphitheatre on the two-and-half-acres of land. The center is also working on having a summer enrichment program next year.

“That is our main emphasis at the moment, to put together our summer sessions so kids will have an opportunity to come in and continue their art, dance, music, recording,” said Caruso, who took lessons with Patrizio in the ‘70s. “We’re going to emphasize keeping the children involved in programs throughout the summer. Keep their minds moving, keep the wheels moving, all under one roof.”

Although he’s happy the building is up and running, Caruso said it hasn’t been an easy ride.

“It’s definitely been a very large undertaking financially as well as time, but it is working phenomenally. We’re growing every day,” Caruso said. “The interest is huge. Our present clientele love the facility.”

The new business is also looking into getting a sign on Troy-Schenectady Road, since people are having difficulty finding the building, Patrizio said. He said he was thinking of having a “G Clef” costume made that could dance on the road to promote the business.

Yet the support of the community and beyond has been helpful. Patrizio unexpectedly received a package on Monday, Oct. 22 from a prisoner from Pennsylvania. Though he was nervous at first to open it, he found a used mandolin inside with some lesson books and picks.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment