(13-WHAM, Alexis Arnold) For two decades Sally Wood Winslow has been the main face of the Center At High Falls.
As director for the center, she’s been welcoming visitors from around the world to Rochester.
“I've had a wonderful opportunity here, full of surprises and challenges,” Wood Winslow said.
When Wood Winslow started the job, she worked alongside 14 other employees.
Now, she’s the last woman standing – for now.
The city informed the center, which houses a museum, gift shop and art gallery, that due to budgetary restraints, its contract would expire at the end of the budget year.
“We all know it’s tough times and I know the city is struggling with budget deficits,” Wood Winslow said.
That’s something artist Sheridan Vincent understands, but has trouble accepting.
“It would be missed,” Vincent said. “With the shows High Falls produced, it was a chance to go through that first stage of having work available to be seen by others.”
Artist Evelyn Cammarano said the art gallery gives her motivation and passion; a passion she shares with her son.
“It gives me a purpose and a focus and the socializing here of other
artists is important because it gives a sense of community that other places don't have,” Cammarano said.
Wood Winslow now has to pack up the gift shop and the artwork.
“I'm waiting patiently, doing my job, making sure that I pack up while I'm still serving customers until the last day,” Wood Winslow said.
While she's not sure what her future holds, Wood Winslow remains optimistic.
“As for the future, there's a full and fun adventure ahead we just don't know what it's going to look like,” Wood Winslow said.
Wood Winslow said the center’s last day would be June 30.
Below is a statement by the city:
"Due to budgetary restraints, the contract with the Center at High Falls will not be renewed when it is scheduled to expire at the end of the current budget year. The City has been in discussions with the Center about this possibility for several months and felt it was necessary to inform the Center Director to provide appropriate notice. The City is working with the state on the particulars involved in the sun-setting of the Center. The City acknowledges the contribution of the Center at High Falls but can no longer afford to fund the operation."