ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — In a joint effort that’s been going on since the start of the pandemic, 13 downtown historic performing arts centers across New York State have come together to seek an additional $20 million in funding from the state.

The group, known as Alive Downtowns!, seeks to encourage New York lawmakers to think of upstate historical theatres as they do zoos and aquariums and public television statewide organizations that have great public benefits to the citizens of the state.

The Clemens Center is one of the 13 centers apart of Alive Downtowns! that’s providing fine arts for local communities in the state.

Combined, the 13 theatres have an average age of nearly 100 years and have been respectable features of downtowns for those years.

According to Alive Downtown! they serve 5 million people annually, including thousands of students.

Their aggregate budgets exceed $100 million, with their economic impacts for upstate major downtowns exceeding $350 million.

The group says the theaters are an essential part of upstate New York’s cities by continuing their attractiveness and viability.

Together, the groups says they are seeking an annual appropriation fo $25 million from the state to assist in their ongoing operation and help guarantee accessibility for all citizens of the state.