As some of you may know, the Brownsville Free Public Library is in peril of closing its doors next year. While we continue to be a hub for literacy, learning, enrichment, and resources, we are severely lacking in local funding. The public library relies on the support of it's local municipalities and county for funding in order to survive; the Pennsylvania Public Library code states that libraries are to be funded locally at $5.00 per capita, and BFPL is currently funded at $2.78 per capita. This is the only standard for state aid funds that our library does not meet; and for this reason we are in dire straits. The Board of Directors have looked over the budget multiple times, finding where expenses can be cut without sacrificing state aid standards and making difficult choices. The library as a whole has come to realize that cutting any more from our budget will lead to sacrificing value and service, the two reasons that make us a vital part of our community. We are now coming to our community, and very humbly, asking for help.
The Brownsville Free Public Library is in desperate need of an additional $15,000.00 of sustainable (guaranteed) funding a year in order to survive. We have been working with local municipalities and our County Commissioners to find such funding, but times are tough all across our county. We would like to humbly ask any citizens or patrons who value our local public library, or in whose lives we have made a difference, to send in letters of support. Send them to your local council members, County Commissioners, or to the Brownsville Free Public Library. Tell your stories of how the library has positively impacted you or the life of those you love, and sign it with your name and municipality. We will take these letters with us to council and county meetings as we hope to showcase the detriment of losing our public library. We will not go down without a fight, and we are asking our community to fight for their library.
An avid photographer since the age of thirteen, Stephen has a passion and expertise in black & white, landscape, portrait, image restoration, and many other forms of photography. This combined with an interest in history/history preservation, and commitment to community service has been the driving force behind the creation of the Cast Iron Gallery to exhibit Brownsville in historic and current images. You can find more of my images at https://BeckmanPhotoConcepts.smugmug.com
Charles Hoopes is an expert stone mason and professional photographer. He has a wide range of photographic skills including, but not limited to light painting, landscapes, event photgraphy and a level of creativity that takes his photography to new places.
Through the course of the year we will also present other local photographers. Shauna Marie Benz will be one of the local photographers working with the Cast Iron Gallery as a gallery host and photographer.
Shauna Benz-Patterson, Independent Professional Photographer," You Name It - I Shoot it" email ~email@example.com ~ 724-570-9408
33 years experience ~ BFA, from Waynesburg University in
Commercial Art/Visual Communications I have a Facebook Page Images by Shauna
I Have a Portable Studio I can bring to you. I use many landmarks and parks for On-Location Sittings
Photographing Senior & Family Portraits, ~ Landscapes ~ Architecture ~ Commercial ~ Events ~Weddings,~ Reunions.
Meeting ALL of your photography needs ~
Image size is to small to reporduce. Please contact the Cast Iron Gallery about purchasing images or if you have special requests.
Stephen Beckman spent over eight months collecting historical images of Brownsville. Then took steps to protect, restore, and digitize the originals prints. The goal is to continue growing the catalog of photography
Collaborated with local leaders to find a location that would be accessible, visible, and highlight growth in the historical district of Brownsville. The building was acquired from BARC and significant investment was put in to building keeping it from falling in deep disarray
Stephen and Charles spent hours shooting Brownsville to bring the history and present imagery together to create a powerful story of what was, what is and what can be again.
Stephen searched and collected and recievied donations of artifacts to enhance the overall gallery
Charles took his creative mind to a new level in creating some the gallery's one-of-kind displays including the ticket booth which holds the original brass ticket window from Union Station and the recreation of the first cast iron bridge built right in Brownsville
Hours and hours of labor went into the creation of the Cast Iron Gallery. Stephen and Charles would like to thank all the individuals that help make the gallery a reality. Come and visit and treat yourself to a wonderful photographic voyage