Allard and Matulis’s idea for The Foundry started back in 2005, and they chose the bedroom community of Cohoes, New York for their project. The area, which was once known for its manufacturing of textiles, has declined since its heyday in the industrial revolution and the arts and culture scene became disjointed. The Foundry was started as a way bring the community and the arts together and in the process help invigorate the local economy. In 2005, the partners purchased the Mechanic Savings Bank, which was originally built in 1931, in hopes of renovating it into a thriving environment which would promote the value of art, design and culture. The bank had already undergone a number of renovations and at one point was a jewelry store and an optical lab.
With the building bought, the organization only needed more support and funding to finish out the vision of creating the live/work and community exhibition space inside the bank. Along came the Pepsi Refresh Grant, and The Foundry finally had the capital to set things in motion. This last February, the organization received $50,000, which is going towards the greenovation of their building, as well as administration and revamping their website. As Allard says about the grant, “The grant from Pepsi has moved us forward by about 3 years. Not only because of the specific things we are using the funds for, but more importantly because of the opportunity it has presented us in being able to make connections more easily. We have the ball rolling on five initiatives that we thought would not be possible for three more years.”