Press Release: Kate Austin-Avon launches Advokate office/studio/gallery!

GLENS FALLS, NY — Art activist Kate Austin-Avon has opened Advokate, a marketing, web & graphic design and fine art studio and gallery in Suite 201a on the second floor of The Shirt Factory Arts and Healing Center, located at 21 Cooper Street in Glens Falls, New York.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting with the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce is set for Saturday, October 4, at 11 a.m. Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

“I’ve been doing websites, graphic design, PR and marketing from my home office since I started Advokate in 2010. And I’ve had my painting studio on the third floor of the Shirt Factory since 2007,” says Kate. “But it was time to bring it together under one roof.”

“I also have my mixed-media paintings on the walls, shelving to display my upcycled ‘trashion’ jewelry, and print racks for the giclée prints of my work, so it’s a gallery of sorts, too,” she adds.

Advokate, embarking on its fifth year in business in October, won the ARCC’s Independent Business of the Year award in 2013 and has helped more than 100 different artists, small businesses, startups and nonprofits with their marketing, with clients including The Chronicle Newspaper, the Charles R. Wood Theater, the City of Glens Falls and the Town of Lake George. Advokate is a member of the ARCC and LARAC.

“Typically I’ll sit down with a new client to talk about what their business is doing already for marketing, and together we’ll make a to-do list of some potential ideas, and then I’ll point them in the DIY direction with some good tips or I’ll write up proposal to do some work based on the budget they have in mind,” says Kate.

“This month, I’m also rolling out this new program I’m calling the Amity Card, which is a rewards program for frequent fliers, inspired by my client Carol Law Conklin of Amity Farm Batik. If clients schedule marketing meetings with me on a monthly, bimonthly or weekly basis, we can work side-by-side on updating their website, sending out their e-newsletters, tackling their social media, fine-tuning their brand and so on, and they’ll get a free session after ten appointments.”

For the past four years, Kate has balanced Advokate work with her part-time position co-managing The Shirt Factory. She is stepping down from the management position to go full-time with Advokate on October 1.

Kate was recently invited to participate in the Creative Economy in the Rural Northeast roundtable discussion at the Slate Valley Museum, and the Freelancers/Artists/Small Business Needs Strategic Recommendations Committee to the Capital Region Creative Economy Project. She is co-founder of Glens Falls Arts, a coalition of area arts organizations and co-founder of LocalFest: Stuff Made Here, a celebration of the creativity and entrepreneurship of the region.

Kate’s recent speaking engagements include Branding 101 at The Shirt Factory’s LocalFest, and two different Developing Your Brand seminars for the Small Business Development Center at the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce and for the Adirondack Business Development Partnership at SUNY Adirondack’s Regional Higher Education Center. Kate was also part of a panel on Branding for Nonprofits at LARAC in 2013, and has offered workshops on WordPress and web design at LARAC in years past.

Kate is former co-president of North Country Arts Center, former committee chair of NCAC’s Colors of Fall Art & Craft Festival, former board member of North Country Arts Center, Art in the Public Eye and The Bridge, former member of the Charles R. Wood Theater’s Programming Committee, and former arts writer for The Chronicle newspaper.

Kate shares the studio with painter Jenny Hutchinson, who is also the Gallery Director of LARAC. Kate lives in Glens Falls with her husband Cory and son Henry, who inspires her biweekly column Family Time that runs in The Chronicle newspaper.

Kate Austin-Avon

Kate E. Austin is known for her creative advocacy. She is a regular speaker on branding and social media with educational institutions and Chambers of Commerce. She owns and operates Advokate, LLC. Currently she serves on the boards of the Glens Falls Business Improvement District, the Jackson Heights Elementary School PTA, Lower Adirondack Pride, and is on the World Awareness Children’s Museum’s Advisory Council. Originally from Killington, Vermont, she studied art at Hartwick College and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art from Empire State College. She is a mother of three.