As I wrap up final reports for several grants we received this year, I am struck by the overwhelming good news this year has brought to CNY Arts Center. We have so much to be grateful for and great memories to cherish. From billboards to those precious faces on the side of City Hall, to the exciting productions onstage, we have had a great year. I want to acknowledge those that invested in our projects and programming so we can all remember: supporting the arts is critical to keeping the doors open, especially for an all-volunteer organization like ours.
The Shineman Foundation made the biggest investment in us with a $15,000 grant to fund our Fulton’s Future Project. This allowed us, among other things, to develop those great posters of our kids that we pasted on the side of City Hall in Fulton, (thank you Mayor and Common Council for saying yes). Thanks to Shineman, we had billboards up this year – maybe you’ve seen the one that’s still up? We wanted to remind you we’re still here, bringing art experiences to your community.
The Oswego County Community Foundation has been wonderful with two grants in the recent past, more than $5000. With their support we put up flame-retardant curtains in the theatre to keep us all safe. And they helped us purchase a scrim and lighting for special effects onstage. This will let us be more creative with our set designs and lighting. We first used it in The Hobbit, our highest attended play of the year.
The Gifford Foundation funded $5000 for our first professional video filmed and edited by Daylight Blue Media. It really put the shine on our efforts this year and all we have to offer the community. We never could have afforded it on our own!
Oswego City/County Youth Bureau provided support for another year of Arty Camp with materials that allowed us to offer free art projects to any child in the county, while the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation helped to cover scholarships so kids could stay all day and learn all the arts. Our goal of 1 in 4 kids receiving scholarship assistance was an easy reach. All kids deserve the arts!
Businesses like OCO, Fulton Savings Bank, Tavern on the Lock, Marathon Financial and Mimi’s partnered with us throughout the year in critical sponsorships for our theatre season along with businessmen like Doug Caster, our newest arts partner Thunder Island, and our biggest collaborator, Cayuga Community College. And we owe a special thank you to Assemblyman Will Barclay for being Honorary Chairman of our first real fundraiser event.
And finally we couldn’t be more proud of the recognition received with 7 nominations from the Syracuse Area Live Theatre Awards (SALT) for our theatre season. We had a great year with 3 musicals, 3 plays, one CNY premiere and those 7 Salt nominations. I am continually amazed at the growth and progress we make especially with no paid staff.
And that’s where the real gratitude is due – to the countless volunteers who work behind the scenes. Did you know if we were able to pay everyone – we would have more than 60 employees! We want job creation in Fulton? That’s the number of artists and theatre professionals, parents and individuals working for free to deliver the art experience for our community.
And while the foundations and grants support programming, your box office ticket helps to cover just 35% of our total expenses. For the arts to continue and serve the community, we need to dig deep and find a way to pay for some of those jobs. Your membership is critical, and sponsors too. With us, you’re building a better future in Fulton through the arts. Thank you for a great year! Thank you for your support.
Signed, Nancy Fox, Executive Director