Saturday, 09 June 2018 14:46

OP ED: Local Artists, Organizations Benefit From State Art Grants

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OP ED: Local Artists, Organizations Benefit From State Art Grants Supplied photo

In a recent legislative district survey, respondents noted that one of our area’s strengths is its cultural events and historical sites.

I happen to agree with them. We are fortunate to have organizations throughout our communities that work to preserve history and foster the arts. It has always been important to me that the state supports these local efforts which enrich our communities.

One organization that plays a key role in supporting these events is CNY Arts—an arts organization based in Syracuse that supports cultural opportunities throughout Central New York. CNY Arts annually seeks funding from the New York State Council on the Arts in order to redistribute these funds through a competitive grant program. That local grant program is open to artists and organizations in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties. Recently CNY Arts held their award ceremony which provided 15 artists and organizations in the 120th Assembly district with grants that ranged from $500-$3,000.

Though the award amounts are relatively small, the events they sponsor reach a wide audience. On June 2, for example, Friends of Fort Ontario hosted the second annual Bemelman’s Festival. Hundreds of families attended the festival which celebrated Ludwig Bemelman, the author and illustrator of Madeline, an internationally-known children’s book series. Bemelman was stationed at Fort Ontario during World War I and local historians wanted to draw attention to his ties to Oswego and famous legacy by celebrating his works with a festival. CNY Arts supported the festival and awarded $1,000 to Fort Ontario to help cover costs associated with the event.

Other local projects and events that received funding this year included:

· Art Association of Oswego, Inc. for summer youth programming--$2,200
· Cleveland Historical Society, Glassworks Theater--$1,000
· CNY Arts Center, Inc., “Shrek, the Musical, Jr.”--$1,500
· Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, Nature Inspires--$1,000
· Friends of Quirk’s Players, Inc., Summer Musical--$3,000
· Fulton Community Theatre, theater outreach--$500
· Fulton Jazz Festival, Inc.--$2,000
· Oswego Players, Inc., The Fantasticks--$800
· Preservation Revitalization of Pulaski, music at farmer’s market--$750
· Salmon River Fine Arts Center, Drawing Families into Art--$3,000
· Town of Schroeppel, Music in Park concerts--$500
· Village of Lacona, Music at the market--$500
· Village of Phoenix, Canalside Music series--$500
· Brenden Backus, artist, State Street Courtyard Art Project--$2,500
· Irish Film Festival, Baldwinsville, NY--$750

Thanks to these artists and organizations’ dedication and passion for arts and culture, we regularly benefit from concerts, festivals, theater productions, dance events, local writing projects, and fine art exhibits right in our backyard. These types of events have a positive impact on our local communities and add to the quality of life for residents. It is important that the state continues to fund these community events which add to our area’s culture. If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.

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