New York State Council On The Arts Awards $6.7 Million To Support Cultural Programs Statewide

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) today announced $6,687,310 million in grants to be distributed to 175 cultural organizations statewide in 2020 with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. NYSCA grants support the transformative impact of the performing, visual and literary arts in New York State.

NYSCA will award a total of $41 million to arts organizations across New York State in 2019. This support helps build the state's creative industries, which generate a total of $120B to the state economy, account for 466,000 jobs, and play a significant role in community building and revitalization.

"Our creative culture is a powerful economic engine; creating jobs, fueling tourism, and strengthening our state," said NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus. "It is also a driver of healthy communities and individuals, educational achievement, and unity of our richly diverse population."

The first of three rounds of NYSCA funding for FY2020, NYSCA Round I funding supports New York State's world-renowned architecture and design; thriving media and film industry; capital improvements to cultural facilities; and traditional folk arts.

These grants also support local arts funding ensuring that New Yorkers in all 62 state counties can access the benefits of New York's creative culture, including those in geographically remote and underserved communities.

Annually, NYSCA grants are awarded in 15 programs and the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Over the last two years, NYSCA has awarded an additional $30 million in capital funding to 71 organizations statewide fueling community development and tourism, and will announce additional capital grant awards this year.

"Every New Yorker deserves access to the numerous benefits of the arts," said NYSCA Chair Katherine Nicholls. "From architectural destinations that drive tourism to local arts venues that unite communities, and from traditional crafts that connect us to our shared history to media arts innovations that lead us into the future, our creativity makes New York State stronger."

NYSCA reviewed 339 applications for Round I funding, of which 226 have been awarded support. Across programs, grantees focused on technological innovations expanding access to the arts; tourism promotion; ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion in cultural programming; and community engagement.

Grants were awarded in the following NYSCA funding programs:

  • State & Local Partnerships (SLP), which supports community-based arts and cultural activities in all New York State counties, including all creative disciplines and arts education. SLP supports NYSCA's Decentralization program, through which the agency partners with 27 regional arts councils and arts centers across the state that regrant NYSCA funds to over 1,100 local artists and arts organizations annually. SLP also provides leadership support for the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, which has launched careers of Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize winners. SLP will award $3,333,900 to 43 organizations.
  • Architecture + Design, which supports innovation and excellence in the design arts, the preservation and interpretation of New York State's architectural + design heritage, and the development of design literacy for all New Yorkers. $747,156 in grants will be awarded to 23 organizations, including support for 5 independent artist projects.
  • Electronic Media & Film, which supports media arts organizations including incubators developing diverse creative talents; festivals supporting New York's independent film industry and strengthening the state as a destination for filmmakers and enthusiasts; and programs teaching youth valuable digital media skills. $1,096,350 in grants will be awarded to 67 organizations.
  • Facilities Projects, which provides critical improvements to cultural facilities that drive tourism and serve as community anchors across the state. $1,154,313 in grants will be awarded to 37 organizations.
  • Folk Arts, which sustains the diverse creative traditions that make up New York's living cultural heritage, including Native American, immigrant, and regional and occupational traditions. $358,591 in grants will be awarded to 21 organizations.

NYSCA FY2020 Round I recipients include:

  • Global Action Project: With a mission to promote social justice while developing young people's creativity, critical thinking and leadership, GAP provides programs that give voice to low-income, refugee, immigrant, LGBTQ, and immigrant youth, engaging their communities with critical issues while fostering valuable professional skills.
  • Prattsville Art Center: Founded to anchor the recovery of a rural Catskill Mountain town in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, the center catalyzes community growth through all-ages music and art events, free classes, and a variety of social services.
  • Long Island Traditions: Launching a statewide initiative to create a cultural tourism app guiding travelers to local traditional festivals, events and venues. Visitors will hear memories, legends and other narratives associated with each tour stop as they become immersed in New York State's rich, multicultural history.
  • Staten Island Arts: In response to new immigration, and changing demographics, SI Arts has launched a new initiative to support local cultural organizations in their efforts to serve a diverse population through inclusive programming.
  • Amy Sperber: Through Architecture + Design Independent Projects support, NYC Designer Amy Sperber will create a unique, open-source, online portal that will provide fashion designers -- and an increasingly inclusive design community -- with 3D avatars of realistic, diverse body types. The project is sponsored by the Fashion Institute of Technology Foundation.
  • African-American Cultural Center: Through Facilities Projects support, a design study will help the Buffalo arts and education center improve access to its programs by maximizing the potential of its historic building, including through an expansion of the Paul Robeson Theater and the creation of new youth theater space.
  • Glimmerglass Film Days: Using film to engage with environmental issues, the festival draws tourists to the Mohawk Valley region, combining film with local foods, art, walks, hikes and bike rides highlighting the area's natural attractions.
  • Manitoga: A major architectural destination in the Hudson Valley, the home, studio and garden of industrial designer Russel Wright integrates nature and the built environment over a dramatic 75-acre landscape including a 30-foot waterfall.

A complete list of Round I FY2020 grantees is available here.

NYSCA received a total of 1406 applications for 2020 support in addition to 834 existing multi-year contracts from prior year awards. Additional NYSCA FY2020 funding will be announced in early fall and winter of 2019.

About The New York State Council on the Arts

The New York State Council on the Arts champions community and creativity by preserving and advancing numerous aspects of the cultural heritage that makes New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit.

NYSCA upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development and quality of life. Through its core grantmaking activity, NYSCA awarded $51M in FY2019 to 2,400 organizations statewide through direct grants and regrants in our 15 programs, the Regional Economic Development Council initiative and the Mid-Size Capital Project Fund. NYSCA funding supports the visual, literary, media and performing arts and includes dedicated support for arts education and underserved communities. NYSCA further advances New York's creative culture by hosting convenings with leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources.

Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960, and continued and expanded to the present day with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, NYSCA is an agency of the Executive Branch of the New York State Government. For more information on NYSCA, please visit:

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