Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $300,000 in federal funding for local arts agencies in Westchester and St. Lawrence counties. The funding was allocated through the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan and will be used to help local arts venues recover from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. ArtsWestchester and the St. Lawrence County Arts Council will each receive $150,000 for subgranting within their own communities.
“The arts are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the economy; an investment in the arts is an investment in New York’s future, as a cultural capital of the world, tourist destination, and a vibrant place to live,” said Senator Schumer. “Our arts venues were among the hardest hit during the heights of the pandemic, and I am proud to deliver this critical funding which will help art venues in the Hudson Valley and North Country recover and thrive. I will continue to fight hard for programs that support our artists, foster creativity and supports venues as the critical cultural hubs that they are on Main Streets across the state.”
“New York’s cultural institutions are world-renowned,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will help ensure they have what they need to survive and thrive after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“ArtsWestchester has supported artists throughout the pandemic with over $730K in grants and commissions,” said ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam. “This major American Rescue Plan grant from the NEA will help us expand our support of the artist community through our Voices for Change grant program in 2022. Voices for Change grants will enable artists to develop and present new work that inspires and informs and may be a catalyst for action. ArtsWestchester believes that art has the ability to address complex social issues, encourage discussion in communities and open up new ways to look at old issues. Central to our mission is the advancement of diversity, inclusiveness and equity. After two years without the arts, investment in the cultural sector is more important than ever in order to help the arts make a comeback in the nation.”
Senator Gillibrand has long been a supporter of New York’s vibrant art community. Earlier this year, she voted for the American Rescue Plan, which included this funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.