GVCBy Eva Potter

Have you dreamed of a cool arts project but haven’t pulled it off due to lack of funding? Would $500 – $5,000 help?

Regional artists and organizations are in luck! Three different grants can turn your vision into reality.

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) administers the Decentralization program for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), which provides funding for projects that enhance art and culture in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties.

CCAC will grant over $60,800 to fund local arts and culture projects to be completed in 2014.

“The hopes for these grants are to bring arts and culture to our communities and to enhance the overall artistic nature of Western New York,” said CCAC Programs and Grants Manager Courtney Blackmon.

Grant Money Available!

Community Arts Grants: Your eligible non-profit organization or sponsored organization can address the cultural needs of your community through $500 – $5,000 in arts programming to develop, foster, promote, enhance and increase community arts.

Artist in Community Grants: At least two individual artists will receive $2,500 to fund the creation of new work in all disciplines within a community, while encouraging interaction between artists and community members.

Arts Education Grants: Here’s your chance to use $500 – $2,000 to engage K-12 public school students in a rich, artistic learning experience. These grants support the role that local cultural organizations and/or individual artists play in the exploration of art and the artistic process.

How Does This Apply to You?

Free money to fuel your passion — that’s how! This is an easy and meaningful way to infuse arts and culture into communities, thereby enriching and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. These funds are meant for locally creative projects to teach and engage your audience, and the grants themselves are simple and easy to understand.

Infinite Possibilities …

Thought-provoking arts sculptures in the Village of Ellicottville, a live theater or dance performance in the gazebo or community center, a cross-cultural music festival filling the sounds of the streets, beautiful artwork created by schoolchildren proudly displayed in storefront windows, a slopeside cultural heritage festival celebrating your community’s roots, poetry readings in cafes, photography exhibitions in the park — these and more are within reach.

Artists, non-profit organizations and non-incorporated organizations can apply for funding to assist in all aspects of arts programming including marketing, supplies, hiring performers and much more. Organizations that apply for grants do not have to be an arts organization.

Here is your opportunity to introduce the community to something that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Free Guidance and Support 

Blackmon said applicants who have never applied before (or since 2012) are required to attend a free informational workshop with locations in each county from August into October.

In addition, technical workshops are also available to help with the online application process. If you need further assistance, Blackmon is available for one-on-one grant writing workshops, program development or many other technical assistance needs.

Projects will be approved through peer review by a diverse panel of artists, art professionals, educators and local civic, business and community leaders in each county this November. Reviewers will heavily weigh how each project reflects the unique character of each community, its artistic merit, and required grant criteria.

Deadlines and Details

All applications are due at CCAC by Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. More explicit details about these grants are available at www.myartscouncil.net under the “Grants” tab.

Blackmon said she is happy to help answer questions and make the application process as easy as possible.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, please contact Courtney Blackmon to register for an informational workshop by emailing her at Courtney@myartscouncil.net or calling (716) 372-7455.

If you are interested in participating on a peer review panel, please contact Blackmon by Sept. 30.

Everyone Benefits

To Ellicottville and the surrounding region, these grants can add texture to the experience of our valued visitors and enrich the daily lives of our local residents.

Time to get excited, get creative and give it a try!