Music, theater and multi-cultural performances; galleries and exhibitions; public art; and the preservation of local history. These are all elements of a thriving arts and culture scene, and Central New York is alive with them all. Throughout its history, the Community Foundation has recognized the important role local arts and culture organizations play in contributing to a vibrant region.

Recognizing that the long-term sustainability of arts organizations is dependent on effective strategic planning, we offered the Program for Arts Capacity & Excellence (PACE) from 2005-2011. Participants worked on audience development, organizational improvements and board governance, helping to build new capacities that far outlasted the grants.

Later, we partnered with other area funders in the Initiative to Develop and Engage Audiences and Services (IDEAS) collaborative to strengthen the connection between our community and arts and culture organizations, promoting strategies to deepen audience engagement, create new artistic collaborations and enhance opportunities for earned revenue. In addition, significant IDEAS support helped CNY Arts to drive community arts marketing and audience development efforts as well as offer scholarships and training to the local arts community.

Our long tradition of fostering our region’s local arts and culture organizations continues through our grantmaking. Over the past 10 years, we have awarded nearly $2 million in grants that have helped arts institutions grow and thrive. A dynamic arts and culture landscape will engage residents, strengthen workforces and serve as an economic engine to revitalize the community. We look forward to supporting this effort for generations to come.