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Community Foundation awards Nearly $300,000 to 61 arts nonprofits through partnership with State Arts Council 

Sixty-one area nonprofits and community organizations have been awarded a total of $296,730 for arts programming as a result of a new partnership between Rochester Area Community Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Each nonprofit or public organization received a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to support art projects that increase audience reach, organizational capacity, or equitable access to their programming. The grants were announced today at a press conference outside SWAN’s Montgomery Neighborhood Center, a grant recipient based in Southwest Rochester.

In March, NYSCA awarded $430,000 to Rochester Area Community Foundation Initiatives, an arm of the Community Foundation. Most of the money was to be regranted to support programs for underserved communities in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties. Recent NYSCA grant recipients — 2018 or later — were not eligible.


To promote this new funding opportunity, the Community Foundation did extensive outreach throughout the application process, including holding a virtual webinar and information sessions at community sites. 

“We received applications from organizations new to the Community Foundation as well as NYSCA,” said Annette Jiménez Gleason, the Foundation’s senior program officer for vitality. “Our NYSCA review committee of local arts community members also provided thorough, thoughtful insights and offered mentorship for newly emerging organizations that applied for funding.”

The advisory committee members were: 

  • Mimi Lee, president and board chair of the Asian/Pacific Islander/American Association;
  • Julio Saenz, visiting lecturer in communication for Rochester Institute of Technology’s  College of Liberal Arts; 
  • Ian Wilson, Wall/Therapy;
  • Danny Hoskins, artistic and managing director at Blackfriars Theatre; and
  • Elizabeth Long, executive director of Finger Lakes Opera. 

“I loved learning about the diverse projects that are out there, supporting and championing underserved communities and individuals. All of them are doing such important and potentially life-changing work for students and the community,” said Hoskins. “I hope that all of the recipients are able to implement their projects with the greatest impact and success!” 


The remaining NYSCA funding is underwriting an in-depth study of the state’s creative economy outside of New York City, with a focus on the Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse metros and other select regions. The study will be used to understand trends, inform arts funding, promote the importance of the arts to community vitality and success, and allow for cross-regional benchmarking and sharing of ideas. The study, already underway, is expected to be completed next year. 

The Foundation is one of the most visible and significant arts funders in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region. Ten percent of its total annual grantmaking, including more than $3 million from donor-advised funds, benefits arts and culture across a wide variety of disciplines. Annual competitive arts grants, which total on average $250,000, assist organizations ranging from small community theater and literary groups to major performing and visual arts institutions. 

“Our extensive knowledge of the local and regional arts landscape was critical to the success of this collaboration with NYSCA. We were proud to make this additional state funding possible for dozens of organizations offering arts-related programs,” said Jennifer Leonard, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.

Recipients of grants of up to $5,000 and their projects are:

540WMain, Inc.: Anna Murray Douglass and Rosetta Douglass Public Mural 

Agape Haven of Abundance: Urban Youth Empowerment Program  

Cheshire Community Action Team: Summer Arts  

City Roots Community Land Trust: Art on the Avenue  

Community Resource Collaborative Inc.: HEAL Project  

Cornell Cooperative Extension Yates County: 4-H Fine Arts and Crafts Project Kits for Youth and Families  

Educational Success Foundation: Our Voices Mural Project  

EnCompass: Summer of the Arts  

EZ Kids Creativity Shell: Sewing/Textile Arts Education for Mental Health  

Finger Lakes Area Counseling & Recovery: Exploring Cultures through Art 

Finger Lakes Community Band: Working With An Underserved Community 

Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum: Mural Project  

First Universalist Society of Rochester: Honorarium for Musicians Performing in Eastman at Washington Square Concerts  

Friends of the Three Bears: Cultural Community Connections  

Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus: Honoring Florence Price, Nathaniel Dett and Margaret Bonds Through Music and Community  


GiGi’s Playhouse: Music in Motion

Greentopia: The Symbol  

Hinge Neighbors Inc.: Composers Crossing 2.0  

Ibero American Action League, Inc.: Día Dominicano at the International Plaza  

Irondequoit Community Orchestra: Amplifying Local Voices  

Isaiah House, Inc.: Flower City Arts Documentary “Terminal” 

Jazz 90.1 FM/Greece Community Broadcasting: Community Concert Series 

Jewish Family Service of Rochester, Inc.: Pencils & Paper Program  

Kids That Roc: GENERATION Z  

Linwood Ltd.: “Macbeth” at Linwood Gardens 

Literacy Volunteers of Wayne County, Inc.: Literacy Through the Arts  

Lyons Community Center: The Lyons Youth Art Council  

M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence: Mural Restoration 

Madrigalia: 2022-23 Season Programming  

Mary Cariola Children’s Center: Creative Arts   

Mentors Inspiring Boys & Girls: Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline Stage Play 

Metro Council for Teen Potential: Mighty Liberators  

Monroe County Family Coalition: L.O.V.E. is the Answer Mural Arts Project 

Nativity Preparatory Academy of Rochester: Art Lessons with Flower City Arts Center  

New York Kitchen: Tasteful Creations 

New York State Network for Youth Success: Using Art to Expand the Horizons of High-Needs Rural Children  

Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension: 4-H Family and Consumer Sciences Identity and Belonging Fashion Project 

Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women: Children’s Theatre  

Puerto Rican Festival, Inc.: For the Festival  

Rainbow Junction, Ltd: Updated and Specialized Art Supplies  

Roc Royal Foundation, Inc.: 585 DREAM  

Rochester Academy Charter School: STEAM Family Nights and School Assemblies


Rochester Childfirst Network: Summer Adventures 2022  

Rochester Community Players: Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra at the Highland Bowl in July 2022  

Rochester Institute of Technology: Planning Meeting for Deaf/Blind Children’s Play  

St. Michael’s Woodshop: Summer Program 2022  

St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy: The Success of the Next Generation… A Community Partnership  

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park: Community Conversation Programs for 2022 

South Wedge Planning Committee: Arts in the Market  

Southwest Area Neighborhood Association: Concerts & Crafts at Montgomery Neighborhood Center 

Spiritus Christi Prison Outreach, Inc.: Family Reunification: Arts & Nature Project 

Student Arts Foundation: Arts Day 2022  

Swillburg Neighborhood Association: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Blanche Calloway  

Trillium Health: MOCHA Center Power Mural  

United Youth Music and Arts, Inc.: Drumline and Martial Arts  

Veterans Outreach Center: Artistic Expressions From Those Who Have Served Our Nation  

Villa of Hope: Arts Reaching and Teaching  

Wayne Action for Racial Equity: Artists as Historians — Empowering Wayne County Youth to Overcome the Whitewashing of Local History  

Wayne County Action Program, Inc.: Using Art to Expand the Horizons of High-Needs Rural Children  

Wayne County Historical Society: Wayne County Memories Book 

YWCA-Rochester & Monroe County: Activists and Allies  



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