Supporting the Arts
To support arts and cultural organizations that are central to the fabric and quality of life of our community, the Community Foundation convenes the Fund for the Arts. Within the Fund for the Arts, there are a number of initiatives funded by different combinations of local, state and national foundations. The foundations that contribute to the Fund for the Arts initiatives do so with the understanding that by pooling resources and working collaboratively, they can have a greater impact.
For nearly a decade, representatives from family, private and corporate foundations have been meeting regularly to assess the needs of our arts community and determine how they can work together to develop and fund capacity building. Since its inception in 2005, the Fund for the Arts has directed more than $2.4 million to sector-wide arts needs in our community, including the formation of the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI), which brings together organizations and individual artists to strengthen our arts community through collaborations, education and advocacy.
In 2013, to give children in the community the opportunity for educational enrichment through arts, funds were directed by the Fund for the Arts to support the Arts Partners for Learning (APL). The APL, an initiative of Young Audiences, takes best practices from across the country to build capacity for arts education in the eight counties of Western New York to benefit children in kindergarten through high school.
ASI and APL are just two of the six sector-wide organizations that participated in two successful cultural summits held in 2013. The quarterly summits, which were made possible by the Fund for the Arts, brought together local arts and cultural networks from the six organizations to learn more about each other, exchange ideas and find ways to work together to build on strengths and diminish weaknesses. Representatives from arts groups throughout Western New York attended the summits. Participants deemed the summits such a success that more are planned in 2014 to build on the momentum of growing arts and cultural partnerships throughout our region.
Local funders that have contributed to initiatives within the Fund for the Arts include:
- The Baird Foundation
- The Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation
- The Ciminelli Family Foundation
- The Davis Family Foundation
- First Niagara Foundation
- The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies
- The Josephine Goodyear Foundation
- Koessler Family Foundation
- Patrick P. Lee Foundation
- The Marks Family Foundation
- The M&T Charitable Foundation
- The John R. Oishei Foundation
- Vogt Family Foundation
- The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
- The Western New York Foundation
State and National Partners:
- The Kresge Foundation
- New York State Council on the Arts