Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Arts & Culture Initiative

On December 2, 2021, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a $100 million commitment to transform the financial strength and long-term viability of Western New York’s arts and culture community through the establishment of an endowment at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo that will support the sector now and forever. For more details, click here to read the full announcement. 

Part of that announcement included $500,000 in annual funding to be awarded primarily to support small- to mid-sized arts and culture organizations in the eight counties of Western New York, plus Monroe County.

The key to this new grant process was community input. As such, in early 2022, representatives from over 100 arts and cultural organizations across all nine counties participated in several listening sessions with the Community Foundation team to help shape the inaugural grant process.

The selection of the grantees was made through a committee of arts and cultural leaders representing all the counties. In December, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Arts & Culture Initiative awards totaling $500,000 were announced to support more than 75 small- to mid-sized arts organizations. Read the announcement here.

The funding was awarded in two categories: 

  • Single arts and culture nonprofit organizations for which the funding awarded will make a meaningful impact on their annual operations
  • Multiple arts and culture organizations with collaborative efforts that have a meaningful impact on inclusion and for which small- to mid-sized arts and culture organizations receive the majority of the funding requested

“When we established the endowment to support Western New York’s arts and culture sector, we did so out of the Foundation’s economic development focus area. These organizations, both large and small, are key economic drivers in their neighborhoods, communities and the broader region,” said Jim Boyle, Vice President of Programs and Communications, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “This investment is our unique and long-term contribution to the arts and culture sector. We look forward to witnessing the amazing work to come from these new grantees.”

To sign up for future updates on the community engagement process, please send your name, organization name and county to Yuki Numata Resnick at yukir@cfgb.org.