To facilitate long-term transformative change in our region, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo prioritizes its leadership work using community goals developed through a strategic planning process. In 2017, the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors embarked on a comprehensive re-examination of the organization’s four community goals. That process included working with partners to engage with more than 60 community leaders, representatives from close to 300 nonprofit organizations and more than 800 community residents through interviews, focus groups and surveys. As a result of that process, one of its goals is to strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts and culture.
These three things surround us in Western New York, and whether you catch a live performance at a local theater, roam through a gallery brimming with possibilities and pops of color or step back in time at a historic landmark, there is no limit to the ways they continue to spark our creativity and bring us together. Western New York’s arts and culture sector creates more than 10,000 jobs and has resulted in more than $350 million in total economic impact.
The Fund for the Arts was established nearly 15 years ago by a group of funders to mitigate the impact of county budget cuts. Today, its mission has evolved focus on the needs of the sector and almost $3 million of collaborative funding has been provided to support various arts and cultural initiatives.
The Community Foundation is a convener in these efforts, and currently administers a funders’ cooperative of public, private, family and corporate foundations that assesses the needs of our arts community, promotes collaboration and strengthens the sector. For every dollar that the Community Foundation invests, the Fund for the Arts yields an additional $6 from other funding sources.
One way the Fund for the Arts fosters collaboration is by its support of Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI), which promotes the cultural sector’s vital role in the community through capacity building and advocacy and economic development in Western New York.
The Community Foundation is committed to strengthening our region as a center for architecture, arts and culture through its community goals. Through these efforts, future generations will continue to benefit from all that the arts infuse into our region.