Round IX of NYS REDC initiative will include two NYSCA funding programs
In 2018, over $23 million was awarded to fifty-seven museums through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative. With the opening of the grant portal on May 1, New York State’s ninth round of REDC initiatives includes two New York Council on the Arts (NYSCA) funding programs.
NYSCA is accepting applications for the fiscal year 2020 funding through the REDC. For this round of grant funding, there are two programs: Arts and Cultural Initiatives Funding and the Arts and Cultural Facilities improvement Program: Mid-Size Capital Project Fund.
NYSCA’s Arts and Cultural Initiatives funding provides up to five million across New York State’s ten economic development regions. Its purpose is to enhance and transform the cultural and economic vitality of NYS communities. It prioritizes funding to applicants who have not received NYSCA REDC Initiative funding in previous years. Funding support is broken down into three categories: NY State Arts Impact Awards, Workforce Investment, and Workforce Fellowships.
The NY State Arts Impact awards support the expansion of large-scale, public art projects and demonstrates a commitment to collaboration across sectors, disciplines, and regions. Projects like multi-day, interdisciplinary festivals, mobile exhibitions, temporary art exhibitions, site-specific performances, artistic events that include an interactive component for the audience are eligible for funding. Projects that span across multiple regions and encourage tourism to less popular areas while continuing to serve their communities are strongly encouraged.
In 2018, the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s Suffragettes Project received funding to present a year-long series of new work by artist Caitlin Cass (an award-winning artist that has exhibited nationally and internationally) who is commemorating the women’s suffrage movement in New York. “Women’s Work: Suffrage Movements 1848-1965” which opened on March 1, uses interwoven stories of women from three time periods to recount the history of the movements that led to the ratification of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. This large-scale project was not only relevant to contemporary issues of Women’s rights but presents the historic women’s suffrage movement in a new digital medium by using comic strips.
The Everson Museum of Art was awarded funding for TEMPO: Public Art on the Everson Community Plaza. TEMPO is a new program of site-specific public art commissions and includes performance, sound and video art. TEMPO allowed the Everson to create a site-specific exhibition space that featured multi-sensory disciplines.
Workforce investment funding supports the creation of new full or part-time positions as well as the expansion of existing part-time positions to full time. It includes either general full-time or part-time positions, or a resident artist (like a visual artist, folklorist, or choreographer). In 2018 the Rochester Museum & Science Center used this funding to hire 20 Rochester City School students in part-time, entry-level positions. The goal was to have these students learn transferable skills and be introduced to the curatorial and business sides of an arts and cultural organization.
The North Country Children’s Museum used their 2018 Workforce Investment to help expand their museum’s art educator position from part-time to full time with the goal to expand access to the arts for rural and low-income children and families.
The other NYSCA REDC funding opportunity that is now available is the Arts & Cultural Facilities Improvement Program. This large capital project fund was created to strengthen tourism, promote business development, and improve the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of NYS arts and cultural organizations through targeted investments. Funding is designated for renovations and expansions of public spaces, or modifications that provide more sustainable and energy efficient spaces that save overall costs, as well as accessibility improvements, and technology improvements that benefit the public.
Design mock-up for the Albright Knox Gallery exhibition space. View of the north building from Elmwood Avenue. Image courtesy Albright Knox Gallery.
The Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY AK360 Project will use its 2018 funding award for renovations to its two historic buildings and the construction of 30,000 sq. ft. of new exhibition space with modern visitor amenities, and seamless integration with the surrounding Olmsted Park. The funding will specifically address the safety and accessibility of visitors with major renovations to bring the facilities into compliance with the ADA. Albright-Knox Gallery will double the number of works that the museum can display, adding a state of the art space for special exhibitions, and creating more space for educational programs.
The Strong Museum Expansion Project, that is building a 100,000 square feet museum expansion to house new exhibitions and additional facilities for educational programs, including those related to the arts, will be a major driver of tourism for the region, attracting 400,000 mostly out-of-state guests annually.
Other funded projects focus specifically on accessibility improvements like the one at the Albany Palace Performing Arts Center that will use funds awarded in 2018 to help make all auditorium, stage, education, and administrative spaces in Albany's historic Palace Theatre fully accessible to visitors, students, staff, and artists of all physical abilities for the first time.
The New-York Historical Society’s Equality and Justice for All: New Museum Educational Galleries received 2018 NYSCA REDC funding to create prime gallery space throughout the Museum dedicated to exhibitions exploring topics of freedom, race, equality, and civil rights in America. The state-of-the-art galleries will explore how African Americans have fought for full rights as citizens throughout our nation’s history.
Funding applications must be submitted through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) by July 26, 2019, at 4 PM and is available at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/. All applications must Prequalify with New York State to be eligible for funding. If you have questions about NYSCA REDC opportunities, email NYSCA.REDC@arts.ny.gov.
FURTHER READING / RESOURCES
Regional Economic Development Council Initiative
2018 REDC Award Booklet
Is NYSCA REDC funding for you?
Ninth Round of Regional Economic Development Council Competition
Program Comparison: Mid-Size Capital Fund vs. Large Capital Project Fund