A survey conducted recently by ArtsNYS, a leading non-profit organization advocating for the arts, revealed that several arts and cultural organizations throughout New York State have a drastic need for funding, according to a press release. The survey represented 35 out of 62 Counties, a majority of which were upstate. ArtsNYS is seeking an additional $40 million in capital funding for arts organizations in the New York State budget. Many of the groups, “are small to mid-size groups that do not have the capacity necessarily to apply for capital funds through the Regional Economic Development Council,” said Stephen Butler, co-president of ArtsNYS and Executive Director of CNY Arts in the release.
This lack of funding in the capital budget is contrary to previous years where additional funds, sometimes as much as $20 million, were included for arts and cultural institutions, according to the release. Arts advocates are hoping the Assembly and the Senate will add the funds this year.
Together, the funding needed by the organizations that answered the survey exceeded $363 million for planned capital projects. According to the survey, 65% percent of these capital projects are for the building of infrastructure and renovations necessary to continue regular operations, while 30% of the projects are needed to preserve buildings of historical and cultural significance. And 75% of these capital projects are proposed by small to medium organizations with budgets less than $2 million.
The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake, for instance, is seeking capital funds to repair its façade, handicap accessible ramp, to renovate interior gallery space, and provide roofing over emergency exits.
The arts are important for creating income and supplying jobs associated with tourism, Butler said. “The investment in arts and culture in New York State has added more than $114 billion in total economic activity, and supported more than 396,000 jobs,” Butler said.
Photo: New York State arts organizations answered a survey by ArtsNYS on the need for capital funding. Pictured is the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake, which is seeking capital funds to repair the facade, handicap accessible ramp and other necessary improvements. Credit: Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.