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Statewide Community Regrant Program

Artists, community infused with GO ART! SCR money, round two applications now open

By Joanne Beck
David Burke with tree mural at The Goose
Artist David Burke with a past mural at The Goose in Oakfield funded by a GO ART! grant, and 2024 SCR recipient. 
Submitted File Photo

After a thorough and time-consuming process that involves a peer review panel of dozens of applications, the first round of 2024 statewide community regrant program recipients for 2024 have been chosen, Educator and SCR Director Mary Jo Whitman says.

GO Art! will be regranting $336,000 to artists and nonprofit organizations for projects and programs throughout Genesee and Orleans counties, with the first round wrapping up in November, and the second round opening up just after Christmas and closing Feb. 17.

While the SCR program is not new, the grant funding sometimes gets mistaken for GO Art! money, which is not the case, Whitman said. The Genesee-Orleans Council on the Arts (GO Art!) acts solely as administrator of the funds to disperse them to the grant recipients chosen by the panel. 

"I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about the programming. A lot of people kind of mistake the idea that we get the funding, which we do not, we're not allowed to use any of the funding toward our programming. So much of the programming that we do is completely separate from this,” Whitman said during an interview with The Batavian. “We may administer it, and we have to make sure that it goes into the hands of the nonprofits and artists. So things like Picnic in the Park, for example, is one thing we got a lot of flack on as, you know, when we weren't getting as much funding for Picnic in the Park, and it just wasn't feasible for us to host it anymore. We've definitely heard a lot of comments about that — a backlash of how we're funding all these other projects.

“But we can't fund Picnic in the Park, we can't use the money for Picnic in the Park; it’s a completely different strain of money. We're not allowed to use that."

The Statewide Community Regrant Program (SCR) is a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts that was developed in 1977 to ensure that the state’s cultural funding would reach every part of New York State. The cornerstone of SCR is its focus on local decision decision-making through a transparent and competitive peer review panel process, she said. Local artists and nonprofits submit their projects for consideration and are reviewed, chosen and submitted to the GO Art! Board. 

So, instead of giving GO ART! money for its own programs, creative as they may be, this money goes to many individual artists and nonprofits for various projects, including outdoor murals, musical concerts, dramatic presentations, festivals and light displays. 

The panel selected 46 applications for up to $5,000 each in categories of Community Arts (Reach) and Arts Education (Spark), and $2,500 for Individual Artist Commissions (Ripple). The categories and recipients are as follows:

REACH -- The GO ART! Community Arts Grants (Reach Grants) provide seed grants to individual artists, collectives and arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Genesee and Orleans County communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts.

Each year the program supports arts projects, including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, readings, and more. 

REACH Recipients:

  • Batavia Concert Band - $5,000 for 2024 Music in the Park Summer Concert Series
  • Haxton Memorial Library - $5,000 for Talented Thursdays
  • Alexander Volunteer Fire Department Band - $4,837 for Community Performances
  • The Elba Betterment Committee - $4550 for EBC Presents ...
  • Oakfield Betterment Committee Inc. - $5,000 for Oakfield Labor Daze
  • Genesee Chorale Inc. - $5,000 for 2024 Genesee Chorale Season
  • Village of Bergen - $2,300 for the Hickory Park Concert Series
  • Rebecca A. O’Donnell with Community Partner, Warrior House of WNY Inc. - $4,000 for Creative
  • Community Connections at the Goose
  • Batavia Business Improvement District - $5,000 for Jackson Square Concert Series
  • David F. Burke with Community Partner, Warrior House of WNY Inc. - $2,500 for Wings Mural for The Goose
  • Heather Kathleen Davis with Community Partner, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church - $3,100 for Opera on the Oatka
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra - $5,000 for The Genesee Symphony Orchestra’s 78th Season
  • Byron-Bergen Public Library - $5,000 for Arts in our Community
  • Amanda M. Taylor with Community Partner, City of Batavia Fire Department - $5,000 for Main Street
  • Fire Hydrant Murals
  • Bergen Business and Civic Association - $5,000 for Bergen Park Festival
  • Woodward Memorial Library - $4,979 for Art All Year, Take Two
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church - $2,415 for Music at St. Mark’s
  • Kathlyn Baker with Community Partner, Warrior House of WNY Inc. - $5,000 for Art Exploration Project
  • Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming OUT!, Inc.- $5,000 for GLOW OUT! Pride Festival 2024
  • Village of Corfu - $5,000 for Corfu Farmers Market 2024 Music Series
  • GLOW YMCA, Inc. - $1,000 for GLOW Corporate Street Beat
  • Gillam-Grant Community Center - $4,640 for A Spectrum of Art
  • The Batavia Players, Inc. - $5,000 for the 2024 Season
  • Marianne Skye with Community Partner, Warrior House of WNY - $5,000 for Groovy Moves-Family
  • Music and Movement
  • Lee-Whedon Memorial Library - $5,000 for Finally Fridays! 2024
  • Yates Community Library - $5,000 for Yates Community Library - More Than Just Books
  • Friends of Boxwood Cemetery - $5,000 for Boxwood at Night 2024
  • The Cobblestone Society - $5,000 for The Cobblestone Museum Arts Series for 2024
  • Lyndonville Lions Club - $5,000 for I Hear the Music
  • Village of Holley - $3,000 for Village of Holley Canal Concert Series
  • Community Free Library - $5,000 for Continuation of Myron Holley Erie Canal Mural
  • Care Net Center of Greater Orleans - $5,000 for Artists and Their Styles
  • C. W. Bill Lattin with Fiscal Sponsor, The Cobblestone Society - $5,000 for Architecture Destroyed In
  • Orleans County, N.Y.
  • Village of Holley - $2,000 for Festival Series 2024
  • Canalside Radio Inc. - $5,000 for Harmonizing Communities: The Canalside Radio Initiative
  • William Schutt with Community Partner, Village of Albion - $5,000 for Lighting the Erie Canal
  • Hoag Library of the Swan Library Association - $5,000 for 2024 Hoag Music Series
  • Michelle Cryer with Community Partner, Town of Carlton - $5,000 for Carlton Mural at the Cove

    RIPPLE -- The GO ART! Individual Artist Commission (Ripple Grant) supports local, artist-initiated activity, and highlights the role of artists as important members of the community. The Commission is for artistic projects with outstanding artistic merit that work within a community setting. 

RIPPLE Recipients:

  • David F. Burke - $2,500 for the Extension to Harvester Center Hallway Mural
  • Thomas Jennings - $2,500 for the Missing Man - The Vince Welnick Story
  • Joshua Lang - $2,500 for the Suite de Ballet Mvt 3
  • Eric Weatherbee - $2,500 for The Humble Bard Presents

SPARK -- The Arts Education Program (Spark Grant) supports arts education projects for youth and/or senior learners. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process.

SPARK Recipients:

  • Linda Fix with Fiscal Sponsor, BCSD Foundation Community Schools - $5,000 for #It Takes A Village
  • Bart Dentino with Community Partner, Oakfield-Alabama Central School District - $4,815 for The Spaces Between the Leaves
  • Judd Sunshine with Community Partner, Ronald L. Sodoma Elementary School - $4,200 for Erie Canal Songwriting Project

These projects go way beyond one piece of artwork, Whitman said, as it draws community members to a locale and that can spur an economic and social ripple effect.

“We just really want to see as much art programming as possible in our community. We go to audit events. For example, there'll be a concert series, we're going to the concert series, we'll be talking to some of the audience members, and they talk about how they come to see this concert series every week, and when they're there, they go, ‘everybody eats at this restaurant all the time.’ So it really forms a sense of community, that helps get people out, penetrating these different local establishments," she said. "And it's much bigger than just funding a little project, it really helps with economic development, it helps bring people to the area, being situated right between Rochester and Buffalo. There's no reason why we can't have people coming into the area from both sides of  the city to enjoy the programming that is being offered.”

Another example of how a project can impact more than just the artist and a small segment of spectators are the workshops offered to the public that provide opportunities for folks who otherwise would not be able to partake in that form of art medium, she said.

“And it really gives the community a chance to really learn about different mediums or just even have the opportunity to take the workshop.  I know for myself, I grew up in Orleans County, and as a child, I was always interested in arts, but we never really had the opportunities to take these workshops," she said. "These classes will now, you know, they're able to provide them, and most of them are free. If there's any cost to them, they're very minimal, so it makes the arts accessible, I guess, is the easiest way to put that.”

She is happy that not only is GO Art! one of the partnering organizations with the state agency, but it is “actually one of the top-funded organizations in the state.”

Artists, nonprofits, and municipalities seeking funding for arts-related projects, programming, and events in Genesee and Orleans Counties are encouraged to apply to the second round of SCR funding through GO ART!.

For more information on applying for the program, go to: or contact Mary Jo Whitman at These grants are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.  

GSO concert with Shade Zajac 2019
File Photo of Conductor Shade Zajac of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, a recipient of a 2024 SCR grant for its 78th season. 

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