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New York State Legislators Restart the Arts

New York State legislators helped to secure a $1 million allocation in the State’s budget to be regranted to arts groups in Rockland and Westchester counties for COVID-19 recovery. The new Restart the Arts grant program, administered by ArtsWestchester, helps to fund projects that require the engagement of an artist or creative professional. When State legislators recently gathered with ArtsWestchester and Restart grantees to celebrate the program, many shared the potential and projected benefits of the program: 

“Usually when you want to restart the economy, you start with the arts. Now the artists can continue to create and pour their heart into what they do.” – Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

“This translates into real dollars that keeps artists paid and projects going.” – Senator Shelley Mayer

“I’m getting excited as an individual to be attending and supporting so many of these arts programs. The arts are alive and it’s great!” – Assemblywoman Sandy Galef

“Arts are the cultural glue that holds us all together. This is what makes Westchester and Rockland Counties such a wonderful place to live.” – Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

“The arts are an incredible economic engine.” – Assemblyman Chris Burdick

“The spring is here, our economy is coming back, and the arts are going to be a big part of that. It’s the soul of Westchester County. It gives us an understanding of what humanity is all about.” – Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti

“There’s nothing like live art to help you come back to life.” – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin

“Thanks to this transformative and timely support, we’re able to offer more public art-making workshops and provide meaningful work opportunities to artists.” – Leslie Schultz, Katonah Museum of Art

“These funds will help us to bring unique programs to the local community through our ‘Learn the Past, Discover the Future’ arts series.” – Rachel Whitlow, Haverstraw Brick Museum

“We can now continue to pay artists to provide free public programs that bring people together.” – Charlotte Mouquin, Pelham Art Center

“These funds make it possible for us to resume live theatrical productions for the first time in more than two years. Our new season features four world premieres brought to life by a diverse group of playwrights, performers, directors and designers.” – Andrew Horn, Penguin Rep Theatre

“YoFiFest plans to use this funding to pivot on a new post-pandemic course to better serve our community by employing artists to train young people who are entering the creative workforce.” – Patty Schumann, YoFiFest

“These funds will help us to pay performers and invigorate downtown New Rochelle.” – Theresa Leghorn, New Rochelle Council on the Arts

“The grant will enable us to rehire artistic carvers from our annual Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze event for a short film that highlights the artistry that happens behind the scenes.” – Waddell Stillman, Historic Hudson Valley

“These funds will greatly expand our Poetry Path project and allow us to involve many more artists from all over the County.” – Adam Levi, The Rye Arts Center

“This grant allows us to film in-prison arts presentations to show the talents and humanity of incarcerated people to the Westchester community.” – Ricki Gold, Rehabilitation Through the Arts


A version of this article first appeared in the April 2022 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.​​​​

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