ArtsWestchester Grants News: Dec. 2021/ Jan. 2022

ArtsWestchester Receives Landmark NEA Grant for Voices for Change Program

In 2021, ArtsWestchester launched its Voices for Change Artist Grant program, which provides funding to support artists in the creation of new works that elevate community voices and promote social awareness, equity and inclusivity. The pilot year saw more than 40 highly-competitive applications from a pool of creatives living and working in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region. 

ArtsWestchester recently announced that Voices for Change will continue into 2022 and 2023 with the support of a significant $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through its American Rescue Plan. With these funds, the Voices for Change grant program will be expanded to offer more awards at different funding levels with the goals of increasing community impact and putting more artists back to work as the arts industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Says the NEA’s acting chair, Ann Eilers: “The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including ArtsWestchester, is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector to recover and reopen, while ensuring that the American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably. These grants recognize the vital role of local arts agencies and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

Pablo Mayor, who was awarded one of the two Voices For Change awards this year for his musical and dance work El Sapo, says: “We are so grateful for the opportunity to realize a project that will allow us to inspire audiences young and old to think on the critical and pertinent subjects of climate change and immigration.”

When updated guidelines become available, individual artists from the New York’s Hudson Valley Region will be able to apply for creation grants for public murals, performances, workshops and other creative expressions that engage community members, enhance shared spaces and revitalize neighborhoods.


Participants in grantee ArchForKids’s Revisioning Sleepy Hollow’s Vacant Spaces program (photo courtesy of ArchForKids)


Applications Open: Arts Alive 2022

ArtsWestchester’s Arts Alive grants are designed to expand arts opportunities throughout Westchester and Rockland Counties. Funds are available to support projects taking place in 2022. For instance, artists seeking funds to create a new work, emerging arts groups, schools, community agencies and more can all apply for support of arts and culture projects. 

There are three Arts Alive categories:

  • Community Project Grants support community-based arts and cultural projects developed by cultural groups and organizations, individual artists and collectives.
  • Individual Artist Grants support a professional artist in the creation and presentation of new work that engages the community.
  • Arts Education Grants support lifelong learning in the arts by funding activities that take place in an educational setting such as a classroom, after-school program or community site. Application Deadline: January 13, 2022. 

Applicants can submit by January 6 to receive staff feedback. A virtual information session will take place on December 1 at 2pm for applicants to learn more about the funding opportunity.

This program is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program, of the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the NYS Legislature and administered by ArtsWestchester.



Apply Now: ReStart the Arts Grant Initiative

ArtsWestchester recently announced a new ReStart the Arts grant initiative, made possible with support of the Westchester and Rockland delegations of the New York State Legislature. The $1 million initiative aims to help arts and cultural organizations bring back the artists and creative workers who fuel the cultural economy by providing employment for local creative workers.
     Eligible organizations can apply for funding for a discrete project that requires the engagement of an artist or creative professional. The ReStart the Arts grant provides direct programmatic support for organizations as they apply for funds that will help them to engage these creative professionals with work on a specific program or initiative.  In providing this support, the initiative fills a gap left by other COVID-related funding opportunities. Awards range from $2,500-$25,000. Application Deadline: December 16.


State Legislators Provide Recovery Grants for the Arts

ArtsWestchester recently announced the recipients of its Arts Alive Recovery NY Regrant program, a new, one-time opportunity that assists Westchester and Rockland County artists and arts groups with re-engaging their audiences through live performances and in-person arts programming. Made possible through the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor, the program supports 33 grants, totaling $43,850 in funding.

A key priority of the program is to support in-person arts programming, particularly from new organizations and artists that have not previously been a recipient of ArtsWestchester funding.

ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam says: “For more than a year, artists were unable to perform in public in front of live audiences. These grants will help artists and arts groups recover from pandemic closures by promoting live, in-person events.”

Over half of the applications were from brand new, first-time applicants. Of the 33 recipients, ArtsWestchester was able to support 20 applicants for the first time.

Among these first-time grant recipients, 15 municipalities throughout Rockland and Westchester Counties are represented. The funded programs cover an array of disciplines that include music, dance, theater, visual arts, film and more. Each of these programs will have a live public engagement component, thereby reinvigorating in-person arts and culture experiences. Among the first-time grant recipients are:

  • Friends of Chappaqua Performing Arts Center: This group will present two musical productions based on children’s books to be performed at the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center.
  • Sloatsburg Plein Air Art Event: This is an artist-driven outdoor event, during which artists, inspired by their surroundings, create works in real time. The annual event celebrates the history and culture of Sloatsburg.
  • Individual Artist Tara Meddaugh: The artist will produce The Whimsical Forest, an outdoor theatre experience at the Harrison Public Library that explores beloved fairytale characters from new perspectives.

     Now, these first-time grant recipients will join the growing list of eligible participants for the Art$WChallenge matching grant program, which enables ArtsWestchester to match every new dollar donated to any of the 147 participating arts groups through December 15.

A version of this article first appeared in the December 2021-January 2022 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at​​​

About ArtsWestchester

For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building on Mamaroneck Avenue.