Help Arts Groups Raise Dollars: Matching Grant Doubles Donations

Harrigan Educational and Cultural Center

Arts groups throughout Westchester County are trying to make a comeback after extended closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of these groups, the Art$WChallenge has come at just the right time. This annual program makes available $400K in matching grant money to benefit arts and cultural groups throughout the County. As a result, more than 130 groups are eligible to receive anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500 in matching funds based on their ability to raise private funds through December 15. 

New or increased donations made to any eligible Westchester arts group during the campaign will be matched by ArtsWestchester with support from Westchester County Government. Since the inception of the Art$WChallenge, a total of $3.9 million in private money has been raised, which was matched by over $2 million in County support.  

Says Benjamin Boykin, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators: “After the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the cultural sector, we were pleased to invest additional money in the program, which helps 11 new cultural organizations to participate.”

In the past, this funding has helped arts groups make their programming accessible to larger audiences. For instance, the funding has allowed Downtown Music at Grace to offer its programs free of charge, Axial Theatre to present additional productions, and Lagond Music School to provide scholarship opportunities for its students. 

County Executive Latimer adds: “Funding from the 2021 Art$WChallenge matching grant program is needed now more than ever before to help cultural groups rehire, redesign programs and bring back arts audiences to live events.”

A version of this article first appeared in the September 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.