FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ernie Garcia, Thompson & Bender
[email protected] or 914-8443780
The Countdown is on to Match $300,000 in the Art$WChallenge by December 31
120 organizations are eligible
White Plains, NY (Dec. 10, 2020) –The Art$WChallenge, a unique public/private partnership between ArtsWestchester, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and the Westchester County Board of Legislators has made available $300,000 in matching grant money to benefit arts and cultural groups in Westchester County through December 31, 2020. More than 120 arts organizations are eligible for between $1,500 to $7,500 in matching funds based on their ability to raise private monies before the year’s end.
ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam explains, “Community support has enabled us to keep the arts alive and vital in Westchester in good times—and in not so good times. Right now is one of those not so good times.” In a recent ArtsWestchester study of Westchester cultural organizations, 87% of organizations reported they were not faring well during the pandemic.
Fifty-five groups have already made their Art$WChallenge match, together raising $485K in new private donations, of which $237K were eligible for the match.
Langsam explains, “So, if you have been thinking about supporting the arts community that has been so badly hit by the pandemic, now is the time to make your tax-deductible year-end gift to help the others cross the finish line.”
County Executive George Latimer says, “Despite the havoc caused by COVID-19, the Westchester arts community has rallied in a way that continues to provide engaging virtual and in-person cultural programs for county residents. However, to support these programs, given the canceled events and decline in ticket sales, groups have had to get creative with fundraising. This is where the Art$WChallenge matching grant program comes in.”
Benjamin Boykin, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators explains, “The Art$WChallenge program is a powerful example of a public/private partnership that pays dividends for the economy. Since the inception of the Art$WChallenge in 2007, a total of $3.9 million in private money has been raised and invested in Westchester County’s cultural sector.” He continues, “This year, we were pleased to be able to invest an additional $125K in matching funds in the program in order to allow 60 new cultural organizations to participate in the grant program at this critical time. This investment makes good sense when you consider that, pre-COVID, on an annual basis, arts and culture added $172.3 million in total economic activity to Westchester. During this pandemic, the Art$WChallenge program is more important than ever to ensure the stability of our arts community.”
Through December 31, new or increased donations made to any eligible Westchester arts group will be matched by ArtsWestchester with support from Westchester County Government. Click here to see if any of your favorite arts organizations are eligible for the match.
Kinga Lesniak of the Nowodworski Foundation explains, “For the first time, we are allowed to participate in the Art$WChallenge. Our main source of funding is our yearly fundraising gala and it can’t happen this year. So far we’ve collected almost $5,000 in donations. That may be small money for big organizations, bur for us it’s really important.”
Katherine Vockins of Rehabilitation Through the Arts adds, “There are many unknowns when transitioning to virtual events, but the Art$WChallenge program has energized our outreach and is helping us to reach the fundraising goal for our upcoming event.”
Susan Abbott, ArtsWestchester’s Director of Grant Programs continues, “The arts have the power to help unify and heal our country’s communities and our economy. Help keep the arts alive during this unprecedented crisis, contribute to your favorite arts groups through the Art$WChallenge and double the impact of your gift.”
Visit artswestchester.org/grants/artswchallenge and make a difference today.