For years, Westchester County Government has matched vital funds for the arts and culture sector through an Art$WChallenge grant program administered by ArtsWestchester. In 2022, the program hit record highs.
In fact, $1.28 Million in financial support was raised for the arts community at a critical time during which arts groups are working to build back arts audiences lost during the pandemic.
Here’s how it works: eligible arts groups raise new public/private donations during the given time frame, which ended on December 31, 2022. ArtsWestchester then matches those dollars with the support of the County government.
This year, 102 Westchester arts groups participated in the Art$WChallenge, and raised $786,541 in new public/private funds. These private funds were matched with $501,571 in Westchester County support, resulting in the $1.28 Million total.
Not only are the dollars multiplied; local communities throughout the county benefit from the economic boost that allows arts groups to continue creating robust and accessible programming in every corner of the County. Grantees this year included the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, Westchester Children’s Museum and the Wakanda Celebration.
Says Board of Legislators Chairwoman Catherine Borgia: “The Board of Legislators is grateful for this partnership that fosters artistic expression, cultural competence and celebrates creativity for programs of all sizes.”
On Friday, ArtsWestchester was joined by representatives from the Westchester Board of Legislators, County Executive George Latimer and members of the arts community to celebrate the program’s ongoing success and this year’s record-breaking numbers.
Janet T. Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester said: “On behalf of ArtsWestchester, I would like to thank the individual donors to this program and Westchester County and the Board of Legislators for their long-term investment in an a matching grant program that for over sixteen years has paid dividends for the economy.”
Since the inception of the program in 2007, more than $6 Million has been raised to support Westchester’s arts and cultural sector, matched with over $3 Million in County support.
County Executive George Latimer added: “The County’s arts community has weathered a difficult few years. In fact, there has never been a more important time to help the arts make a comeback with broad and enthusiastic support than now.”
Langsam adds that the future is bright for the arts in Westchester: “With the cultural sector generating more than $172 Million in economic activity pre-pandemic, this vital community investment will help us in our effort to ensure Westchester’s cultural infrastructure for the future.”
photo credit: Leslye Smith
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 provide leadership, vision, and support, to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts. 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.