May 28, 2022

Troy Record 5-28-22 “Tonko heralds $175,000 in grants for Capital Region Arts programs”

WASHINGTON — Rep. Paul D. Tonko cheered the announcement of $175,000 in grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for local and regional arts organizations here in the Capital Region. This round of NEA grants will help support a diverse slate of music, theater, fine arts, and multimedia design programs in Troy and Saratoga Springs.

“Our flourishing arts scene is a critical piece of what makes our Capital Region so special,” Tonko said. “Especially in the wake of the pandemic, our local arts organizations need our support more than ever. Funding for the arts is a powerful investment in our communities and in our people, fostering creative expression for residents of all ages and bolstering our region’s unique cultural heritage.

“As a proud member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, I’m thrilled to welcome this investment in our region, and I will always continue to fight for increased federal funding for the arts.”

This round of NEA grant funding for the Capital Region includes:

• $90,000 for The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, to support the commissioning, engagement, creation, and installation of multimedia artworks and experiences along a city block in Troy.

“The Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail addresses the historic erasure of the voices of the people of North Central. From the forced relocation of the Indigenous peoples over 300 years ago, to the toxic legacy of the Industrial Revolution impacting the low income & economically disadvantaged neighbors today, their voices must be heard,” shares Branda Miller, Project Director.  “Through participatory arts, we collaborate as allies – to raise up the presence of the ancestors and activate networks struggling against economic inequality, systemic racism, and climate change.

“It’s extraordinary that two NEA Our Town grants have been awarded in the long neglected neighborhood of North Central Troy. This is an incredible opportunity for creative place-making moving forward.”

• $50,000 for the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, to support an artist residency, arts programming, and engagement activities to build community in North Central Troy.

“We are honored to have been selected by the NEA for this grant. We started the Fish Market because we knew we needed to do more for our North Central neighbors, and the initiative has been more successful than we could have hoped. The groundwork is laid for North Central Creates to cultivate local grassroots power through artistic civic engagement,” said Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of the Arts Center of the Capital Region.

• $20,000 for Opera Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, to support a new production of “Sky on Swings” by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch at The Egg Performing Arts Center, with related community engagement programs.

“This season, generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts will help Opera Saratoga bring a new production of SKY ON SWINGS to the Capital Region,” said Opera Saratoga. “SKY ON SWINGS is a deeply moving opera by Lembit Beecher and Hannah Moscovitch that explores the lives of two women living with Alzheimer’s Disease. Opera Saratoga regularly produces contemporary operas that address vital issues that impact people’s everyday lives. This is a commitment to advancing the contemporary relevance of our art form, deepening our role in the community, and facilitating meaningful conversations with audiences about the subjects that matter to them. The NEA is a vital partner in this mission, and we are deeply grateful for their support.”

• $15,000 for Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, to support the Skidmore Jazz Institute.

“The Skidmore Jazz Institute has a 35-year history of bringing renowned jazz artists who are gifted educators to this region. This generous grant will support the program’s annual summer concert series which offers exceptional performances at low or no cost to the public, exemplifying how Skidmore College celebrates creativity while enriching the local community,” said Skidmore College.

The NEA distributes nearly $100 million in grants to arts organizations in all 50 states each year. This round of funding for the Capital Region comes from Grants for Arts Projects (GAP), the NEA’s flagship grant program, and Our Town, a program providing support for creative placemaking. Overall, this funding cycle includes 1,125 GAP projects totaling more than $26.6 million and 51 Our Town projects totaling $3.9 million.


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