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ASI Awards Nearly $100,000 to Local Artists and Nonprofit Organizations in First Round of Emergency Grants

Arts Services Initiative (ASI) has awarded $97,970 in emergency grants to 60 local artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Less than one week after opening applications, this event marks the first round of funding through our WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund, a granting program designed to assist Western New York’s creative community by alleviating its economic struggles related to the pandemic.

Grants were awarded to artists and organizations based in five counties in Western New York, including Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Chautauqua, and Cattaraugus. In addition to 23 individual artists, teaching artists, and creative workers, we awarded grants to the following nonprofit arts and cultural organizations:

  • Alleyway Theatre, Inc.
  • Aquarium of Niagara
  • Artpark & Company, Inc.
  • Buffalo and Brandy, Inc.
  • Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc.
  • Buffalo Arts Studio
  • Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology
  • Buffalo Jazz Collective
  • Buffalo Niagara Choirs Inc
  • Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier
  • CEPA Gallery
  • Danceability, Inc.
  • Explore & More A Children’s Museum
  • Explore Buffalo
  • Graycliff Conservancy, Inc.
  • Harmonia Chamber Singers Inc.
  • Historic Palace Inc.
  • Historical Society of Dunkirk
  • Infinity Visual and Performing Arts, Inc.
  • Irish Classical Theatre Company
  • Locust Street Neighborhood Art Classes, Inc.
  • MusicalFare Theatre
  • Neglia Ballet Artists
  • Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
  • Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective
  • Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Inc.
  • Road Less Traveled Productions
  • Roycroft Campus Corporation
  • Starring Buffalo
  • Stitch Buffalo, Inc.
  • The Big Easy in Buffalo, Inc.
  • The Fountain Arts Center
  • The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild
  • The Subversive Theatre Collective
  • Torn Space Theater
  • West Falls Center for the Arts
  • Western New York Book Arts Center

Applications are now open and will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will be assessed based on the following criteria: need for funding; urgency of request; impact of funding on the organization or individual; and efforts to continue art and creative practice beyond COVID-19.

“Our goal for this fund is simple,” ASI Executive Director Jen Swan-Kilpatrick said. “We want to ensure that our arts community makes it to the other side of this crisis.”

ASI’s WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund is possible because of generous support from Fund for the Arts, the Marilyn Gohr McTaggart Reveal Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a Family Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and the individual donors of ASI’s GoFundMe campaign. As this crisis continues to unfold, funds will continue to be raised and distributed. To see a full list of funders or to join the effort, please visit

Lead image: Photo by Sarah Cervantes

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