ACRA — Greene County Council on the Arts hosted its annual Awards Ceremony on June 28 honoring its re-grant program recipients from Greene and Columbia counties for their extraordinary contribution to the arts on a local level. The event took place at Wave Farm, headquarters and studio for WGXC 90.7 FM, located along Route 23 in Acra and was broadcast live at https://wavefarm.org/archive/pjratg. The early summer gathering was an exchange for those who received funding from the NYS Council on the Arts (NYSCA)/Decentralization Community Arts Grants Program in Greene and Columbia counties and the grantees who received funding through the Greene County Legislators’ County Initiative Program (CIP) for their projects and programs. Greene County Council on the Arts serves as administrator for these important re-grant programs which bring our tax dollars home and put them to work in our communities. These grants generate revenues locally of over four times the investment in grant funding.
The event allowed guests the opportunity to share their missions, ideas, projects and programs with one another. The cross-county celebration brought artists and art administrators together with County and New York State Legislative officials. GCCA, as an organization, makes significant efforts to act as a steward for the administration of public funds from Greene County and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to reach a broad and diverse audience in our rural communities.
Kay Stamer, GCCA Executive Director, and Margaret Uhalde, GCCA’s Community Arts Grant Coordinator, began the ceremony with an introduction of special guests including Greene County Legislator representing Durham, Aidan O’Connor, Bridget Lopez, representing Assemblyman Pete Lopez of the 102nd District, and Tony Stanish, who represented Senator George Amedore of the 46th District. Margaret Uhalde, read a congratulatory message from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Congressman John Faso, 19th District, sent congratulatory certificates for all of the awardees. GCCA Board of Directors 1st Vice President William Deane and Board Members Liz Kirkhus and Laura Segall were also in attendance. More than 75 people traveled from the far corners of Greene and Columbia County to attend this special annual event.
Stamer introduced the recipients of The County Initiative Program (CIP) after sharing the background information. Aidan O’Connor helped present the certificates to the CIP grantees. Recipients included Wave Farm, who received a special thanks to hosts Galen Joseph-Hunter, Executive Director and Tom Roe, Artistic Director for lending their magnificent property for the event. Certificates were also presented to 23Arts Initiative, Tannersville; Inter-Cities Performing Arts/Altamura Center for the Arts, Round Top; Bridge Street Theatre, Catskill; Bronck Museum/Greene County Historical Society, Coxsackie; Catskill Mountain Foundation, Hunter; MJQ Irish Cultural & Sports Centre/Catskill Irish Art Week, East Durham; Music & Art Centre of Greene County, Jewett; Planet Arts, Catskill; Prattsville Art Center, Prattsville; Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill; and the Zadock Pratt Museum, Prattsville.
Margaret Uhalde shared insight on GCCA’s role administering the Community Arts Grants (or Decentralization) Program established in Greene County in 1986. Community Arts Grants represent funds from the NYS Council on the Arts that are administered by Greene County Council on the Arts. The program was established by the State legislature in the ‘70s as an effort to more equally distribute arts funding throughout NY State and enable decision-making responsibility locally.
Uhalde expressed to the attendees “The awards represent our communities and our amazing local talent. The Decentralization Grants are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with support from local and state government, and are your tax dollars at work in your communities!”
Through this program, GCCA offers three types of funding opportunities to Greene, Columbia and Schoharie County residents, which are Arts Education, Community Project Support, and Individual Artist Awards. Earlier in the season, GCCA’s Schoharie Arts Grants Coordinator, Renee Nied, held an awards ceremony in Esperance.
The Arts Education category received $15,126 (with $1,000 from Stewarts Shops) with support to the Art School of Columbia County, for Art & Intersections, Ghent; Catskill Community Center, for GRANDS CAMP Intergenerational Portrait Project, Catskill; COARC, the Columbia County Chapter of NYARC, Inc., for Building Ability Through Art; Edward J. Arthur Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, for Farm to Fabric and More, Hudson; Germantown Student Education Foundation, for Memoirs of Place: Writing the Movie in Our Minds, Germantown; and Operation Unite New York, Hudson, for Choreophysics: Demonstrating Science Concepts through Dance taking place at Taconic Hills Central School District in Craryville.
The Individual Artist Awards are given to one artist in each county in the amount of $2,500. They included Greene County recipient Jennie Allen and Columbia County recipient David MacDonald.
The Community Project Support category received $66,528 with The Columbia County Awards to Ancram Opera House, for Real People Real Stories; Art School of Columbia County, for Art in the Library: a Pop-Up Program; Bend the Knotted Oak, for 4 Musicians, 7 Hands; Chatham Public Library, for Chatham Library Ukulele Weekend Jamboree; Clarion Concerts in Columbia County, for Leaf Peeper Concerts in Copake; Classics on Hudson, for Explore Music Made by Very Young Composers; Columbia County Youth Bureau, for Undercover Playground in various locations over a two-day period; Concerts in the Village, for their 2017 season; Hudson Area Association Library, for Your Turn, a collaborative art project; Hudson Jazzworks, Inc., for their Master class, pre-concert meet and the artists talk and concert; Hudson River Classics, for HRC Showcase Theatre; Hudson Valley Choral Society, for their Spring and Winter concerts; Jazz in GTown, for their concert series; Kingdom Arts Ministry, for the Artists and Friends Community Potluck Dinner; Kite’s Nest, for the Neighborhood Mural Project; Melissa Sarris, for Sewn Together: Quilts, Incarceration, and Community; North Chatham Free Library, for Literature and the Arts; Operation Unite New York, for the Rhythm for Life Experience; Roving Actors’ Repertory Ensemble, for Rumors, Peter Pan, and multiple small productions; Valatie Community Theatre, for the Valatie Youth Theatre Program and Winds in the Wilderness Concerts for their 2017 season.
The Greene County recipients included Athens Cultural Center, Inc., for A Declaration of Sentiments: Reflections on the Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote in New York; Cairo Public Library, for Paintings Based on the Fibonnaci Number Sequence; Catskill Community Center, for Summer Arts Enrichment Camp; Catskill Glee Club, for their Annual Winter and Spring concerts; Friends of Beattie-Powers, for Classics for Trio and Classical Jazz; Heermance Memorial Library, for Drawing and Painting Opportunities; Horton by the Stream Theatre Co., for their 23rd season; Hunter Stone Carving Seminar; Freehold Art Exchange, for Tiny Books, Big Ideas; New Baltimore Conservancy, for Art Workshops at Scenic Hudson’s Longview Park; Treble Choraliers, for their concert series and Windham Arts Alliance, for Art Fest 2017.
For information about Greene County Council on the Arts and its exhibits, programs, services, special events, grants programs and more visit www.greeenarts.org or call 518-943-3400. The Greene County Council on the Arts and Catskill Gallery are located at 398 Main St., Catskill.