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January 19, 2007

Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester
277 North Goodman Street , Rochester, NY 14607

Carolyn Reynolds, Communications Manager
585-473-4000 ext. 206
[email protected]


Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester
Awards $103, 937 to Artists and Arts Organizations  

 Rochester , New York — The Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the New York State Legislature, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation (RACF), today announced the 2007 Community Arts Grants awards. Thirty-four area artists, school partnerships, and arts organizations will receive a total of $103,936 through three different grant programs.

"We are very grateful that New York State and the Rochester Area Community Foundation see the value of this kind of investment," said Arts Council President and CEO, Sarah E. Lentini. “The entire community benefits from the resources that support the vital fabric of arts and culture in our region.”

A ceremony and luncheon honoring the grantees is scheduled for Friday, January 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arts & Cultural Council, 277 North Goodman Street, Rochester. The event will also feature a performance on the lute by Deborah Fox, founder of Pegasus Early Music, an award recipient.

The grant programs and recipients are as follows:  

New York State Council on the Arts Local Capacity Building Initiative Education through the Arts Grants  

The Education through the Arts program provides matching grants up to $2,500. They are awarded to partnerships involving a school and an artist and/or cultural organization for projects that integrate arts and non-arts subjects. A total of $9,000 was awarded to five partnerships.

Education through the Arts Grants

  • AKWAABA:  The Heritage Associates, Inc. and Rochester School #39, $2,500 for “Steps Toward Freedom,” a project for 5 th graders bringing the history of the Underground Railroad in Rochester to life through story, drama, art, music, and technology;
  • Maria Friske and School Without Walls, $2,500 for “ S.W.W. Mural Project:  Immigration and Community Change,” a project for 8 th graders looking at the political, economic, and social changes that have occurred in two different Rochester neighborhoods since the 1940’s;
  • Gina Di Bella, Corn Hill Navigation, and Craig Hill Elementary School , $2,500 for “Building Historical Thinking Through Appreciating Architecture,” a project for 4 th graders who will examine local architecture and artifacts to build their understanding of urbanization and industrial growth and expansion;
  • Leah Ruekberg and T.J. Connor Elementary School , $1,500 for “Storytelling and Performance,” a project for K-5 th graders to learn about history through storytelling.


Decentralization Fund (DEC) Grants , funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature

DEC Grants are made possible with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for nonprofit organizations in Monroe County for public cultural programming that serves Monroe County residents. This year’s grants total $65,773 to 18 organizations.

DEC Grants

  • AKWAABA: The Heritage Associates, Inc., $4,335 for “Camp AKWAABA,” to immerse 25 Rochester area nine-to-eleven-year-olds in the opportunity to research the people, sites, and history of the Underground Railroad by visiting historic sites, experiencing enactments, and singing freedom songs;
  • Asian/Pacific Islander-American History Project of Rochester, Inc., $1,812 to celebrate the Rochester Asian Pacific American Literary and Film Festival at Rochester Museum and Science Center;
  • Bread and Water Theatre, Inc., $1,000 to produce the play The Witnesses of Kitty Genovese through a series of staged readings followed by a full-scale workshop production.
  • Brighton Symphony Orchestra, $3,655 to perform a series of 12 community orchestral concerts at accessible sites throughout Rochester;
  • CCE of Rochester, $1,760 for Irish Cultural Day workshops on playing traditional Irish instruments as well as lectures on Irish language, history, and culture, concluding with a Ceili (Irish set dancing) with music provided by local musicians;
  • Chinese Choral Society of Rochester, $5,000 to present its 24 th annual concert in May featuring traditional Chinese chorus music, the world premier performance of Chinese chorus music with saxophone composed by Harvard University’s Lei Liang and commissioned by CSR, and a performance of Chinese and American songs by fourth-grade students from Pittsford;
  • Dance Rochester! LTD, $3,000 to produce a performance of original musical compositions from four local composers accompanied by original choreography by twelve local choreographers and featuring up to 100 dancers;
  • Gateways Music Festival, Inc., $4,511 for a classical music festival featuring African-American musicians from throughout the United States in solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and symphonic concerts in various community, church, school, and theatre locations throughout Rochester;
  • Generation Cool (Sponsored by Brockport Integrated Community Service Organizations), $4,000 for Cool Kids!, a free, one-of-a-kind event series that fully immerses community members of all ages in participation-driven, quality, high energy arts and cultural programming in Brockport;
  • Linkages of Rochester, Inc., $3,045 to provide a performance of Russian folk music and dance by Barynya, Russian born and trained artists wearing traditional costumes and playing traditional instruments;
  • M.E.C.A., $4,100 to produce six evening events spotlighting Rochester’s creative community, with speakers representing a variety of disciplines, and also featuring a theatrical performance combining music, dance, and real time painting;
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Rochester/Neighborworks Rochester, $4,325 to work with Swillburg Neighborhood residents to build a community art project around decorating neighborhood light poles with tile and glass mosaics;
  • Off-Monroe Players, Inc., $2,500 to present Hot Mikado, a 1940’s adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic light opera The Mikado, featuring blues, swing, gospel, torch songs, and Andrews Sisters’-style versions of the G&S favorites;
  • Park Avenue Dance Company, $4,311 to expand its ROTO ( Rochester and Toronto) series bringing together Rochester and Toronto choreographers and dancers in a series of four evening performances;
  • Pegasus Early Music, $5,000 to offer three different concerts of baroque and renaissance music performed by world-class musicians of local, national, and international reputation, and also featuring pre-concert talks and receptions and master classes to students;
  • Rochester Community Players, Inc., $5,000 for production of Romeo and Juliet, offered free at the Highland Bowl in July;
  • Rochester Step-Off Educational Foundation, Inc., $5,000 to offset costs of hosting the annual step-off competition at Blue Cross Arena as a way for youth to showcase their skills, talent, and mastery of this rich cultural art form;
  • Third Presbyterian Church/The Corner Place, $3,910 for an arts education program for children focusing on a cultural, historical, and creative exploration of jazz through music, dance, and visual arts.  

Individual Artist Project Grants funded through the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature.  

These grants are for Monroe County artists for creation of new work in 2007 that involves the public in some aspect of that creation. Three grants of $2,000 each are awarded to:

  • David A. Anderson, storyteller, $2,000 to create a play coinciding with the 2007 Frederick Douglass International Underground Railroad Conference examining Douglass as a man and freedom fighter, created with a cadre of youths and adult men who will critique the work-in-progress;
  • Joseph Sorrentino, playwright, $2,000 to develop a play based on interviews with residents of Suter Terrace, a Rochester city street where confrontations by neighbors have been largely resolved through neighborhood meetings;
  • Jan Hewitt Towsley, weaver, $2,000 to work with the public to create a wall hanging of the Rochester Skyline woven in copper as a way to demonstrate hand weaving and design selection. The resulting wall hanging will be donated to the Monroe County Library system.

Capacity Building Grants in collaboration with Rochester Area Community Foundation

The Capacity Building Grants program, intended to support projects that enhance the long-term growth and vitality of small to mid-size cultural organizations, is administered by the Arts & Cultural Council and made possible by Rochester Area Community Foundation. These grants are to nonprofit cultural organizations with budgets under $500,000 in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne Counties. This year’s grants total $28,664 to 10 organizations.

Arts & Cultural Council Capacity Building Grants

  • Genesee Center for the Arts and Education, $4,620 to develop a facilities plan to improve accessibility to senior citizens and the physically challenged;
  • ImageOut: The Rochester Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, $2,492 to purchase video and audio equipment to expand outreach and marketing capabilities in the Rochester region, as well as in Central New York and New York’s Southern Tier;
  • Mercury Opera Rochester, $5,000 to enhance database management capabilities and to purchase software for management of paper and online mailings in order to reduce postage costs and to target, track, and expand donors and audience;
  • Rochester Regional Community Design Center, $3,000 to hire a consultant to develop a long-term development strategy for its Design Gallery intended for the display of exhibits featuring arts, architecture, and urban design;
  • South Bristol Cultural Center, $2,663 to equip its new classroom space for classes in a variety of artistic disciplines;
  • St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy, $580 to host an off-site board retreat for development of a long-range plan and to strengthen board involvement;
  • The Cornhill Waterfront & Navigation Foundation, $3,175 to upgrade and expand its website to create a dynamic, more comprehensive site that will further its mission of preserving and sharing the rich cultural history of the Genesee River and Erie Canal, increase year-round website traffic, and attract new audiences, members, and donors;
  • The Rochester Contemporary (RoCo), $2,734 to hire a strategic planning consultant to focus on increasing RoCo’s visibility, development and fundraising, and earned income, and to enhance operational procedures;
  • Wayne County Council for the Arts, $1,400 to hire a consultant to help in planning for downsizing to a smaller space while maintaining its gallery, gift shop, and classroom;
  • The Weavers’ Guild of Rochester, Inc., $3,000 to redesign its website, creating a unified content management system, simplify maintenance, and train volunteers to regularly maintain the site.


Through its grant programs, membership services, and special initiatives, the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester serves both the arts community and the community at large by acting as a leader, funder, and advocate for artistic vitality and cultural diversity throughout the region. To learn more about the Arts Council, visit www.artsrochester.org or call (585) 473-4000.





This site is supported by funding from State of New York Grants secured by Senator James S. Alesi, Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle, and Senator Joseph E. Robach; the New York State Council on the Arts; WROC Television; and Rochester Area Community Foundation.