CNY Arts, Inc.

About Us

About Us

Our Mission

CNY Arts' mission is to promote, support, and celebrate arts and culture in Central New York.

Who We Are

At CNY Arts, we believe that a healthy arts industry is essential to the quality of life and community in Central New York. We strive to connect the general public to the rich array of arts and cultural opportunities in the area.

What We Do

We provide support and assistance to individual artists and arts and cultural organizations through access to grants, capacity-building assistance, education and training, and promotional services. We serve the counties of Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego. Our goal is to enhance a greater appreciation for the arts and cultural vibrancy of the region.  

Statement on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

CNY Arts, the regional Central New York arts council, has begun a process to look back through its history and evaluate and improve its own programs and services to ensure that equity, diversity, inclusivity, and access in our creative communities are fundamental values and central tenets of our work. We believe:

  • Art and creative expression are a universal language.
  • Art moves society and creates long-lasting change.
  • Art inspires empathy and understanding.
  • Art gives voice to and creates spaces for those who have been marginalized.
  • Art brings our communities together so we can begin the healing process.

Through our work, we will continue to amplify the voices of our minority and marginalized artists. We will work to listen to minority artists and address their needs.

As the movement for justice and equality continues, CNY Arts is committed to the ongoing practice, reflection, and assessment of being anti-racist and ensuring equity, access, and inclusivity to our diverse artists, audiences, and community.

History of CNY Arts

2020/2021 - Distributed over $690,000 in COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund regrants to artists and arts organizations in the 7-county Central NY region
2020 - Creates the COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund, which received $175,000 in matching challenge grants from area foundations
2019 - CNY Arts publishes Arts & Entertainment District Master Plan for five CNY cities: Auburn, Cortland, Oneida, Oswego, and Syracuse
2018/19 - CNY Arts establishes the Innovation Group of CNY Arts, LLC to administer $4.88 million in film incentive and short film competition grants
2018 - CNY Arts begins work on Master Plan to establish five Arts & Entertainment Districts with support from an Empire State Development Grant through the Regional Economic Development Council
2018 - Establishes the Arts Leaders Fellowship Program
2017 - CNY Arts awarded the National Ovation Stand for the Arts Award
2015 – Receives a $100,000 Empire State Development Grant through REDC and a $40,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to support ENGAGE plan implementation
2014 – Premieres Dasher’s Magical Gift, an original holiday ballet. Completes a six-county, ten-year Regional Cultural Plan (ENGAGE) and raises $174,000 from NYSCA and the Empire State Development Corporation through REDC to support plan implementation.
2013 – Receives NYSCA Grant for $150,000 through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) in support of a Regional Assessment and officially launches
2012 - CRC offically becomes CNY Arts. 
2011 - CRC begins Decentralization service to Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties.
2009 - CRC begins Decentralization service to Cortland County.
2006 - CRC begins Decentralization service to Oswego County.
1997 - CRC becomes NYSCA Decentralization Site with service for Onondaga County.
1968 - Renamed The Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse & Onondaga County, Inc.
1962 - Renamed The Metropolitan Council of Art & Sciences, Inc.
1957 - The Cultural Center of Syracuse & Onondaga County, Inc. is created.
1953 - Cultural Center Committee of the City Planning Commission is organized.
1945 - Post War Council recommends formation of the Council of Education & Cultural Agencies.
1943 - Syracuse Mayor Thomas E. Kennedy appoints a Post War Planning Council.

CNY Arts Past Highlights

In September, 1951, helped plan, fund and build the War Memorial Building in downtown Syracuse, New York.
Throughout the 1970's, helped fundraise and build the performance spaces in the Mulroy Civic Center.
Up until the early 1990's, operated Civic Center Theatres.
From the 1990's to the present day, began regranting funds to arts groups and presenting One My Own Time - A Visual Arts Showcase, The Michael Harms Theatre Festival, Folk Arts Roundtable and Youth Theatre productions.