CNY Arts, Inc.


CNY Arts Spring 2023 Newsletter

Well, folks – Spring is officially here! Clear skies, green trees, and budding flowers aren’t the only bright colors to look forward to. Warm weather accompanies plenty of new opportunities to celebrate the creative and cultural vibrancy of our community. From outdoor performances to crafts fairs and creek walks, you’re sure to find something to enjoy. After all, this season starts with the arts!

As always, winter couldn’t put a chill on all the activity around the office here at CNY Arts. Our staff, Board members, and volunteers have been hard at work to ensure that local artists and arts organizations have the support they need to achieve, sustain, and celebrate their creative goals. Meanwhile, we’re excited to share that audiences and patrons can look forward to more of the quality arts and culture programming that Central New York provides.

There are so many exciting developments and opportunities to share – let’s “Spring” into it!


Coming soon…CNY Arts is moving to the historic Carnegie Building!

You read that right! This Spring, we’re thrilled to announce that the CNY Arts office will be relocating to the historic Carnegie Building in downtown Syracuse. “This is an exciting and symbolic occasion for our agency,” said CNY Arts Executive Director Stephen Butler. “We’re deeply grateful to County Executive Ryan McMahon and the Legislature for making this possible. We can’t imagine a more suitable home for an arts council than a historic building like Carnegie that reflects the rich cultural heritage of our region.” 

Located at 335 Montgomery Street, the Carnegie Building was designed by architect James A. Randall and completed in 1905. It is one of over two thousand such buildings underwritten by renowned, turn-of-the-century steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie was not only a wealthy and successful entrepreneur, but a patron of the arts, culture, and learning, too. 

For over eighty years, the Carnegie Building alternated between periods of activity, vacancy, and mixed-use application. Initially, the Building served as a central public library for the City of Syracuse, and eventually Onondaga County. Like many cultural institutions at the time, the it was designed in a neo-classical style, characterized by spacious rooms, towering columns, and finely detailed features. 

In 2011, stewardship of the building reverted to Onondaga Count, and the Building eventually underwent a $3.5 million, multi-year renovation plan. This Spring heralds the first new tenants in several years, including CNY Arts and several County agencies. We can’t wait to meet our new neighbors and share such a historic space with our County colleagues. 


Painting “On His Own Time”

Historic Art Returns Home to Syracuse

Did you know? Among the many services and programming provided by CNY Arts, we are also committed to preserving the rich cultural heritage of our region. So, you can imagine that we were thrilled to recently receive a handwritten note from an arts-lover almost two thousand miles away! As it turns out, Kristen de Galard of Buffalo, Wyoming, discovered that a painting in her possession was produced by none other than one of the inaugural faculty members of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, over 70 years ago.

In fact, the artist was Dr. Floyd Henry Allport, who is widely considered as the “founding father” of social science. In 1924, he published “Social Psychology,” considered a seminal work in his area of expertise. Dr. Allport served as a lieutenant in World War I and taught at several distinguished schools until finally arriving at Syracuse University.

In addition to a lifetime of professional accomplishments, Dr. Allport enjoyed one activity that he pursued on his own time: painting watercolor scenes of Central New York, where he served as president of the Associated Artists of Syracuse. The Association often displayed their work alongside renowned professional artists at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art – then located on James Street – which would eventually become the Everson. Much as our On My Own Time program does today!

“The painting…had been sitting in a closet until this [February],” said Ms. de Galard. “I contacted CNY Arts to see how I could return it to Syracuse University, or possibly a family member of Dr. Allport.”

When CNY Arts received Ms. de Galard’s inquiry, Executive Director Stephen Butler recognized the potential significance of the painting. As a graduate of the Maxwell School, Mr. Butler also understood the importance of returning the painting to Syracuse University. CNY Arts paid to have the painting shipped “home.”

 “This is perfect timing,” said Amy Criss, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Maxwell. “Dr. Allport was an inaugural member of our department, our department offered the first PhD in social psychology, and 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the field of social psychology. It would be really special to unveil the painting during the celebratory conference.”

Soon, “Work of the Waves” will be featured at the Maxwell School for all current and future members of the community to enjoy.

In the spirit of CNY Arts’ upcoming On My Own Time art exhibition program, the creative community of Central New York and Syracuse University wish to honor both Dr. Allport’s impressive scholarly contributions as well as his creative talent, which he pursued “on his own time.”

On My Own Time is a showcase dedicated to recognizing the creative achievement of local artists who practice their craft as an avocation. This year marks the 50th anniversary of On My Own Time. Selected art will be featured at a finale exhibit hosted by the Everson Museum in October. Dr. Allport’s remarkable example demonstrates that there is time and purpose in each of our lives for exploration, reflection, and expression.


Announcing the On My Own Time 50th Anniversary Participants and Sponsors!

Speaking of On My Own Time, we’re pleased to share this year’s participating businesses and sponsors. We are especially grateful to each organization for their involvement and support celebrating On My Own Time’s 50th anniversary. A big thank you to:


Gold Tier Participants

Boxcar Press; Ramboll; Upstate Medical University


Silver Tier Participants

Canale Insurance and Accounting; St. Joseph’s Health; Syracuse City School District


Bronze Tier Participants

ARISE; City of Syracuse; Lockheed Martin; Onondaga Community College; Onondaga County; SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists; Syracuse Stage; Southern Fare Restaurant


Gold Tier Sponsors



Bronze Tier Sponsors

Dannible & McKee (sponsoring ARISE’s participation)


Selected art works from each participating company will be part of the On My Own Time finale exhibit, opening at Everson Museum of Art on October 7 and running through November 12, 2023.



CNY Arts would like to acknowledge the tremendous support that we have received from our government counterparts. As the arts and culture sector continues to heal and rebuild in the wake of COVID-19, we are so thankful to our policymakers and elected representatives who have worked tirelessly advocating on behalf of the creative community:


  • Last year, CNY Arts received a $1 million allocation from a special New York State Senate Initiative spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins administered by the New York State Council on the Arts. A portion of these funds were set aside for grantmaking – 150% more than usual – and we received a record number of applications in response!


  • In January, we announced the second round of award recipients for the City of Syracuse Arts and Culture Recovery Fund. These resources are part of a $1.25 million grant program designed to revitalize the post-pandemic creative economy in Syracuse. Funding was generously provided by the City of Syracuse through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and administered by CNY Arts.


  • In March, we opened applications to our Marketing for Economic Development (MED) program, funded as part of a $1.5 million allocation generously provided by the County of Onondaga. MED grants are designed to enhance the marketing capability of arts, culture, and heritage organizations located in Onondaga County.


Staff Departures

Miquon Jackson 

Of course, with each season we must say farewell to staff who have completed their internships and fellowships. This Spring, we would like to acknowledge our Arts Leadership Fellow Miquon Jackson for his service and commitment to our team.

Miquon is a Syracuse native and graduate of Syracuse University, where he studied philosophy, acting, English, and business. As an Arts Leadership Fellow, Miquon put his multi-disciplinary academic background to practice here at CNY Arts by diving into marketing research, organizing grantee databases, and designing media for programs and promotional materials, to name a few of his many contributions. 

Miquon plans to leverage his experience at CNY Arts – and passion for theater! – to pursue a career in arts administration and not-for-profit work. We’re so grateful for Miquon’s time here at CNY Arts, and we can’t wait to see where his future endeavors will take him.


Well, that just about wraps it up, folks. As you can see, 2023 is off to an eventful start! And there is still so much to look forward in the coming months. Thank you to everyone who makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission to the creative community and public whom we serve.



That come before the swallow dares, and take

The winds of March with beauty”                                                                 - William Shakespeare


On behalf of the Board and staff at CNY Arts, we wish you a safe, warm, and pleasant Spring season ahead!