CNY Arts, Inc.


Community, Creativity, and Commerce: Increased Funding for the Arts Benefits Everyone in Onondaga County

On behalf of arts, culture and heritage agencies, the Board and staff at CNY Arts would like to express its deep gratitude to County Executive Ryan McMahon and the County Legislature for their recently approved $2.1 million budget allocation for the arts and culture sector. This represents an approximate increase of $599,000 over the previous fiscal year and has taken County arts funding to historic highs and will allow us to continue building on the many successes the arts and culture community has had in recent years.

For over a decade, Onondaga County has relied on CNY Arts to assist in identifying and supporting local arts and culture organizations. One area that has seen tremendous success is the Marketing and Economic Development program. This program benefits multiple agencies by expanding and promoting new art and entertainment attractions. County dollars not only provide direct support to well-known local institutions, but also fund diverse, smaller arts agencies that have been historically unfunded.

According to a 2018 study commissioned by CNY Arts and conducted by Le Moyne College, 45 arts and culture organizations in greater Syracuse alone generated $48 million in direct spending. Using an economic impact formula crafted by Americans for the Arts, patrons of these organizations and events spent $100 million in the local economy during the twelve-month survey period. These dollars created or supported over 5,000 jobs and enriched our community with high quality artistic and cultural experiences.

Recently, Onondaga County launched a new municipal Public Art program. This program will employ local artists and ultimately result in the transformation of community spaces that encourage residents to gather, share, and become inspired by public art. We are fortunate that County Executive McMahon and the County Legislature have consistently recognized the economic and quality of life value that comes with a thriving arts economy.

Under Mr. McMahon’s leadership, the County has also made strategic investments in the feature film business through the Production Rebate and Incentives for Media and Entertainment Development program. Since 2021, six movies have participated in the program. For every dollar of support, these projects generate four dollars in direct spending and create hundreds of full-time equivalent jobs for the local creative class.

The arts are inseparable from economic growth and play a crucial role in the health and cohesion of our communities. CNY Arts applauds County Executive McMahon and members of the County Legislature for their inspired decision to sustain and enhance funding for the arts. CNY Arts believes that art is for everyone, and with the support of our elected officials, Onondaga County can look forward to a vibrant and prosperous future.               

Stephen Butler 

Executive Director

CNY Arts

Rita Paniagua

Board President

CNY Arts