CNY Arts, Inc.


Thank You Letter to the Community

In response to the crisis facing the arts sector in Central New York caused by the pandemic, CNY Arts has been in the process of raising $1M for the CNY Arts COVID-19 Impact Fund. This initiative, which is almost half-way to its goal, has and will continue to provide emergency funding for arts agencies and artists in Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties.

CNY Arts would like to thank its many community partners for their role in the success of this Fund Drive so far. We are gratified at the number of supporters, including businesses and individuals too numerous to mention here.  As we look back at the first six months of this effort, our organization is especially appreciative of the challenge grants provided by The Central New York Community Foundation, The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, and the John Ben Snow Foundation and Memorial Trust. These have brought in significant matching gifts and continue to do so. (To learn more about the fund, visit the Arts Impact Fund page

Other local foundations, including The Gifford Foundation, Allyn Family Foundation, Richard S. Shineman Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, and Price Chopper's Golub Foundation have also contributed generously. We want to thank Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and the Onondaga County Legislature. We also thank our Arts Impact Fund Committee, Carrie Mae Weems, Eunice Williams, Bruce Coville, and Mark Golden.

Because of the community’s support, over $200,000 in COVID Impact grants will have been awarded to 74 arts agencies and artists by the end of December!  Much of this has already been distributed, making an immediate impact in the arts community. The next funding cycle will begin in early January. A big thank you is also due to our region’s cultural sector for pivoting so quickly at the start of the pandemic. They have been keeping our arts, culture, and heritage going by creating virtual access and eventually, safe, scaled down live events (in Phase 4), for the residents of our entire region.

We again offer our sincere thanks to the foundations, corporations, and individuals that have supported the CNY Arts COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund Drive. As Elizabeth Douglas, Executive Director of Arts at the Palace in Hamilton, NY, a recent Impact Fund recipient, said, “We need community support to continue to bring the arts into the lives of community members at a time when this is more important than ever.” We couldn’t agree more and it’s uplifting to see that so many in our region have stepped up to support this important work.