Cultural Resources Council Receives $25,000 Community Foundation Grant for Youth Arts Education

July 22, 2010 (Syracuse, NY) – The Central New York Community Foundation has awarded a $25,000 Strategic Partnership grant to the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County (CRC) and Partners for Arts Education (PAE). The grant will help fund necessary legal services, administration costs and the completion of existing program commitments as the CRC assumes the role of re-granter from the now dormant PAE.

John G. Eberle, Vice President of  Grants and Community Initiatives for the Central New York Community Foundation said, “The Community Foundation is pleased to support the current efforts of the CRC as they expand their influence and support for the arts in our region.  Their commitment to fill gaps lost when Partners for Arts Education stopped operations in 2009 are to be commended.  This particular project exemplifies what the Strategic Partnership Fund was created to support.”

Established in 1999, Partners for Arts Education (PAE) served as a re-granting organization for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and as an advocate for the role of the arts in children’s education by serving as a liaison between local schools and arts organizations. Five Central New York counties received state funding annually through PAE for children’s arts education. The agency’s purpose was to advocate for the vital role of the arts in children’s education by serving as a liaison between local schools and arts organizations.

In 2009, PAE ceased operations due to budget cuts, lost contracts and an operational model that was not sustainable in today’s economic climate. At that same time, the Cultural Resources Council was returning to its original focus of functioning as a supporter and collaborator for the existing community arts projects, rather than being a presenter itself. The agency’s two boards had already begun to work together on a possible affiliation, and ultimately decided to continue with that process.

When the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) was made aware of PAE’s impending dissolution, it invited the CRC to apply to serve as a re-grantor for Arts Education funding to PAE’s former constituents in Onondaga, Madison, Oswego, Cayuga and Cortland counties.

CRC Executive Director, Stephen Butler expects that CRC will emerge as the area’s primary conduit for children’s arts funding:  “Every day, we hear about austere school budgets and the impact these have on arts education.  Programs considered non-essential are being cut or reduced. However, we know that the arts are essential to every child’s education. The arts have been proven to support success in other academic subjects, encourage interest in school, and enhance children’s school careers. CRC’s goal is to directly assist schools in offering exposure to a range of arts and cultural experiences to our community’s young people.”

The CRC is also taking this opportunity to add arts education services to its other programs. Such services will include after-school arts programming and the connection of arts organizations with area schools.

The affiliation and dissolution is expected to take two years to complete. After PAE’s final audit, it will transfer its assets to the CRC, including a technology and software integration. The CRC will then establish re-grant panels in five counties, distribute funds, and survey the community to determine what arts education services are needed in each region.

The Cultural Resources Council, established in 1957, promotes, supports and celebrates arts and culture in Central New York. The organization strives to provide access to and a greater appreciation for the arts and cultural vibrancy of the region.  The CRC offices are located at 411 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 and can be reached at 315.435.2155 or www.mycnyarts.org

The Strategic Partnership Fund, formed by the Community Foundation, supports projects that involve the collaboration of two or more nonprofits seeking to reduce overall operation expenses while working to enhance program delivery in the community. Additional information about the Fund, including how to apply for a grant, can be found at www.cnycf.org/grants.

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