Cultural Resources Council awards $91,000 in DEC grants to CNY organizations

Cultural Resources Council awards $91,000 in arts grants to Central New York organizations

56 Central New York organizations and eight individual artists are being awarded a total of $91,000 in Arts Decentralization (DEC) grants for the 2010 cycle, announced Stephen Butler, Executive Director of the Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County. DEC, a program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), provides funding for arts and cultural development, participation, visibility, and appreciation in all counties of New York State.

The CRC is one of just 40 DEC sites that are charged with distributing state funding regionally through a panel process to help ensure that a diversity of creative art thrives in New York State. CRC funds projects in the Central New York region that cover a wide range of arts programming, including concerts and theatrical performances, music, crafts and drawing classes, poetry, sculpture, museums, festivals, and many more arts activities.

CRC distributes grants to Onondaga, Oswego, and Cortland Counties. Mark Wright, Director of Programs and Services at CRC, emphasizes that “Central New York is incredibly rich in a diverse array of arts and cultural offerings, and many of the funded programs provide direct access to the arts at low or no cost to participants.”


Liverpool High School received a DEC grant to help support its 13th Annual Jumpin’ Jazz Jam. This year’s event brought in world-renowned Concord recording artist Jane Monheit and her band for an evening of jazz at the high school on March 18. The high school’s stage band and jazz ensemble had the opportunity to work with Jane Monheit during the day, and then accompany her for several songs for the evening show. 17-year-old Liverpool High School vocalist Nick Blaney sang a duet with the artist. John Spadafore, Band Director for the Liverpool School District, pointed out that the granthelps the school to offer tickets to the community at a much reduced rate. He also described how many students have been inspired by participating with the annual series. Some graduates have gone on to professional music careers, and others become lifelong supporters of the arts.
DEC grants assist programs that use the arts as a “bridge to academics” to enrich students’ school careers as well as to help engage those who have not been successful in the traditional classroom.
The Center for Community Alternatives received a grant for a poetry program featuring Jackie Warren-Moore. A majority of CCA students come from impoverished, educationally disadvantaged communities. Pamela Weinburg, Director of Youth Services for CCA, said that the grant allows the agency to offer cultural programming to augment the academic program for its students, who attend school on a separate schedule from the mainstream students. CCA’s students have enthusiastically participated in the grant-funded programs.

Susan Lippke, Coordinator of Town of Schroeppel Community Services said: “…The Town of Schroeppel is grateful to the Cultural Resources Council and the New York State Council on the Arts for funding our summer concert series (“Music in the Park”) for the past several years. The decentralization grant has enabled our series to grow from its first year, having only two concert dates at the town park, to an eight concert series at Henley Park on the scenic Oswego River Canal, supported by a partnership of three reputable community groups: The Town of Schroeppel Community Services, the Phoenix Community & Youth Council, and the Phoenix Public Library …
On our 10th anniversary this summer, we have to credit the CRC and NYSCA for helping the Phoenix summer concert series (“Music in the Park”) be a success – they supported us all along to where we are today!”
This year, the concert series received a $1,000 DEC grant, which covers about one-third of its costs.

Penny Kimball of Rural and Migrant Ministry of Oswego County, which received a $3,500 grant for its Enrichment Program said: “The funds from the Cultural Resources Council allows us to bring artistic and cultural opportunities to the community that would not be available to many of our residents due to financial, transportation, and other issues.”

The Rural and Migrant Ministry’s grant will fund multigenerational, after-school art classes, which are attended together by students from kindergarten through senior citizen ages. The grant also provides for daytime adult classes in Oswego County. In keeping with diversity goal of the DEC program, this year’s Enrichment Program will feature Vanessa Johnson, a professional visual artist, storyteller (griot), historian, writer, and singer, who will teach African Diaspora arts and crafts. Other presenters will engage participants in Aboriginal art, watercolors, polymer clay, and basketweaving.
For the 2010 funding cycle, CRC has awarded 33 DEC grants in Onondaga County ($45,715), twelve in Cortland County ($20,690), eleven in Oswego County ($16,595), and $8,000 to individual artists.

The mission of the Cultural Resources Council is to provide services to individuals, organizations and the general public that ensure the vitality and diversity of culture in Central New York. For a current list of this year’s DEC award recipients or to find out more about CRC’s program and services please contact us at 315.435.2155, visit us at, or FAN Cultural Resources Council on