Cobblestone Museum approved for $9K grant to help with operation expenses

Photos by Tom Rivers: Rachel Lockhart of Rochester portrayed a teacher in the Cobblestone School during a “Ghost Walk” in October 2019.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 January 2023 at 9:39 am

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Society has announced receipt of a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Arts and Culture Initiative, according to Cobblestone director Doug Farley.

The grant, in the amount of $9,000, can be used for operational expenses, such as heat, lights, insurance, maintenance, staff, etc., Farley said.

“It is one of only a few grants available to us that covers everyday expenses, as opposed to specific grants that must be used for a restricted purpose,” Farley said. “I am pleased to receive this grant because it can be used for everyday needs. This is the first time we have received a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. I am happy they are reaching out into Orleans County to help us and other non-profit groups.”

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo announced the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Arts and Culture Initiative awards totaling $500,000 to support more than 75 small to mid-sized arts organizations serving the eight counties of Western New York and Monroe County through its inaugural 2022 competitive grants process. The criteria for the first year of grant funding was developed from input from more than 100 arts and cultural representatives across the nine counties, and the selection of the grantees was through a committee of arts and cultural leaders representing all the counties.

The initial announcement in December 2021 also includes $500,000 in annual funding to be awarded primarily to support small to mid-sized arts and culture organizations in the nine counties.

“We are grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation for recognizing the important role the arts and culture sector play in a thriving and vibrant Western New York regional economy and supporting it through an endowment forever,” said Betsy Constantine, executive vice president of the Community Foundation. “Community input was essential to the process and we will continue to listen and engage as we carry out this transformational investment.”

Bill Lattin, retired museum director, discusses two restored paintings during a reception at the visitors center at the Cobblestone Museum on Sept. 23. The paintings of Charles and Mary Ann Danolds (not shown) were restored after conservations efforts performed by Great Lakes Conservation of Grand Island. The two were pillars of the Universalist churches in Childs and Albion. The museum has tackled several preservation projects in recent years.

“When we established the endowment to support Western New York’s arts and culture sector, we did so out of the Foundation’s economic development focus area,” said Jim Boyle, vice president of programs and communications for the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

“These organizations, both large and small, are key economic drivers in their neighborhoods, communities and the broader region,” Boyle said. “This investment is our unique and long-term contribution to the arts and culture sector. We look forward to witnessing the amazing work to come from these new grantees.”

This recent grant follows the announcement in late December of the receipt of a $47,000 grant from the Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Program, which will be used for projects at the circa 1836 Ward house.  This grant was written by Cobblestone board president Erin Anheier, while the new grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation was written by Matt Holland, Orleans County’s grant writer before he took the position as director of United Way of Orleans County. The current grant writer is Nyla Gaylord, whose position is funded by a grant she wrote more than two years ago.