GO Art! distributes $336,000 in grants for 2 rural counties

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2024 at 9:55 pm

State funding for local arts sees big increase from the $70K in 2019, and $210K in 2023

Photos by Tom Rivers: Mary Jo Whitman (speaking in front at right) and Jodi Fisher (left), co-coordinators of the Statewide Community Regrant Program for GO Art!, announce the awards in Orleans County during a program Saturday at Hoag Library in Albion.

ALBION – The arts and cultural scene in Genesee and Orleans counties is getting a big funding boost through the Statewide Community Regrant Program.

GO Art! announced $336,000 in grants for artists and community events that celebrate the arts in 2024. That is up from $210,000 in 2023, and well above the $70,000 that was available for the two counties in 2019.

This year there will be $210,151 for programs and artists in Genesee County, and $125,849 in Orleans County. GO Art! tends to divvy up the funds in a 60-40 split. Genesee gets more because it has more people than Orleans – 58,388 compared to 40,343.

Mary Jo Whitman, co-coordinator of the community grants program for GO Art!, said the big increase in state funding will allow for more murals, more support for concerts, and more creative projects to build stronger connections locally.

She is hopeful the state won’t cut back on the new higher funding limit, but she said the amounts are unknown in the future.

Although Go Art! was able to fund more projects and programs in 2024, Whitman said there were some proposals that didn’t get funding because there wasn’t enough money for every project. She would like to see more arts funding in the future because there is a demand for it.

“We are investing in projects, people and the future of our two counties,” she said Saturday at Hoag Library in Albion, where the Orleans grants were announced.

The Community Arts (REACH) grants provide seed money to individual artists, collectives and arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Genesee and Orleans counties communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media and visual arts.

The grants include the following:


  • E-Yah-Pah-Hah Wind Quintet: $5,000 for Classical Music Series in Albion Community
  • Barre Betterment Committee: $1,000 for Square Dance at the Town Park
  • Laura Jackett with fiscal sponsor, Lee-Whedon Memorial Library in Medina: $5,000 for Art Workshops at the Libraries
  • Rob Klino from Friends of Boxwood accepts the grant for the organization dedicated to Medina’s historic cemetery. Boxwood will rededicate a restored stained-glass window in the chapel on May 18 and will put on its Boxwood at Night event on Oct. 5.

    Julie Berry with community partner, Community Action of Orleans & Genesee: $5,000 for Live Jazz Swing Bands for Community Social Dances

  • Friends of Orleans County Marine Parks: $5,000 for OONA Summer Concert Series
  • Community Action of Orleans & Genesee: $3,000 for “Community Action Helping People Change Lives,” a mural on the building at Main Street Corner Thrifts, Gifts and More
  • Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum: $1,000 for “Capture the Light”
  • Albion Merchants Association: $4,000 for Albion Merchants Association’s 2024 Event Season
  • Lakeshore Arts Incorporated: $1,331 for Lakeshore Fine Craft Workshops
  • Tegan Leach with community partner, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension: $4,519 for “Transforming Natural Fibers through Spinning and Dyeing”
  • Greater Albion Community Recreation and Events: $5,000 for Village of Albion Summer Festival featuring Rock the Park
  • Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension: $1,799 for Craig Wilkins and Craig Wilkins Band – Senior Lunch performance at Orleans County 4-H Fair
  • Lee-Whedon Memorial Library: $5,000 for Finally Fridays! concert series
  • Yates Community Library: $5,000 for Yates Community Library – More Than Just Books summer concert series
  • Friends of Boxwood Cemetery: $5,000 for Boxwood at Night
  • The Cobblestone Society: $5,000 for the Cobblestone Museum Arts Series
  • Lyndonville Lions Club: $5,000 for “I Hear the Music”
  • Village of Holley: $3,000 for Village of Holley Canal concert series
  • Community Free Library: $5,000 for Continuation of Myron Holley Erie Canal Mural, with new mural by Arthur Barnes
  • Care Net Center of Greater Orleans: $5,000 for “Artists and Their Styles”
  • C.W. “Bill” Lattin with community partner, The Cobblestone Society: $5,000 for reprint and additions to his book, “Architecture Destroyed in Orleans County, N.Y.”
  • Village of Holley: $2,000 for festival series
  • Canalside Radio Inc.: $5,000 for “Harmonizing Communities: The Canalside Radio Initiative”
  • William Schutt with fiscal sponsor, Village of Albion: $5,000 for “Lighting the Erie Canal,” a lamppost made from old steel from the Main Street lift bridge
  • Village of Albion: $5,000 for Village of Albion Summer Concert Series
  • Hoag Library of the Swan Library Association: $5,000 for Hoag Music Series
  • Michelle Cryer with community partner, Town of Carlton: $5,000 for Carlton Mural at the Cove

Arthur Barnes stands next to this painting which he will do large scale on the back of Community Free Library in Holley. He will paint it to blend with a canal mural done last year by Tony Barry. Barnes said this will be his sixth mural in Orleans County. The first five were all Erie Canal scenes.


  • Batavia Concert Band: $5,000 for Music in the Park Summer Concert Series
  • Holland Purchase Historical Society: $5,000 for HLOM Guest Speaker & Concert Series
  • Haxton Memorial Library: $5,000 for “Talented Thursdays”
  • Alexander Volunteer Fire Department Band: $4,837 for Alexander Volunteer Fire Department Community Performances
  • The Elba Betterment Committee: $4,550 for “EBC Presents….”
  • Oakfield Betterment Committee Inc: $5,000 for Oakfield Labor Daze
  • Genesee Chorale Inc.: $5,000 for Genesee Chorale Season’
  • Village of Bergen: $2,300 for Hickory Park Concert Series
  • Rebecca A O’Donnell with community partner, Warrior House of WNY INC: $4,000 for “Creative Community Connections at the Goose”
  • Batavia Business Improvement District: $5,000 for Jackson Square Concert Series
  • David F. Burke with Community Partner Warrior House of WNY INC: $2,500 for “Wings” Mural for The Goose Community Center
  • Heather Kathleen Davis with community partner St. Mark’s Episcopal Church: $3,100 for “Opera on the Oatka”
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra: $5,000 for Genesee Symphony Orchestra’s 78th Season
  • Byron-Bergen Public Library: $5,000 for “Arts in our Community”
  • Mandy Taylor with community partner, City of Batavia Fire Department: $2,900 for “Main Street Fire Hydrant Murals”
  • Bergen Business and Civic Association: $5,000 for Bergen Park Festival
  • Woodward Memorial Library: $4,979 for “Art All Year, Take Two”
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church: $2,415 for “Music at St. Mark’s’”
  • Kathlyn Baker with Community Partner, Warrior House of WNY: $5,000 for “Art Exploration Project”
  • Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming OUT!: $5,000 for GLOW OUT! Pride Festival
  • Village of Corfu: $5,000 for Corfu Farmers Market Music Series
  • GLOW YMCA, Inc.: $1,000 for GLOW Corporate Street Beat
  • Gillam-Grant Community Center: $4,640 for “A Spectrum of Art”
  • The Batavia Players, Inc.: $5,000 for 2024 Season
  • Marianne Skye with community partner, Warrior House of WNY: $5,000 for “Groovy Moves-Family Music and Movement”
  • Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Incorporated: $4,710 for “Artful Observation: Inspired by Nature”
  • Joshua Lang with community partner, Batavia Concert Band: $2,500 for “Holst: Suite de Ballet movement 4”
  • Magen Peters with fiscal sponsor, Batavia Business Improvement District: $5,000 for “Fairy Doors of Downtown Batavia”
  • Lorie Longhany with community partner, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church: $4,000 for “The Joy Project”
  • Jennifer Grey with fiscal sponsor, Batavia Business Improvement District: $5,000 for “Summer Groove of Jackson Square”
  • Sara Tenney with fiscal sponsor, Batavia Business Improvement District: $5,000 for “Summer Sounds of Jackson Square”
  • Everpresent Church: $3,600 or “Take My Hand” Mural
  • Town and Country Garden Club of LeRoy: $5,000 for “Rooted Harmony: Artistic Benches Cultivating Community Connection”
  • LeRoy Historical Society: $4,305 for “Discovering LeRoy’s Ingham University: The First Woman’s University in the Country”
  • Jill Pettigrew with community partner, Village of Corfu: $5,000 for “Roadside Art Gallery’
  • Justin Benedict with community partner, Richmond Memorial Library: $5,000 for “The Nightroad Volume 1”
  • Andy Rich with community partner, Batavia Players: $5,000 for “Acting and Filmmaking Outside of Major Markets”
  • Hollwedel Memorial Public Library: $5,000 for “Shake on the Lake – Henry V”
  • James Lullo with Fiscal Sponsor, Batavia Players Inc.: $5,000 for “Kitty”
  • Brian Kemp with community partner, Batavia Business Improvement District: $5,000 for “2024 TableTopArtShow”
  • Oakfield Historical Society Inc.: $5,000 for “History Comes Alive”

Randy Reese of Medina accepts a grant for “Harmonizing Communities” initiative on Canalside Radio, which is currently available online. He announced it has been approved as an FM station at 107.9. Jodi Fisher, at right, helped present the grants on Saturday for Go Art!

Individual Artist Commission (RIPPLE) supports local, artist-initiated activity, and highlights the role of individual artists as important members of the community. The commission is for artistic projects with outstanding artistic merit that work within a community setting.


  • Patricia Greene: $2,500 for “Images of Beauty”
  • Eric Weatherbee: $2,500 for “The Humble Bard Presents”


  • David F. Burke: $2,500 for “Extension to Harvester Center Hallway Mural”
  • Thom Jennings: $2,500 for “Missing Man – The Vince Welnick Story”
  • Joshua Lang: $2,500 for “Suite de Ballet Mvt 3”
  • Eric Zwieg: $2500 for The Family Model

The Arts Education Program (SPARK) is offered in two funding strands: K-12 In-School Projects and After-School and Community-based Learning. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts


  • Brandi Zavitz with community partner, Lyndonville Central School District: $5,000 for “Mural in Music Hallway”
  • Judd Sunshine for Erie Canal Songwriting Project with fourth-graders


  • Linda Fix with fiscal sponsor, BCSD Foundation Community Schools: $5,000 for “#It Takes A Village”
  • Bart Dentino with community partner, Oakfield-Alabama Central School District: $4,815 for “The Spaces Between the Leaves”
  • Chris Humel with community partner, The Office For The Aging: $5,000 for “Cartooning For Seniors”