GO ART! presents $210K grants for artists, concerts and cultural projects

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 April 2023 at 10:35 am

Local funding from state regrant program doubles from last year

Photos by Tom Rivers: Gregory Hallock (right), executive director of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council greets about 75 people during an announcement on Saturday for $210,000 in grants to local arts programs. He is joined at Hoag Library in Albion by Mary Jo Whitman (left), the education and Statewide Community Regrant Program coordinator; and Jodi Fisher (center), the GO ART! administrative assistant.

ALBION – Local artists and organizations will see a big increase in funding for cultural programming this year. The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council on Saturday presented grants totaling $210,000 to about 50 different organizations, municipalities and artists for events and projects.

That is about double the $107,800 from a year ago and triple the $70,000 in decentralization grants from the state in 2019.

There was more money available from the state through the Statewide Community Regrant Program. GO ART! has shown it can administer the funding, and the two local counties have shown there is demand for the programs, said Gregory Hallock, GO ART! executive director.

He addressed about 75 people on Saturday at Hoag Library, when the checks were distributed for the programs.

“It’s absolutely phenomenal to get this kind of money to give out,” he said.

GO ART! officials on Saturday presented checks for $210,000 to about 50 different artists, community organizations and municipalities to support cultural programs in 2023. The funding was presented to about 75 people at the Hoag Library in Albion. Last year there was $107,800 available.

The result is bigger grants – up to $5,000 – for many of the projects, and some first-time recipients.

The Statewide Community Regrant Program is funded through the New York State Council on the Arts. Money is available in all 62 counties with funding regranted by local arts agencies through a peer panel funding process. The Statewide Community Regrant Programs consists of 3 different grants – Reach, Ripple and Spark.

REACH: The GO ART! Community Arts Grants (Reach Grants) provide seed grants to individual artists, collectives and arts organizations for projects and activities that enable Genesee and Orleans communities to experience and engage with the performing, literary, media, and visual arts. Each year the program supports arts projects, including concerts, performances, public art, exhibitions, screenings, festivals, workshops, readings and more.

Veronica Morgan accepts a grant for $5,000 to go towards the “I was a ‘Hoggee’ on the Erie Canal” program planned for Oct. 6-7 which will include a canal boat in Orleans County, artists and other entertainers.


  • Albion Merchants Association – Concerts on the Canal, $5,000
  • Cobblestone Society & Museum – Cobblestone Museum Arts Series, $5,000
  • Friends of Boxwood Cemetery – Boxwood at Night, $4,160
  • Hoag Library – Hoag Music Series, $5000
  • Howard Barry (Community Free Library) – Myron Holley Erie Canal Mural, $5,000
  • Lee-Whedon Memorial Library – Finally Fridays! Concert series, $3,200
  • Lyndonville Lions Club – I Hear the Music, $5,000
  • Orleans County Historical Association – Multidisciplinary Live History Event, $5,000
  • Veronica Morgan – I was a “Hoggee” on the Erie Canal, $5,000
  • Vette (Albion Merchant Association) – Albion Summer Concert, $4,768
  • Village of Albion – Bridging the Village Music Series, $5,000
  • Village of Holley – Concerts at the Canal, $3,000
  • Yates Community Library – More than Just Books, $5,000

Tony Barry, an artist from Holley, receives a grant to paint a mural on the back of the Community Free Library building. The mural will be in an Erie Canal theme, and will include a portrait of Myron Holley, the village’s namesake and an early champion of the canal.


  • Batavia Business Improvement District – Jackson Square Concert Series, $5,000
  • Batavia Concert Band – Batavia Concert Band Summer Concert Series, $3,231
  • Batavia Development Corp – Murals in the Batavia City Centre, $2,800
  • Batavia Players, Inc. – 2023 Theater Season, $5,000
  • Bergen Historical Society – Holiday Mural Panels, $4,286
  • Bill & Kay McDonald – Homegrown Concert Series, $5,000
  • Brian Kemp (Batavia Business Improvement District) – TableTop ArtShow, $5,000
  • Byron-Bergen Public Library – Enriching lives through the Arts, $4,954
  • David Burke (Warrior House of WNY) – The Goose Community Center Indoor Mural, $2,500
  • Elba Betterment Committee – EBC Presents Art Around Town (Again), $5,000
  • Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden – Artistic Interpretive Panels, $5,000
  • Gillam-Grant Community Center – Community Art Adventure, $4,849
  • Genesee Chorale, Inc. – Genesee Chorale 2023 Season, $5,000
  • Genesee Symphony Orchestra – Concert Series, $5,000
  • GLOW OUT! – Pride Festival, $4,500

Sara Vacin, executive director of GLOW Out, said a grant will help fund the GLOW Pride Fest on June 9 in Batavia.

  • Haxton Memorial Library – Talented Thursdays, $5,000
  • Heather Davis (St. Mark’s Episcopal Church) – Opera on the Oatka, $1,500
  • Holland Land Office Museum – Guest Speaker & Concert Series, $3,500
  • Hollwedel Memorial Public Library in Pavilion – Shake on the Lake Presents William Shakespeare, $5,000
  • Michelle Cryer (Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden) – Batavia Water Storage Tank Mural, $2,800
  • Oakfield Betterment Committee – Oakfield Labor Daze, $5,000
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church – Music at St. Mark’s, $2,970
  • Thera Sanchez (Habitat for Humanity) – Batavia’s Gold Mural, $3,000
  • Warrior House of WNY – Learning Through Art, $5,000
  • William Peterson (Batavia Players) – Everyone Has a Story, $5,000
  • Woodward Memorial Library – Art All Year, $5,000

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


  • Eric Weatherbee – The Humble Bard Presents, $2,500


  • Eric Zwieg – Passenger: A Billion Little Pieces – Postmodern Reflections, $2,500
  • David Burke – Harvester Center Hallway Mural, $2,500
  • William Schutt – Connecting Hands Connecting Communities, $2,500
  • Joshua Lang – On Dreams, $2,500

Alex Fitzak, a member of the band Vette, accepted a grant on behalf of an Albion concert series organized by the Albion Merchants Association.

SPARK: The Arts Education Program (Spark Grant) supports arts education projects for youth and/or senior learners. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process.


  • Patricia Greene (Orleans County Chamber of Commerce) – Art Experiences for Seniors, $5,000
  • Judd Sunshine (Lyndonville Central School District) – Erie Canal Songwriting Project, $3,300


  • Genesee County Youth Bureau – Re:Creation (Drawings of Nature), $3,200
  • Strength in Numbers Organization Inc. – Strength In Numbers Organization Youth Music Program, $5,000
  • Linda Miranda Fix (Batavia Central School District) – #kindness,empathy&you mural, $5,000
  • Laura Jackett (Byron-Bergen Public Library) – Art Workshops at the Libraries, $5,000

Todd Bensley, one of the leaders of Friends of Boxwood, accepts a grant to support the Boxwood at Night event this summer at Boxwood Cemetery in medina. Boxwood is a first-time recipient of a GO ART! grant. The Boxwood at Night includes a cemetery tour, ghost walk and music.