Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, on behalf of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., has announced a request for proposals for assisted programming along the Buffalo River between April 1 and Nov. 1. A total of $51,500 is available to qualified organizations and individuals to conduct programs and events at several sites along the river corridor, including Buffalo River Fest Park, Silo City grain elevators and site, Mutual Riverfront Park ("Ice Boom Park"), Father Conway Park, the Buffalo River itself, and other appropriate sites.
Grants for signature projects will range from $4,000 to $8,500, while grants for smaller community events will be available in the amounts of $500 or $1,000. Grants also are available for live performers who can be featured at the signature and community events.
Applications are due by noon Feb. 11, and are open to not-for-profit and other organizations and individuals. An information session will take place at noon Jan. 21 at 95 Perry St., 5th Floor, Buffalo. Details on the information session, the RFP and application are available now at www.asiwny.org.
"Western New Yorkers' pride in their waterfront continues to grow, thanks to Gov. Cuomo's commitment to our region and, in part, due to the efforts of Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and its programming along the Buffalo River," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. "As ASI releases a new RFP for signature events and community programs that will enliven the area, which serves as a key connector between downtown Buffalo and the Outer Harbor, I encourage creative applicants that will add to the uniqueness of the corridor and draw additional people to our waterfront."
Funding for the grants is made possible by ECHDC, which was created in 2005 to spearhead the waterfront development effort with a mission to revitalize Western New York's waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region's legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. ECHDC's efforts touch the Inner Harbor, inclusive of Canalside, the Outer Harbor, and the Buffalo River. In 2013, ECHDC renewed a contract with Arts Services Initiative to administer programming along the Buffalo River.
ASI was created in 2011 to develop capacity building, collaboration and advocacy programs and policies for the region's cultural sector, and has administered the Buffalo River grants for ECHDC since 2012. The funding source for the grants is proceeds payable to ECHDC pursuant to the New York Power Authority relicensing agreement.
"Now in its fourth grant cycle, Arts Services Initiative is proud of the roster of innovative programs that have been developed along the Buffalo River corridor," Executive Director Tod A. Kniazuk said. "These grants have already resulted in nationally recognized theater and art, last year's newly added blues festival, community programming, and a mural that captures the history and future of the Old First Ward. We can't wait to see what 2015's applications bring."