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Arts Services Inc. celebrates 10 years


Tue, Feb 2nd 2021 02:25 pm

New logo, revised name, same services to WNY arts

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI) announced a new name and logo as it heads into its 10-year anniversary in 2021. ASI is now officially doing business as Arts Services Inc., to reflect its current services to the arts and cultural industry of Western New York. Along with the name change, ASI has released a new logo and color scheme that more closely connects to the industry it serves and supports.

Their new logo was commissioned through a request for proposal process late in 2019. Local designer and artist Casey Kelly was selected to complete the rebrand. Kelly teaches graphic design at Rochester Institute of Technology and is an independent designer and brand strategist through her business at buffalodesignstudio.

Dave Wedekindt, ASI’s board vice president and chairman of the marketing committee, said, “Our focus always has been and will remain on supporting artists, arts and cultural organizations, and other creatives in Western New York. As we enter our 10th year of operation, we can certainly no longer be identified as an initiative. It was time to sharpen and refocus our mission and vision, coupled with an updated look and name that better reflects who we are today.”

ASI was created in 2011, with support from Fund for the Arts, to provide services and programs to the region’s arts sector, including administering the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization grants to Erie and Niagara counties. Since the organization began, ASI has adapted and evolved its programs and services to meet the needs of the arts industry.

“We are deeply attuned to the challenges facing individuals and organizations in the arts sector, especially during COVID,” said ASI Executive Director Jennifer Swan-Kilpatrick. “We will continue working tirelessly to provide the resources our field needs to not only get through this crisis, but to come out on the other side stronger.”

Last May, ASI launched the WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund in response to COVID-19, awarding over $235,000 to area artists and arts organizations. In addition, ASI surveyed the public to gather information about patron intent to attend arts experiences during and post-COVID-19 and hosted a “Reopening Together” series to help the industry prepare for some levels of reopening in June. Sadly, half the arts industry has yet to be given the green light to reopen at this time, making the performing arts one of several of the arts industry sectors to remain closed to the public since March.

According to Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national economic impact study with local research sponsored and collected by ASI in 2017, the arts industry has a $352 million economic impact on Western New York and employs more than 10,000 full time equivalent employees. Included in the total impact is $196.1 million in audience spending at restaurants, bars, hotels, hair and nail salons.

Through advocacy efforts with the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance, Arts NYS, and Americans for the Arts, ASI has helped advocate for COVID-19-related arts and culture support at all levels of government, including continued county and state funding, and federal assistance such as nonprofit representation within the Payroll Protection Program and the Shuttered Venue Operators grant (aka Save Our Stages Act).

Looking forward in 2021 and beyond, ASI will continue to assess the needs of the arts industry in WNY through surveying and conversations, and evolve its programming to meet those needs.

“The direction of our programs depends entirely on the needs of our community,” Swan-Kilpatrick said.

Learn more about the programs and services ASI provides online at asiwny.org.

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