Funding supports community & youth engagement in the arts
Congressman Brian Higgins announced two federal grants totaling $35,000 awarded to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo String Works. Awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through the Grants for Arts project, the grants support community engagement in the arts for students in underserved communities.
“The arts, in a variety of forms, are deeply ingrained in the Western New York Community, uniting us and providing valuable learning opportunities,” Higgins said. “This federal funding provides critical access to music and art education for underserved youth on Buffalo’s West Side that incorporates the neighborhood’s culture and diversity.”
The Grants for Arts program is the NEA’s principal grants program for U.S.-based organizations. Through project-based funding, the program supports public engagement and access to art in a variety of forms, art creation, art education for people of all ages, and the integration of art into the fabric of communities across the country. The grants fund projects in artist communities, arts education, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, literary arts, local art agencies, media arts, museums, music, opera, presenting and multidisciplinary arts, theater and visual arts. Awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 with majority under $25,000.
The BPO is the recipient of a music grant totaling $20,000, which will support the West Side Connection program, a virtual community engagement program and concert.
A press release said, “The West Side of Buffalo is a diverse community made up of immigrants new and old. This program serves students at the 12 Buffalo Public Schools in the neighborhood of Kleinhans Music Hall, including three Spanish bilingual schools, a Native American Magnet School, and three international schools. It includes educational activities and guest visits from artists, culminating in a concert and allowing the BPO to engage students in celebrating the community’s diversity and culture through music.”
Buffalo String Works provides music instruction, as well as a creative home at no cost to refugee, immigrant, and historically marginalized youth on Buffalo’s West Side. The NEA grant, totaling $15,000, supports a free youth orchestra program by providing funding for teaching artist fees.
The press release said, “This critical support ensures access to youth-centered music education.”
NEA has been working to unite and uplift communities through the arts for over 50 years. The next Grants for Arts projects application deadlines are Thursdays, Feb. 10, and July 7. To learn more about project qualifications and application guidelines, visit https://www.arts.gov/grants/grants-for-arts-projects/program-description.