ArtsWestchester Announces Grant Opportunities for Local Artists, Community Groups and Cultural Organizations

Deadlines to Apply for Arts Alive Grants are Wednesday, September 18 in Westchester and Wednesday, October 2 in Rockland

ArtsWestchester invites artists, cultural groups and community organizations to apply for the 2019 Arts Alive Grants. Awarded annually, these grants help to ensure that residents throughout Westchester and Rockland counties have access to the arts in their communities, particularly in areas where access may be limited.

The deadlines to apply for Arts Alive Grants are Wednesday, September 18, 2019 in Westchester County and Wednesday, October 2, 2019 in Rockland County. Applications and program guidelines are available online at

Arts Alive Grants are made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program (DEC), a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, and are administered by ArtsWestchester.

“The Arts Alive Grants are one of our most effective means of supporting arts activities for diverse populations in Westchester and Rockland counties,” said Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. “These grants are an opportunity not just for artists, but also for cultural groups and community organizations such as houses of worship or libraries, for instance. So long as your organization can demonstrate a history of ongoing arts and cultural programs, you are eligible to apply for these grants.”

New York State Assemblyman David Buchwald explained: “One of the ways ArtsWestchester works to ensure the arts are accessible to everyone in both Westchester and Rockland is through its administration of Arts Alive grants funded by NYSCA. I applaud ArtsWestchester for its ongoing efforts to support arts projects that enrich our entire community.”

An independent panel comprised of artists, as well as business, civic and cultural leaders, will review the applications and make award recommendations to ArtsWestchester’s Board of Trustees.  Funds are available in three categories:

  • Arts Alive Project Grant – Constitutes the largest component of the Arts Alive funding category. These grants support community-based arts and cultural projects developed by arts organizations, groups, collectives, individual artists, and a limited number of other nonprofits that offer open-to-the public arts activities as part of their on-going operations. First time applicants are most competitive. Artists and unincorporated arts organizations may apply for project grants in tandem with a fiscal agent organization. Project Grant Award: $1,000 – $5,000
  • Arts Alive Artist Grant – grants support the creation and presentation of new work by professional artists.   An essential element of this funding is the inclusion of a community engagement component. The project must engage a segment of the community through a public program, such as an exhibition or performance that is open to the public, and/or the inclusion of community involvement in the development and creative process of the artists’ project.  Artist Grant Award: $2,500
  • Arts Alive Arts Education Grant – grants support lifelong learning in the arts through partnerships between individual artists, or arts organizations, and Westchester or Rockland public schools (grades K-12), after school and lifelong learning programs.  ArtsWestchester encourages projects that integrate the arts into the curriculum, but curriculum integration is not required. The primary goal is to provide students of all ages with rich artistic learning experiences.  Programs may take place in classrooms; after-school programs; or community sites, including day-care and senior centers.  Arts Education Grant Award: $1,000 to $2,500

For 2019, Arts Alive granted funding to projects that spanned across various disciplines, including music programming and music classes for kids and adults with disabilities and theater performances. Additionally, cultural festivals and concert series were among the community events awarded.

Several pre-application workshops will take place over the next few months to help individuals fill out the applications. In addition, this year ArtsWestchester is offering office hours by appointment only on selected dates. Interested participants should email to RSVP for one of the following workshops or office hours:

Thursday, August 1

Bethany Arts Community
40 Somerstown Road
Ossining, NY  10562

Thursday, August 8

Pelham Art Center
155 Fifth Ave. Pelham, NY10803

Wednesday, August 14

Rockland Music Conservatory
45 S. Main Street
Pearl River, NY  10965

Tuesday, August 20

Finkelstein Library
24 Chestnut Street
Spring Valley, NY 10977

Thursday, August 22

Mt Kisco Arts Council ArtsSpace
41 South Moger Avenue
Mount Kisco, NY 10549

2019 Arts Alive Funded Grantees: 

Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas (Westchester) “Nosotros, Somos” an all-female Flamenco work with live dance and music from members of the A Palo Seco Flamenco Company, will pay tribute to women’s rights, with an eye towards the “Me, Too” movement in her funded project.  Development of the work will be open to the public through open rehearsals, work-in-progress showings, followed by a final performance open to the public.

Drag Queen Story Hour

Rockland Pride Center (Rockland):  Drag Queen Story Hour (photo attached) – Series of 12 Drag Queen Story Hours at community venues and events, free, suitable for children ages 3-8 and their families.  This project captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish; where dress up is real.

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