The Broome County Arts Council (BCAC) announces the awarding of $286,500 in United Cultural Fund (UCF) grants this year to 15 local arts organizations and community non-profits. In this year of recovery for the arts nationwide, these numbers reflect a nationwide picture: a greater number of medium and large arts organizations are seeking deeper levels of grant support to counteract loss of revenue due to COVID lockdown in 2020. Conversely, many individual artists and small arts initiatives have necessarily paused programmatic planning until the likelihood of audiences are more certain.

2021 General Operating Support (GOS) UCF grants will help sustain the general operations of eight major Broome County arts organizations, a significant increase from last year’s five recipients, and a sign of the perseverance of the Arts in Broome County. 2021 General Operations awards were granted to: the Endicott Performing Arts Center, The Goodwill Theatre, Tri-Cities Opera, Roberson Museum and Science Center, The Binghamton Philharmonic, LUMA, and, two new GOS awardees: The Bundy Museum of History and Art, and The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier. Additionally, this year’s campaign for the Arts will support the work of seven smaller, community arts projects with UCF Project Grants of $1000 each. All 2021 UCF Project Grants were made possible with a grant from the Community Foundation of South Central New York – marking the first time in the 35 year history of the United Cultural Fund that money for UCF Project Grants are supported solely by an individual Foundation gift.

2021 UCF Project grants have been awarded to the following organizations: Binghamton Community Orchestra, The Binghamton Poetry Project, The Center for Gender, Art, & Culture, the Kopernik Society of Broome County, The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton, The Nanticoke Valley Historical Society of Maine, NY, and SRO Productions. In the coming year, look for a streamed concert of small ensemble pieces, virtual writing workshops, events, and publishing opportunities, a public art directory and map, a screening of art films with astronomical images, a concert of choral music by Binghamton composers and arrangers, poetry, prose and images of Maine (NY) – old and new – and HONK!, a musical adaptation of The Ugly Duckling.

The Dept. of Public Art, through the Center for Gender, Art, and Culture, received a $1000 grant to document the dozens of murals in Broome County. They will collaborate with Broome County in this effort.

Other major donors whose charitable gifts help make UCF grants possible include the Stewart W. & Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, Broome County Government, the Dr. G. Clifford & Florence B. Decker Foundation, the Miller S. & Adelaide S. Gaffney Foundation, the IBM Corporation, Columbian Financial Group, Visions Federal Credit Union, the Security Mutual Life Insurance Co. of New York, Miller Auto Team, Dr. Linda Biemer, Dr. Donald M. Boros, CFSCNY, and other local businesses and individuals who believe in the value of arts investment. The Broome County Arts council annually receives 15% of UCF Campaign totals, which is reserved for Broome County Arts Council’s general operations & programming. The remainder of the total each year is dispersed among UCF Recipients throughout the year.

Since 1987, the Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund has distributed over $11 million to the Arts in Broome County, while serving over 100,000 residents. Prior to the pandemic, UCF grantees typically returned $3-$4 million dollars to Broome County’s economy. The economic impact of revenue loss due to COVID has been hard-felt in the Arts community since March of 2020, but with an 18 month recovery period predicted (AFTA, 2020), United Cultural Campaign funding was especially critical this year. As ever, we are grateful for the generosity of all who supported the recovery and sustainability of the Arts in Broome County with their donations.

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