Broome Co Arts Council

BCAC Awards Dept of Public Art a Grant

BCAC ANNOUNCES OVER $261K FOR 2022 UNITED CULTURAL FUND (UCF) RECIPIENTS The Broome County Arts Council (BCAC) announced $261,059.00 in 2022 United Cultural Funds (UCF) to 21 local artists, arts organizations and community non-profits – a substantial increase from the number of awards granted in 2021. Applicant statistics in Broome County reflect a nationwide picture: […]

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Exterminator: A Horse Celebrated in the Arts

‘Exterminator Extravaganza Month’ Begins in Binghamton

BCAC, County Executive Garnar & Mayor David Announce Events Commemorating Kentucky Derby Winner

(BINGHAMTON, N.Y.) — Broome County Arts Council Executive Director Nancy Barno Reynolds joined the Broome County Historical Society, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, Mayor Richard C. David and local officials at the Jeffrey P. Kraham Broome County Public Library today to kick off Exterminator Extravaganza Month, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the famous Kentucky Derby win by the Binghamton racehorse Exterminator.

“This year, our community will host a slate of fun events to celebrate the centennial of Exterminator’s legendary upset at the 1918 Kentucky Derby,” Reynolds said. “Not only was the racehorse beloved by the Binghamton community, his story is one of the most exciting pieces of local history, and we’re eager to bring the community together to celebrate with a series of great events.”

Exterminator belonged to Willis Sharpe Kilmer, the wealthy Binghamton newspaperman, who bought the horse in early 1918 to help his more-prized racehorse, Sun Briar, during workouts. When Sun Briar faced a medical issue ahead of the 1918 Kentucky Derby, Kilmer agreed to race Exterminator in his place. Regarded by Kilmer then simply as a workhorse, Exterminator “shocked the world” on May 11, 1918 when he overcame 30-1 odds to win the Kentucky Derby, according to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.

Exterminator competed in 99 races in his career, winning 50 of them and earning the title of American Horse of the Year in 1922. Nicknamed “Old Bones” for his scrawny appearance, Exterminator was eventually elected into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was moved to the Kilmers’ Riverside Drive stable in Binghamton after his retirement and came to be adored by the community. Kilmer’s wife held a party for community members each May to celebrate the horse’s birthday.

“Binghamton’s history is full of fascinating characters and interesting stories, and Exterminator’s story gives us a reason to celebrate,” said Mayor David. “We are grateful to the Broome County Arts Council, the Broome County Historical Society and the other partners involved in the centennial celebrations. Their events in the weeks ahead are part of what makes Binghamton such a great place to live and visit.”

“Thank you to the Broome County Arts Council and Broome County Historical Society for commemorating this anniversary and the legendary racehorse Exterminator. Broome County is proud to be a part of this historical celebration and share this story with the community,” said County Executive Garnar.

A full schedule of events for Exterminator Extravaganza Month is below. For questions or more information, please contact the Broome County Arts Council at (607) 723-4620.

2018 Exterminator Extravaganza schedule:

Tuesday, May 1 through October: Broome County Historical Society photo exhibit of “Old Bones” at the Jeffrey P. Kraham Broome County Public Library

Tuesday, May 1st- Friday June 1st: Roberson Museum and Science Center: Historic photograph of Exterminator and actress Kay Gardner at Sun Briar Court, on display in the lobby; open to the public.

Friday, June 1 (First Friday) at 6-9 p.m.: “Willis Sharpe Kilmer: A Life of Success and Scandal” and footage from the Kentucky Derby Race – viewing at Cooperative Gallery, State St.

Saturday May 5th, 4-8pm, Remlik’s Derby Day: Themed food and beverage options.

Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at WSKG: Talk by Eliza McGraw, author of “Here Comes Exterminator”

Friday, June 1 (First Friday), 6 to 9 p.m. at Broome County Arts Council, 81 State St. in Binghamton: Exterminator Exhibition with work from local artists and Kentucky Derby- themed activities for children (make-your-own Kentucky Derby hats)

Sunday, June 3 at 1 p.m. at Kilmer Mansion/Lew Hecht, Temple President: Reader’s Theater of Old Bones; performance by Bill Gorman and STARR performers; light refreshments will be served.

Open Year Round: Exterminator burial/marker; Whispering Pines Pet Cemetery; Gardner Rd, Binghamton, 13903

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Johnston/ Jablon Win Heart of the Arts Awards

Broome County Arts Council Announces 2016 Recipients of the Heart of the Arts Awards

The Broome County Arts Council announced the recipients of its 2016 Heart of the Arts and Lifetime Achievement Awards during a news conference at 10am,  Wednesday, August 10th. Nominated by the public and chosen by the votes of BCAC’s 100+ members, the following honorees are being recognized for significant recent or long-term contributions to the arts in Broome County:

2016 Heart of the Arts Awards: Peg Johnston, Department of Public Art and Emily Jablon, Jablon Studios,

2016 Heart of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Timothy Perry, Binghamton Community Orchestra, Binghamton University and Harold & Toby Jean Manker, Phelps Mansion Museum

Awards will be presented Monday September 19th at the 11th Heart of the Arts Award Celebration, DoubleTree Hotel Grand Ballroom, downtown Binghamton.  The event starts at 6pm with cocktails at 5pm.  Features include many exciting performances, wonderful food, an award winning high school art display, and a lavish award ceremony. All proceeds from the Heart of the Arts Celebration and raffle ticket sales go back into the LOCAL Arts Community (nonprofits and individual artists) through the United Cultural Fund, the locally-funded combined campaign for the arts in Broome County.
Tickets are $55 for general admission and $50 for arts council members.
For more information e-mail or call 607-723-4620 or visit website:
The event is sponsored by IBM, SUNY Broome Community College, Visions Federal Credit Union, Curcio Printing, Excellus, and Jim Rollo State Farm as well as raffle sponsors Atomic Tom’s, Cooperative Gallery 213, Freshy Sites, Kapow! Art Studio, Orazio Salati Studio, TR Events, and Uncorked Creations ….. and sponsorship opportunities are still available!

2016 Heart of the Arts Award Recipients – Nominations Statements

Peg Johnston – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award

Honored for bringing public art to the streets of Binghamton and making “blight the inspiration for art,” Peg was nominated for her critical role in “sparking” and continuing an arts renaissance in Binghamton. She has made this endeavor possible as a founding member of the Cooperative Gallery 213 on State Street and transforming that “derelict” block into the “State of the Art.” As one of the founders of the Department of Public Art, Peg was a driving force that brought about the Water Street “Birthplace of Virtual Reality Mural Project.” This successful project involved 50+ volunteers and culminated in four murals and more than 100 stencils illustrating the history of this site. Her leadership in the Mural Fest 2015, placed on boarded-up properties throughout Binghamton. Moreover, her ongoing “Blight is our Canvas” project brings artistic inspiration and hope to the area through art. Peg is a photographer and installation artist, an exhibitor of regional and national photographers, artist promoter and mentor, and creator of a community that fosters and values creativity.

Emily Jablon – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award

Emily was selected for her love of the community which is exemplified by the creation of the mosaic public installations that bring beauty throughout downtown Binghamton. She offers her nationally renowned talent as a mosaic artist and support to at-risk and underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, runaways, and the homeless. Emily provides guidance and training in mosaics art throughout project development. She initiated the “Confluence Arts Project” empowering individuals with disabilities to create art in their communities, and has generously given of her time to curate community art shows, and to offer classes at various venues for special needs participants.

Dr. Timothy Perry, 2016 Heart of the Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, selected for more than 30 years of contributions to the knowledge and enjoyment of music in our community and in our schools.  To quote his nomination form, Tim is “a local treasure.” He has just completed 30 years at Binghamton University, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Instrumental Conducting as well as Professor of Studio Clarinet.  He is active throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and, along with pianist Pej Reitz, his frequent collaborator.  In addition, he served as a U.S. State Department cultural ambassador performing throughout South America.  But while citing all of Tim’s PROFESSIONAL accomplishments, his nominators chose to focus on his dedication to the AMATEUR musicians of Broome County.  From 1994 to 2004 and again from 2013 through the present, Tim has directed the Binghamton Community Orchestra.  Said one string player: “He’s brought the BCO from a reasonably good amateur orchestra to a whole new level — still a group of musicians who get together to make music just for the love of it, but also performing at a level on par with many professional orchestras….. He inspires musicians to play better than they ever dreamed possible.”

Harold & Toby Jean Manker – 2016 Heart of the Arts Award
Although the Mankers have been active in the arts community for many years as educators, performers, promoters, and board members, they are being honored for their diligent and successful accomplishment in registering and chartering the Phelps Mansion Museum as a “house museum” in compliance with the New York State Board of Regents. As Chair and Vice Chair of the Phelps Mansion Museum Board of Directors, they developed and implemented the museum’s strategic plan and recruited numerous volunteers and docents, while raising funds through grant writing.  As Program Directors, they created the chamber music series, “Chamber Music at the Phelps,” originally known as, “Second Sunday at the Phelps” and collaborated with the Binghamton University Music Department which brings programs for voice students and student composers downtown to the Phelps. In addition they collaborate with other non-profit organizations in presenting public programs ranging from a Chinese New Year celebration to a Downton Abbey preview.

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Guided Walking Tour of Public Sculpture & Architecture

Broome County Arts Council and the Preservation Association of the Southern Tier present:
Downtown Binghamton Public Sculpture & Architecture
Guided Walking Tours ~FREE~ First Fridays, May-October 4pm & 6pm
Discover downtown Binghamton’s notable outdoor sculpture and beautiful historic architecture. You’ll hear about early and modern Binghamton as your guide shows you an enlightened city rich with artwork, theaters, businesses, and churches. Even locals are amazed and entertained by what they learn.

Tours begin at Kennedy Park with the Seven Seals of Silence (Henry Street/Chenango Street). The walk meanders through the most fascinating portions of one of the city’s historic districts, leading to three internationally proclaimed sculptures at Government Plaza on Hawley Street. Come and see!
Sculpture Outdoors in Broome County began in 2013 as a partnership between the Broome County Arts Council and Binghamton University’s Art History Professor Kevin Hatch. His students chose to research 14 often mysteriously unidentified public sculptures with major artistic and historic significance. The students’ research resulted in a catalog of public sculpture that can be found at This catalog will continue to grow, providing information for labels, which in most cases are not present on the sculptures.
The Broome County Arts Council has partnered with the Preservation Association of the Southern Tier (PAST), who has been offering architectural guided tours for over 10 years. The goal of this collaborative effort is to provide a memorable and historic walking tour of the fascinating sculpture and architecture in downtown Binghamton.

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Tour Guides for Binghamton Sculpture Tours

Photo by Bob Johnston

PAST is collaborating with the Broome County Arts Council on an outdoor sculpture/architectural walking tour in downtown Binghamton.  The walking tour will be conducted on First Fridays from May through October.

A Tour Guide Training is being offered by the two organizations on April 12th at 2 PM at the Binghamton University Museum in the Fine Arts Building.  On April 30th, the Tour Guides will meet at 10AM at the Seven Seals of Silence at Chenango & Henry Streets to walk through the actual Tour route.
PAST invites anyone interested in becoming a tour guide for this exciting new project to call the PAST office between 10AM and 2PM, Monday-Friday at 237-0887 or call Marcia Ward at 725-3535, anytime. We will be glad to provide more information and answer questions. Please let us know by Friday April 8th of your interest in participating in the Tour Guide training.

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United Cultural Funds Available

Broome County Arts Council is accepting grant applications for its 2016 United Cultural Fund (UCF) Project Grants and will hold free seminars on eligibility and how to apply.  Hosted by executive director Sharon Ball, the seminars are scheduled throughout Broome County and will also offer information on the UCF and other potential funding sources for Broome County artists and arts organizations.  There is no cost to attend a seminar, but reservations are strongly advised.  Call 607-723-4620 or e-mail to reserve a seat at any of the following seminars:
• Wednesday, November 4
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Windsor Whip Works Art Center
98 Main Street, Windsor
• Tuesday, December 8
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
George F. Johnson Library
1001 Park St, Endicott
• Wednesday, December 9
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Broome County Arts Council
81 State St, Suite 501, Binghamton
• Wednesday, December 16
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Mary Wilcox Memorial Library
2630 Main St, Whitney Point
BCAC’s United Cultural Fund (UCF) Project Grants are intended to promote cultural development and expand the public impact of the arts in Broome County. The maximum grant request is $1,000. To download eligibility guidelines and application forms, visit .  For more information, contact Broome County Art Council at 723-4620.

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