Modified: May 24, 2023 1:53pm
The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning has announced that it is now accepting applications for Round Two of the Erie County Cultural Capital Grant Program, announced by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz at his 2022 State of the County address and intended to aid cultural organizations in tackling capital projects they would not be able to conduct otherwise. Today, Poloncarz joined Commissioner of Environment & Planning Dan Castle and departmental personnel, Erie County Legislator Howard Johnson (2nd District), and Scott Behrend, Executive and Artistic Director at Road Less Traveled Productions, to announce the opening of Round Two.
“Cultural organizations provide our community with more than entertainment, they employ thousands of Erie County residents and enhance our quality of life immeasurably in multiple ways. They are places of expression, artistry, creativity and joy where people come together to enjoy the arts,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “These organizations, like many businesses, struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic but are coming back strong and the Cultural Capital Grant program is helping them do that. Last year, thirty-six organizations were awarded over $8 million in funding to improve their establishments, which will lead to more business and an even more robust cultural community. Investments like these strengthen Erie County today and for the future.”
“Cultural organizations have been central to reviving Buffalo’s image and economy in the 21st century,” said Erie County Legislator Howard Johnson (2nd District). “I have been proud to support the Poloncarz administration’s efforts to deliver much-needed capital funding to these essential organizations.”
In 2022, the first round of funding for the program, 36 organizations received a total of $8.6 million in funding with allocations ranging from $4,127 to $925,000. Road Less Traveled Productions received a grant of $179,713 to renovate and expand their lobby space, with a new bar design and layout, updated lighting and seating, and more. The new lobby and expanded experience will establish Road Less Traveled as a premier theater destination, increasing revenue as patrons stay longer in the lobby area and attracting more patrons to performances there.
“Through the Erie County Cultural Capital Grant Program, Erie County and County Executive Mark Poloncarz have continued to be the most important government supporter of arts and culture in our region. This program is a game-changer for small and mid-sized culturals,” said Scott Behrend, Executive and Artistic Director of the Road Less Traveled Theater.
“This funding is intended to strengthen non-profit cultural organizations so that they can continue to be places of inspiration, inclusion, creativity, education and entertainment in our community,” said Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Planning Dan Castle. “The first round of grants was very well-received and we anticipate the second round having a tremendously positive effect in the cultural community as well.”
Organizations can apply for Round Two at erie.gov/culturalcapitalgrantprogram. The Erie County Capital Projects Committee will consider all requests and award grants.
An informational Webex presentation will be held on June 1, 2023 at 6:00 PM for interested organizations to learn more. Registration for the Webex will open May 24, 2023.
For more information:
On the Erie County Department of Environment & Planning, visit https://www3.erie.gov/environment/
On Road Less Traveled Productions, visit www.roadlesstraveledproductions.org
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