Federal funding for arts, colleges announced

·2 min read

May 16—A second round of federal grants totaling $182,000 through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has been granted to eight projects in Western New York.

"As we work towards a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, these federal grants will be incredibly impactful towards the goal of creating additional opportunities and outlets for artists and families within our community," said Congressman Brian Higgins. "Our arts organizations showed impressive creativity and adaptability during the COVID-19 pandemic and these funds will help smooth the transition and encourage Western New Yorkers to enjoy the arts again."

Locally, organizations receiving funding through the NEA:

—ASI of Western New York: $10,000 to support the Arts Access program, which connects people in Erie and Niagara Counties to free and low-cost cultural opportunities.

—WNY Book Arts Center: $10,000 to support the Printing Partners program, which creates an educational arts experience to help students in underserved communities learn different art-making techniques.

—Just Buffalo Literary Center: $32,000 for the Babel lecture series which features internationally acclaimed authors, and for the Studio series which brings local writers together with groundbreaking poets for workshops and readings.

—Artpark: $10,000 toward Sonic Trails, a program offering visitors different musical audio experiences through a mobile app as they move through the grounds.

—CEPA Gallery: $35,000 to support an exhibition featuring ten artists that exploring Afrofuturism, a science fiction genre utilizing ancient African traditions and identity.

Over $88 Million in federal funding was distributed to organizations in every state during this round. On average, NEA grants generate more than $800 billion annually for the United States economy.

Additionally, more than $207.5 million in federal funding approved by Congress under the American Rescue Plan is headed to help Western New York higher education institutions and students.

"Continuing access to education throughout the pandemic hasn't been easy but it is so important," Higgins said. "This funding will help keep students safe, learning and on a path to graduation."

—Niagara County Community College will receive $12,379,269.

—Niagara University is set to receive $7,148,135.

The American Rescue Plan, supported by Higgins, included nearly $40 billion for institutions of higher education. The legislation required colleges to dedicate at least half of their funding for emergency assistance for students to help address access to food, housing or other hardships related to the pandemic.

This funding is in addition to nearly $69 million directed to Western New York colleges last year under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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