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Author: The BCW

County Executive Latimer Announces $463,325 in Matching Grants for Arts Groups in Westchester

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, left, with members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators and ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam. Photo courtesy of ArtsWestchester.

In what was great news for Westchester’s arts organizations, Westchester County Executive George Latimer and the Westchester County Board of Legislators joined with ArtsWestchester on Tuesday to announce that 85 Westchester arts organizations are the recipients of matching funds from the Art$WChallenge grant program.

In what has been a record-breaking year, participating arts organizations raised $819,759, the greatest amount raised in a single year, in new private funds from 1,234 donors through the program which ended Dec. 31, 2023. These private funds were matched with $463,325 in Westchester County support, providing in total $1.28 Million in financial support for the arts community at a critical time where arts groups are working to build back arts audiences lost during the pandemic.

“Since the inception of the Art$WChallenge in 2007, this powerful public/private program has raised nearly $7 Million to support Westchester’s arts and cultural sector, matched with over $3 million in County support. The County’s arts community has weathered a difficult few years. In fact, there has never been a more important time to help the arts make a comeback and to allow them to work their magic to bring people and communities back together than now,” said County Executive George Latimer.

Westchester County Board of Legislator Chairman Vedat Gashi said, “My colleagues and I are proud to support the Art$WChallenge initiative, which enables ArtsWestchester and the county to raise funds for arts organizations through innovative crowdfunding methods. These organizations are vital to artists, residents, and visitors of Westchester County, who benefit from high-quality cultural programming in their backyard.”

Grantees included arts organizations in every corner of Westchester such as: Downtown Music at Grace (receiving a matching grant of $8,500), presenting free live music weekly in Downtown White Plains; Songcatchers in New Rochelle (receiving a matching grant of $8,500), providing free and low-cost music instruction for kids of all ages; and New Era Creative Space (receiving a $1,500 matching grant), providing visual, performing arts, and STEM/STEAM instruction in Peekskill.

 “On behalf of ArtsWestchester, I would like to thank the individual arts donors to this program, the County Executive and the Westchester County Board of Legislators for their long-term investment in a matching grant program that over sixteen years has paid dividends for the economy. With Westchester’s cultural sector generating more than $182 million in economic activity post-pandemic, this vital grants program plays an important part in ensuring Westchester’s cultural infrastructure for the future,” said ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam.

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