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Local Arts Groups Win State Funding

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) has announced that the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) voted to approve $54,410 in funding for arts and cultural activities in the 89th Assembly District this week, including a South Salem institution.

Canticorum Virtuosi in South Salem was granted $11,290 to be used for general operating support for its music program. Canticorum Virtuosi is the home of the New York Virtuoso Singers, who have become one of the country's leading exponents of contemporary choral music, according to Harold L. Rosenbaum, artistic director and conductor.

Castelli noted that NYSCA approved over 2,100 grant awards this year to help fund approximately 1,300 arts organizations in cities, towns, and villages in every region of the state in 2012. In both 2011 and 2010, he announced similar NYSCA funding for local performing arts organizations.

Other area organizations slated to receive grant funding for general support and operating expenses include: $34,000 for the Katonah Museum of Art, to support K-12 arts education in-school programs, and general operating expenses; $6,000 for the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Inc., of Chappaqua, to support four performances of the outdoor concert season; and $4,120 for Millwood’s Friends of Music Concerts, Inc., to be used for six chamber music concerts by both world renowned ensembles and distinguished up and coming artists, and a chamber ensemble for residencies in two public school districts.

“It is important to provide support to groups that keep children and adults interested in learning, music, and the arts with live performances and hands-on experiences,” Castelli said. “By supporting the arts, we are not only boosting the local economy, but enriching the lives of people throughout our community and helping to provide unique learning experiences.”

The New York State Council on the Arts awards more than 2,000 grants each year to thousands of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in every county of New York State. In addition, NYSCA funds reach an additional 1,500 community-based organizations each year in the form of re-grants, which are administered by a statewide network of Local Arts Councils through NYSCA’s decentralization program, such as ArtsWestchester.

Grants to these organizations at the state and local level have been trimmed heavily in recent budget cuts, and Castelli says continued support for arts and cultural affairs is imperative to a healthy local economy.

“A recent study by ArtsWestchester demonstrated that $120 million is pumped into the Westchester economy by the arts industry,” he said. “The arts support 3,779 jobs, and generate more than $9 million in local government tax revenue in our county.”

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