State budget brings 'unprecedented increase' in upstate arts funding (The Buffalo News)

Mark Sommer - The Buffalo News

April 20, 2022

Originally published in The Buffalo News on April 20, 2022.

The new state budget set aside an extra $20 million for theaters, performing arts centers and museums outside New York City. That's on top of the $40 million typically dispensed each year by the New York State Council on the Arts.

"There's more money for arts and culturals in upstate New York than ever before," said State Sen. Sean Ryan.

The 2022-2023 budget approved April 9 also contains an additional $4 million reserved for upstate zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums. That money will come from the State Environmental Protection Fund. 

It will be months before specific allocations for Western New York arts and cultural groups are known, but several local projects have an advantage, Ryan said. 

"We do know that there are Buffalo projects that are shovel-ready, and they will most likely be the first beneficiaries of this increased funding availability," Ryan said.

Among them are expansion projects at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, and Graycliff, the lakefront estate designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in Derby. 

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