NYS Senator Jeremy Cooney & Local Creatives Support New State Funding for Artists Outside of New York City

(ROCHESTER, NY) - Today, Senator Jeremy Cooney (D-Rochester), The Eastman School of Music, The Rochester Artist Collaborative, Garth Fagan Dance and community creatives from the RPO to Writers & Books, announced support for the inclusion of upstate arts funding in the 2022-2023 New York State budget.

The Senate’s one house budget included a $10M allocation for capital improvements to arts venues outside of NYC, and a separate $10M allocation in arts programmatic dollars for areas outside NYC.

These allocations were not included in the Assembly’s one house budget, or in Governor Hochul’s executive budget proposal. Senator Cooney is fighting hard to include these allocations in the final budget, and is committed to working with his colleagues in the legislature and the governor’s office to ensure investment in upstate arts.

Senator Jeremy Cooney: 

Just two weeks ago our community gathered to celebrate Eastman’s centennial anniversary, now it is time to focus on the next 100 years for arts in Rochester. Budgets reflect priorities, and I am fighting to ensure we send a strong message that we are going to invest to support and expand the music, dance, and visual arts programs in an equitable manner, in cities like ours across upstate. Importantly, new arts funding should not only support arts & cultural organizations, but also individual creatives–specifically artists of color who are underrepresented in current grant funding. I am eager to continue working with my colleagues in the legislature, and Governor Hochul to ensure upstate arts funding is part of the next budget.”

Jamal J. Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean, Eastman School of Music:

"Music enriches our communities by bringing us together and lifting up our spirits,” shares Jamal J. Rossi, Joan and Martin Messinger Dean at the Eastman School of Music, of the University of Rochester. “Simultaneously, music and the arts have a profound impact on the economic vitality of a city.”

Dr. Margaret Quackenbush, President & Executive Director, The Hochstein School:

“Upstate New York’s arts organizations provide such vital opportunities for our communities! Each year, The Hochstein School is dedicated to providing access to arts education and therapeutic arts services for all. The Hochstein Performance Hall is a community gathering place where, through the arts, we celebrate what it means to be human. We enthusiastically applaud Senator Cooney’s leadership in calling for funding for Upstate artists and arts organizations.”

 Adam Eaton, Director, Rochester Artist Collaborative (RAC):

“Rochester Artist Collaborative thanks Senator Cooney for supporting Black Artists and for giving Artists the opportunity to do amazing things for our city. Artists are also essential to Rochester’s Economic Growth and Development and have the ability to change our community and make it better. It’s time to unlock that power!!”

 Bill Ferguson, Executive Director, Garth Fagan Dance:

“Senator Cooney, Garth Fagan Dance appreciates that you are working diligently to create new and substantial funding streams exclusively for Upstate New York artists and our Arts and cultural organizations. Securing repeatable significant state funding to build an equitable, innovative, secure, financial foundation for Upstate Arts Funding is imperative.”


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