Senator Sean Ryan Presents Empire Award, Announces Funding For Stitch Buffalo


BUFFALO Today, Thursday, July 14, 2022, New York State Senator Sean Ryan presented Stitch Buffalo with a New York State Senate Empire Award in recognition of the organization’s work to empower refugee and immigrant women in Western New York. As part of the presentation, Senator Ryan announced he has secured a $10,000 state grant to support Stitch Buffalo’s continued work.

Stitch Buffalo is a textile art center founded in 2014 to provide a welcoming space for refugee and immigrant women to connect, express their creativity, and gain economic empowerment through the textile arts. Since its founding, Stitch Buffalo has worked to empower refugee and immigrant women through the sale of their handcrafted goods, and to inspire creativity and inclusion through community education. The nonprofit organization has also demonstrated a commitment to the environment through the re-use of textile supplies.

Senator Ryan presented the Empire Award to Stitch Buffalo’s founder, Dawne Hoeg, at the Buffalo History Museum after visiting the nonprofit’s “Creative Journeys” exhibit. Creative Journeys celebrates the work and art forms of more than 40 members of Stitch Buffalo’s Refugee Women’s Workshop, who came to Buffalo from countries all around the world. The exhibit, which will remain on display until August 20, showcases the contribution these talented artists are making to the richness and diversity of Western New York’s cultural landscape.

The New York State Senate Empire Award recognizes businesses and institutions in New York State that have made significant contributions to their local community.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “Stitch Buffalo has been a steadfast supporter of women in Buffalo’s refugee and immigrant communities for nearly a decade, and they are more than worthy of this recognition. This $10,000 in state funding will help them continue to provide their unique brand of support to new Americans settling into life in our city for years to come.”