Senator Griffo announces funding to enhance cultural arts centers in Utica, Rome

State Senator Joseph Griffo today announced a total of $410,000 in state funding to improve two cultural facilities in Utica and Rome that serve to enhance the quality of life for residents across the Mohawk Valley.

Both the Rome Art & Community Center and the Stanley Theatre in Utica have long provided venues to entertain and enlighten the public, and to host community events. Yet, both facilities face their own financial challenges in upgrading their aging buildings in order to continue to provide the kind of quality entertainment and activities the public deserves.  


As the Rome Art & Community Center prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in September, Senator Griffo is proud to have secured $100,000 in state funding for the City of Rome to improve the city-owned building at 308 W. Bloomfield St. This funding will be utilized for capital projects, such as inspecting and upgrading the Center’s electrical circuitry system to potentially modernize its audio/visual capabilities so they can be used for meetings and events at the Center.

Senator Joseph Griffo, R-Rome: “The Rome Art & Community Center offers so many opportunities to enhance the cultural and artistic awareness of the region, yet I understand the fiscal challenges the City of Rome is facing as it maintains this important facility. With this funding I am proud to have secured, I believe the City will be in a better position to invest in the Center so it can continue to enrich, entertain and educate the people of Rome and beyond.”

City of Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo: “The City of Rome is very appreciative of Senator Griffo’s efforts to secure funding for the Rome Art and Community Center toward upgrades that will allow the Center to move into the 21st century. The Rome Art and Community Center is an important piece of the City of Rome’s history and we thank Senator Griffo for assisting us in its preservation.”

Ann Peach Lynch, Chairman of the Rome Art & Community Center Board of Directors: “For the past 50 years, the Rome Art & Community Center has proudly fostered community interaction and education through a variety of programs. We are extremely grateful for Senator Griffo’s help and support in obtaining this funding to make our building even better, and it will be a great start toward ensuring the lasting presence of a healthy and positive art and community center for another 50 years.” 

  • STANLEY THEATRE: $310,000

Since this historic theatre was built in 1928, the Stanley has drawn to its stage a variety of concerts, musicals, comedy and theatrical stage performances from all across the nation. But in order to help cut costs so the Stanley can remain viable, the theatre’s administrators continue to explore options to make the facility at 259 Genesee St. in Utica more energy efficient. As a result, Senator Griffo has secured $310,000 in state funding to assist the Stanley in accomplishing this goal.

A portion of these funds will be used to repair the Stanley’s front entry doors to keep heat and cool air from escaping the building. This will help control the costs of maintaining the theatre’s temperature. Another portion of the funds will be used to upgrade the Stanley’s two main boilers that have been in use since 1978. With these improvements, more money can be saved while cutting back on wasted energy.

Senator Griffo: “The Stanley Theatre is an historic icon in Downtown Utica, and throughout my years of public service I have always recognized the important role that the Stanley serves in the economic and cultural vibrancy of our community. As chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, I am pleased to have been able to secure this funding for the Stanley so it can become more energy efficient and continue to provide the variety of quality entertainment that makes the Mohawk Valley such an exceptional place to live.”

Jerry Kraus, Executive Director of The Stanley Theatre: “We are thrilled with today’s announcement from Senator Griffo, who has been to The Stanley many times and knows firsthand the value of the arts, culture and entertainment in our area. This very generous grant funding will help us with much needed upgrades to our energy systems, while helping us to save money on our utilities and reduce our overall energy consumption in this very large, historic theater. Our patrons will also notice an added comfort level inside the theater as a result of upgraded weather-tight and energy-saving front doors that will provide a smooth entry and exit.”

Curt Pearsall, President of the Board of Directors for The Stanley Center for the Arts: “On behalf of the Board and the entire community, we would like to sincerely thank Senator Griffo for advocating for these funds. It is very obvious that the Senator sees The Stanley for the gem that it is and realizes The Stanley is an extremely important part of the revitalization of downtown Utica. These funds will play a key role towards that cause.”