Monthly Archives: August 2016

NYSCA at the State Fair

Today marks the opening of The Great New York State Fair. If you are planning to attend, we invite you to visit the New York State Tourism Industry Association Pavilion, where a guide to public, NYSCA-supported programs in all regions of the state will be on display.


Or, you can download a copy below:


We hope you’ll take a look and make plans to enjoy our state’s rich, diverse cultural resources! In order to see a complete list of NYSCA-funded programs, visit and click “Past NYSCA Grants.”


NYSCA in the News

This week, NYSCA grantees have plenty of news to share, from announcements of a new leader and an award winner to the opening of an Old Time Fiddlers’ Fair to an update for a set of famous chandeliers.


Deborah Jowitt to Recieve Educational Visionary Lifetime Achievement Award at DANCE for DANCE

Broadway World

“Mark DeGarmo Dance will honor dance writer Deborah Jowitt with the 2016 “Educational Visionary” Lifetime Achievement Award to celebrate her many accomplishments. Ms. Jowitt danced with notable names such as José Limon and Anna Sokolow, choreographed works shown in venues in both the United States and overseas, published articles in The New York Times, The Village Voice and Dance Magazine, among others, and has lectured, taught and conducted workshops at universities in the U.S. and abroad…The 2016 “Educational Visionary” Award is the fourth annual honoring of dance, theater, and educational legends and luminaries by Mark DeGarmo Dance (MDD). Launched nine years ago, Dance for Dance is a fundraising event that raises critical awareness and financial support for the company’s educational programs.” New York State Council on the Arts has been a funding partner, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, since 1995.

The Met’s Sputniks, Once Stuck in Orbit, Go Back in Service

New York Times

After one year spent suspended in place due to a mechanical problem, the Metropolitan Opera’s chandeliers can resume their preshow role, a signature element of performances at the Lincoln Center house. “As the house lights dim, a dozen of them slowly ascend 65 feet to the auditorium’s golden ceiling.” Over the summer, the repair team “custom-dyed several thousand feet of new power cable just the right shade of “Met red” and installed 12 new computerized winches in the catwalks above the auditorium’s ceiling…While the old machines could lift 150 pounds at a speed of one foot per second, the new ones can lift 500 pounds and go three times as fast…The Met’s emblematic space-age chandeliers were installed when it moved to Lincoln Center in 1966. Made by Lobmeyr, they were a gift from the Austrian government in gratitude for American aid after World War II.” NYSCA supports the Met through our Music program.

Beyond the decay, school’s history rises in opera

Poughkeepsie Journal

Dutchess County natives Joshua Groffman and Sarah Heady have chosen Bennett College, a landmark of their home region, as the subject for a new opera. They describe its main building as “an archetypically “haunted”-looking place, a fantastical, hulking Queen Anne building that’s been slowly decaying since the college’s 1978 closure due to financial difficulties.” The building opened as a grand hotel in 1893 and transformed into a school for young women in 1908, later transitioning into a two-year college. The pair interviewed alums and researched the Bennett archive at the Millbrook Library to create “Unfinished: An Opera.” This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.

Elizabeth Sobol appointed president and CEO of SPAC

Daily Gazette

“Elizabeth Sobol, formerly president and CEO of Universal Music Classics and managing director of IMG Artists in North/South America, has been named the new president and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Sobol will succeed Marcia White, who is retiring after just over a decade at the helm of SPAC, and will be only the fifth president in SPAC’s 50-year history…As managing director of IMG Artists North/South America, Sobol oversaw a roster of artists that included Itzhak Perlman, [Joshua] Bell, Renee Fleming, Emerson String Quartet, James Galway, Evgeny Kissin, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and KODO. She created the IMG Dance Division, whose clients include the Bolshoi Ballet and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. From 2016 to 2012, Sobol was programmer and producer of the Festival of the Arts BOCA in Boca Raton, Florida, which featured not just music but such cultural figures as Salman Rushdie, Edward Albee, David Brooks and Doris Kearns Goodwin.” NYSCA supports SPAC through our Presenting program.

Genesee Country Museum hosts Fiddler’s Fair

Livingston County News

This weekend, the Genesee Country Museum will host its Old-Time Fiddlers’ Fair, the largest showcase of traditional music in Western New York. “Musicians, ranging from the polished professional to the fledging beginner will fill a variety of venues with stringed instruments, from fiddles and guitars to harps and dulcimers.” Four stages, including one within a historic 19th-century church, will offer performances. Featured performers include: Mitzie Collins and the Striking Strings, Emma & Carl Eddy, the Fiddlers of the Genesee, the Rochester Irish Musicians’ Association & others. Fiddlers’ Fair is sponsored, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit or call (585) 294-8218.


NYSCA Staff Members Receive NYSCA Commitment and Service Awards

On July 20, for the first time, the NYSCA Commitment and Service Award Program was initiated by Chair Dr. Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, who presented five NYSCA staff members awards for exemplary dedication to the organization. The awards were created by the new Chair to recognize the long-term commitment of staff members to the arts in New York State. The five staff members who were recognized for 30 or more years with the agency were Secretary Bea Banks,Program Officers Deborah Lim and Rita Putnam, Program Director Robert Baron and Director of Agency Operations Brenda Brown.

The Chair, while making the presentations, said: “All of us, who have worked on behalf of others, understand that our rewards are in large part derived from the knowledge that our time, our efforts, and our energies support a greater and a public good. Our arts communities throughout the state have been the beneficiaries for many decades, of all your fine efforts. On their behalf, thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, here at NYSCA.”


Photos: NYSCA Council Meetings

On July 19 and 20, NYSCA held its Council Meetings in order to vote on grant recommendations for FY2017. The FY2017 Performing, Literary & Visual Arts Committee and the FY2017 Multi-Disciplinary Arts Committee proposed candidates for funding in the Visual Arts, Theatre, Facilities, State & Local Partnerships, Folk Arts, and Presenting programs. NYSCA program staff and representatives of the Council’s advisory panels, pictured below, spoke about the applications they received in their particular disciplines.

Recommendations for additional programs, including Architecture + Design, Arts Education, Dance, Electronic Media & Film, Individual Artists, Literature, Museum, and Special Arts Services, will be reviewed at the next Council Meetings October 5 and 6. Regional Economic Development Council grant recommendations will be reviewed in December.

To view webcasts of NYSCA’s Council meetings, visit Grant recipients in all program areas except for Regional Economic Development Council will be notified in the fall.