#NYSCASuccess: Your Stories

We asked our grantees to tell us about their achievements — and now we have  good news to share! Here’s a sampling of what’s been working for arts organizations  across New York State, including new programs, audience expansion, promoting accessibility, effective fundraising events, and capacity building initiatives. And, in case you missed it, check out our #NYSCASuccess feature on the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


Ensemble Studio Theatre

During the 2016/2017 season Robert Askins’ Hand to God, which was developed and premiered at Ensemble Studio Theatre, is the most produced play in American regional theater, according to American Theater Magazine.

With nine new artists inducted this fall, EST now supports a lifetime membership base of 628 Ensemble Artists, including actors, directors, playwrights, designers, and stage managers.

Mark Morris Dance Group

Ogdensburg Command Performances

Largest audience ever for Ogdensburg Command Performances: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker performed for an audience of 940!   In addition to members of the Moscow Ballet, 43 local student dancers participated.

Class Acts is a program that brings theatrical events to area schools for students in grades pre-k to 12.  Six shows will be presented this season; one of them is based on the wildly popular book Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School part of the bestselling children’s series by Barbara Park. 2,863 students and teachers attended a total of 3 performances in Ogdensburg, all of which sold out! This season is only half over and already 6,856 students and teachers from 25 different schools in 2 counties have participated.

Susan B. Anthony Museum & House

The 2016 election was a boon to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House and related sites in Rochester, NY. As almost 10,000 visitors made a pilgrimage to Susan B. Anthony’s grave site at Mt. Hope Cemetery, the media turned its attention to the suffrage leader. Interviews with CNN Digital, the NYTimes, and the BBC were viewed by millions, and the 14 hour lifestream on Facebook by local reporter John Kucko had attracted several million viewers, including Barbara Streisand. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House has been breaking attendance records since the election, and is looking forward to NY Suffrage Centennial events in 2017.



pentacleOn September 22nd Pentacle and the Rubin Museum of Art presented Body Wisdom: Pentacle Celebrates 40 Years. This was a unique event in which we paired dance artists with art exhibits throughout the museum and created a personal curated experience for the viewers. Together we raised $30,000 to directly support our work with dance artists throughout New York City, the country, and the world.

Many of the 380 dance artists and companies whose work Pentacle has championed were in attendance that night to celebrate all that we have accomplished together over the past four decades.

Thank you NYSCA for standing by Pentacle and our community of working performing artists for 40 years. #NYSCASuccess

Pan Asian Rep

Every year, Pan Asian Rep hosts a benefit dinner at the Golden Unicorn in NYC’s Chinatown. This year’s benefit dinner, held on November 10, 2016, surpassed our projected goals and was our most successful Chinatown benefit yet! The event was well-attended by 136 guests, and we were so grateful that Councilwoman Margaret Chin was able to attend and say a few words in celebration of Pan Asian’s 40th Milestone Season this year! It was a very exciting evening, recognizing Art and Action, honoring three remarkable individuals: Queen of Jazz Cobi Narita, Veteran Photographer and Archivist Corky Lee, and In Memoriam Playwright, Performer, and Paleontologist Cherylene Lee.


Indie Theater Fund

Because of our funding from NYSCA, for a part time salary for our Executive Director, we were able to DOUBLE our granting for this year. The NYSCA funding allowed our ED to go to meetings with donors, have one on one conversations with participants and grow our membership from 190 companies and venues to 277!




The Society for New Music

In 2015, the Society for New Music began presenting themed dinners prior to new American operas in Cazenovia during Caz Counterpoint.

In 2015 John Lennon’s favorite foods were featured at the Lincklaen House prior to Michael Torke’s Strawberry Fields opera, which drew people from across Upstate NY prior to the performance next door in the historic opera house. Only standing room was available for the performance, with 12 & under free.

Based on that success, in 2016 Mozart, Beethoven & Haydn’s favorite foods were featured at the Lincklaen House prior to Pulitzer winner Steven Stucky’s The Classical Style opera. And again, reservations were made from Geneseo to Ithaca to Utica for this event, resulting in another packed house in the historic Caz Theater.

Project Y

Project Y is supporting our first-ever commission of new plays! This year we are funding the writing of two new plays by playwrights, Chiori Miyagawa and Crystal Skillman, writers who straddle the uptown and downtown NYC theatre scenes.


New Victory Theater

In 2016, The New Victory Theater launched its third season of autism-friendly performances and 21st season of sign-interpreted performances.:

Seven new Teaching Artists joined the New Victory staff, bringing the total roster to 56 Teaching Artists leading hands-on activities in the theater’s lobbies during public performances and teaching 1,300 classroom workshops throughout NYC this season.

Stay tuned for more #NYSCASuccess features — and tell us your story at public.affairs@arts.ny.gov or on Twitter @NYSCArts.

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