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County Executive Latimer unveils $1.28 million boost for Westchester Arts Groups

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer, in collaboration with the Westchester County Board of Legislators and ArtsWestchester, proudly announced a groundbreaking achievement for the local arts community. The Art$WChallenge, a dynamic Public/Private Matching Grant Program, raised an unprecedented $819,759 in private support from 1,234 donors, coupled with a generous $463,325 in matching grants from Westchester County.

This year’s remarkable success marks a historic milestone, with a cumulative financial injection of $1.28 million supporting 85 arts organizations across Westchester. The Art$WChallenge has played a pivotal role in aiding these organizations as they strive to rebuild audiences lost during the pandemic.

County Executive Latimer expressed, “Since the inception of the Art$WChallenge in 2007, this powerful public/private program has raised nearly $7 million to support Westchester’s arts and cultural sector. The County’s arts community has weathered a difficult few years, and there has never been a more important time to help the arts make a comeback.”

Chairman Vedat Gashi of the Westchester County Board of Legislators echoed this sentiment, stating, “My colleagues and I are proud to support the Art$WChallenge initiative, which enables ArtsWestchester and the county to raise funds for arts organizations through innovative crowdfunding methods. These organizations are vital to artists, residents, and visitors of Westchester County.”

Notable grant recipients include Downtown Music at Grace, receiving $8,500 for presenting free live music weekly in Downtown White Plains; Songcatchers in New Rochelle, benefiting from a $8,500 grant for providing free and low-cost music instruction for kids of all ages; and New Era Creative Space, receiving a $1,500 matching grant for offering visual, performing arts, and STEM/STEAM instruction in Peekskill.

Janet T. Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester, expressed gratitude, saying, “On behalf of ArtsWestchester, I would like to thank the individual arts donors to this program, the County Executive and the Westchester County and the Board of Legislators for their long-term investment in a matching grant program that over sixteen years has paid dividends for the economy.”

ArtsWestchester, founded in 1965, remains the largest private not-for-profit arts council in New York State. The organization’s mission is to create an equitable, inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life. With a history of enriching the community through diverse programs and services, ArtsWestchester continues to be a driving force in sustaining and fostering Westchester’s cultural infrastructure.

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