Foundation capital

Ralph C. Wilson Jr Foundation

When it comes to sourcing and writing grants to “elevate” the status of local arts and culture, the executive director of the Genesee-Orléans Regional Arts Council leaves no stone unturned.

Appearing before the Genesee County Legislature’s Social Services Committee on Monday afternoon, Gregory Hallock said he was committed to finding funds for capital projects at the GO ART! building at 201 East Main St. — with the installation of a new elevator topping the list — as well as programs and support for community artisans.

“We received over half a million dollars in grants this year,” he said. “I worked hard to write grants. So we’re kind of excited about everything we’re going to do – excited about giving more money.

Hallock said the majority of the $500,000 was spent on building repairs, but a portion was used to subsidize programming and $50,000 from Restart NY was distributed to deserving organizations in both counties. .

He said he missed the last round of funding for an elevator at the three-story facility, but hopes a grant he is applying for through the NYS Preservation League could pave the way for the 400,000 $ or more needed to put in the elevator.

“It’s a historic building, so we’re looking for the preservation league to do an updated study and include an update to the elevator study we started,” he said. “We need to see what we can do with the empty spaces, including the use of the third floor attic. I’ve also heard a rumor that a state grant for accessibility for people with disabilities is possible.

Hallock said GO ART! will receive $40,000 more than this year to fund the Reach Grant (community arts), Spark Grant (arts in education) and Ripple Grant (individual artist).

“This year we donated over $44,000 to Genesee County for our cultural events, part of a $70,000 pot split between Genesee and Orleans…and next year we will donate 107 $800 in grants,” he said. “So we’re really excited. We got a high score with the state, which is great.

This year saw the completion of several projects, including the library, podcast studio and dance studio, Hallock said.

He noted that “some massive grants” are given to artists in residence.

“We will apply for those artists who come to our area to coat Genesee County with murals. We focus on its cultural aspects and its traditional folk aspect. We want to represent all the communities in our counties.

Hallock said he conducted extensive research into grant databases at major libraries in downtown Buffalo and Rochester, and developed a connection with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

“The foundation just donated millions of dollars to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (for arts and culture in the area) and we are involved with them, hosting meetings with them,” he said. “I hope this means something for our future. But I signed up for the panel during this time because I want to make sure the funding will come here.

In a related action, the Social Services Committee voted to grant $7,500 from Genesee County to GO ART! for 2022. Funding — $1,000 more than what was planned in 2021 — is subject to the approval of the full legislature.