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Schenectady County art groups continue to receive support

From bedrooms to galleries, Schenectady County's Community Initiative Arts Grant Program (CIP) will continue for the 2009-2010 year.

Dedicated funds from Schenectady County's Hotel/Motel Bed Tax will be distributed to local organizations in support of activities in historic preservation and the performing, visual and literary arts. Applications for this year are due by Friday, Feb. 13.

We get probably in the neighborhood of 30 and 40 applications each year. The [monetary] requests have been increasing over the years, but the number of applications have stayed about steady, said Wendy Voelker, Schenectady County's special events coordinator.

Last year, between 20 and 25 grants were awarded, ranging in amounts between $3,000 and $4,000 on average, she said.

"It's a very competitive process because we only have about $36,000 dollars to redistribute," said Voelker.

Any organizations serving Schenectady County community may apply. The following guidelines apply:

Proposed projects must take place between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, allowing the county to offer year-round support to organizations.

Additional consideration will be given to those organizations who demonstrate collaboration with other Schenectady County nonprofit organizations to complete the project.

Additional consideration will be given to projects that are proposed as part of an existing or proposed Schenectady County Special Event or as part of the Schenectady County Bicentennial Celebration in 2009.

Voelker said over the years, organizations that have applied include the Schenectady Heritage Area and the Kids Arts Fest. Funding went to the Schenectady Heritage Area for their Jazz on Jay Program, which features free jazz concerts every Thursday at noon during the summer in downtown Schenectady. The funding was used to pay for musicians. Funding for the Kids Arts Fest went towards hiring artists and musicians for the event. Funding also typically goes towards advertising for various happenings throughout the county.

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