Allegany, NY 14706
About Cattaraugus County Arts Council
Dan Wintermantel and Leslie Vincen established The Cattaraugus County Arts Council about fifteen years ago. They had served on a grant panel in Chautauqua County that distributed funds to arts organizations throughout both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties, and they decide that they wanted to do that themselves. They applied to receive funds from the New York State Council of the Arts and then established their own private non-profit organization a little closer to home, moving into a space inside the former Allegany-Limestone High School building.
The Cattaraugus County Arts Council operated out of that building for many years and Anne Conroy-Baiter took up the position of Executive Director about six years ago. She had served on the council’s board of directors for one year before taking on that position. Anne had moved out of the area for a while, but she and her husband moved back in 2001.
Anne said she has a background in graphic, design, art, event planning and marketing, and as such, the arts council seemed like a good fit for her. She put her experience to good use in deciding that the council needed a better location.
“I knew that, for our organization to grow, we needed street presence.”
They moved into their new location about two years ago on April 1, and it sets right on Main Street in Allegany so they have definitely increased their street presence. They increased their presence even more this year by adding a sign out in front of the building. They received a grant from the Western New York Foundation to purchase the sign, and people have responded pretty positively to it thus far. Some people have said they didn’t even realize an arts council existed in this area until they saw the sign.
That definitely helps the arts council to achieve its goal, which Anne had this to say about that. “Our overall vision is to improve quality of life across the region. This region is so rich in outdoor activities like sports and educational opportunities, so our role is to elevate arts and culture.”
They do that through many ways such as providing art classes for kids during winter break. The council will launch a new program called Fourth Friday on March 22 as well. This program will pair restaurants and other businesses with visual and performing artists in Olean and Allegany to create a kind of community-wide night out on the town. As such, it will provide things for people to do on the fourth Friday of every month after they go out to eat. They also will sponsor Routes to Art on May18-19, which offers people a chance to take a countywide open-studio tour and will incorporate about 40 artists this year.
Anne said, “We bring arts and cultural activities to the region through education, advocacy and events to bring a level of vibrancy to life here in Western New York.”
As for what sets the Cattaraugus County Arts Council apart from other organizations, Anne said, “I’m gonna say our vision is in the right place. Everything we do is informed by our desire to enrich our community. Everything we do is based around creativity, quality and innovation. I love this region and I want it to be an interesting place to live. I want my kids to maybe go away to college, but to move back here afterwards because they want to live here.”
“Arts and culture are increasingly important parts of economic development efforts and community revitalization. The arts council is building the momentum in those arenas.”
Anne receives plenty of help in performing all the duties that go into providing the region with the arts council’s services. Courtney Blackmon serves as the Programs and Grants Manager and has worked with Anne for the past four years. She started as a volunteer and worked for a year at that level. Heather Carroll serves as the Americorps Membership and Outreach Coordinator and has worked there for about three years now. She also started as a volunteer.
Therefore, if you want to see what the Cattaraugus County Arts Council can do for you and your family in addition to the rest of the community, make sure you check out the business hours and directions above.
CCAC services help artists and arts organizations perform, create, present and promote the arts in our communities. CCAC services include:
CCAC has been designated as a Decentralization Site by the New York State Council on the Arts, and as such administers the New York State Council on the Arts' Decentralization Program (DEC). DEC makes small grant awards to arts organizations and individual artists in Cattaraugus County. At the request of the New York State Council on the Arts, CCAC also administers the New York State Council on the Arts' Decentralization Program in Allegany County since 2001. Courtney Blackmon manages both programs and is also onsite to help with grant writing and grant research. Learn more about our grant opportunities.
CCAC is here to serve our organizational constituents and artists with arts management resources, database information, and technical and developmental assistance. CCAC recognizes the positive economic impact that the arts have on our local economy and works with organizations and artists to develop ways to strengthen capacities.
CCAC is continually seeking new opportunities to serve our local community and arts community through partnerships and co-sponsoring arrangements. Though CCAC provides no financial support for these endeavors, we provide marketing, database, technical assistance, strategic and planning services and media relations support.
CCAC partners with: Cattaraugus County Department of Tourism and Economic Development for the production and promotion of Routes to Art; the Town and Village of Allegany and St. Bonaventure University to produce BonaGany, a fine arts and cultural festival; the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce to produce the 87th annual Art in Park; Allegany State Park to produce a series of free arts workshops, as well as a Full Moon Family Beach party, with local music and kids crafts activities; and Woodland in the City on a series of artist-decorated public art works throughout the City of Olean.
Informational & Marketing Services
- Bi-monthly newsletter: features announcements for exhibitions, calls for artists, artist spotlights, updates on grant opportunities, as well as a regional art calendar of events. Additionally, each month we market the work of an artist in our newsletter's spotlight section.
- We also offer professional development workshops on the "business of art," to help our members market their art and build individual branding strategies.
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