Throughout history artistic expression has played a critical role in defining who we are as a society.  Whether its through traditional media (such as painting and such) or more expressive means the arts are a form of communication and fosters our need for creativity and fulfillment.  We probably all agree on this, Yet the arts have historically been underfunded.  Especially when it pertains to individuals who are striving to create and advance their craft.  Enter the Arts Council of Rockland.

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to meet with Cheryl Baun Executive Director at ACOR and several members of their Board of Directors in what is probably one of the coolest offices in Rockland (located in the Garnerville Arts Center).  The ACOR team shared with me a vision that they had regarding their goal to be able to support artists who needed funds to support their work.  We talked some about what this dream looked like.  The conversation was really eye opening in that it I learned a great deal more about what the needs were in our community.  Through the work and dedication of the board, the Artist’s Support Fund was born!  The first round of grants was awarded several months ago to the following talented individuals…

Bill Batson:  An art activist, writer and publisher of the Nyack Sketch Log Vols 1 & 2, a compilation of short essays and sketches that chronicle a diverse Hudson River Valley community.  He is also co-publisher, columnist and illustrator for Nyack News and Views.

Shirley Crabbe: An award-winning, jazz vocalist, voice-over artist, and educator who is also a veteran music teacher with over 30 years of experience as a choral conductor, NYSSMA adjudicator and private voice instructor.

A few words from Shirley!

Adam Falcon:  An accomplished guitarist, singer/songwriter and educator, whose music is rooted in the blues and early soul.  A teacher at the Rockland Conservancy of Music, Adam has resided in Rockland County for over 40 years.

Samuel Harps: An award-winning playwright, and the Founder and Artist Director of Shades Repertory Theater, located in West Haverstraw, a multicultural professional theater company serving North Rockland for over 20 years.

Conor MacFinn: A Nyack-based animator, filmmaker, and performer of Americana music. Conor’s music has been particularly influenced by his heritage from Appalachia, Scotland and Ireland.

These fabulous five people will be using their grants for a variety of things that will help them to continue to fine-tune their respective artistic endeavors.

The Arts Council of Rockland plans to grant to the artistic community two times per year. 

Funding may be used for a variety of things…. everything from studio rental and costumes, to professional development fees and supplies.  The minimum grant awarded is $250 and the max is $500.

“Grants for artists are often project-based.  We wanted to offer funds to would essentially cover ‘general operating expenses because every artist needs those to keep their everyday practice going.” stated Cheryl.

The deadline for the next grant is December 4, 2020.  You can learn more about this opportunity and access the application here (insert link).  I believe that there is an artist that resides in all of us. ACOR’s beautifully designed logo hosts the following words – write, dance, perform, paint, create.  I think I’ll stick to my artistic strength of writing.  I’ll forgo the dancing and the like and trust me…you will thank me for that!

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