Twenty-one local artists, arts organizations and community non-profits will share in the $261,059 awarded this month in 2022 United Cultural Funds (UCF). This is, said BCAC Executive Director Nancy Barno Reynolds in a press release, a “substantial increase from the number of awards granted in 2021.”

Applicant statistics in Broome County, according to the BCAC, reflect a nationwide picture. A greater number of medium and large arts organizations sought deeper levels of grant support to counteract loss of revenue due to COVID lockdown in 2020. However, more individual artists and small arts organizations seemed to demonstrate a renewed faith in the recovery of the arts by launching fresh, new programs.

“Altogether, this paints a very positive picture of creativity and economic recovery through the arts in Broome County,” said Deb Colón, chair of the BCAC Board of directors.

UCF General Operations awards were granted to Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, Bundy Museum of History and Art, Discovery Center of the Southern Tier, Endicott Performing Arts Center, Goodwill Theatre & Firehouse Stage, LUMA, Roberson Museum and Science Center and Tri-Cities Opera.

UCF Project awards of $1,000 each will support the work of 13 individual artists and smaller, community arts projects. The 2022 recipients are:

  • The Center for Gender, Art, & Culture
  • Kopernik Society of Broome County
  • Vestal Museum & Coal House
  • Binghamton Community Orchestra
  • Binghamton Downtown Singers
  • The Binghamton Poetry Project
  • Binghamton Theater Organ Society
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Jenna McIntosh
  • The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton
  • The Nanticoke Valley Historical Society of Maine, NY
  • SRO Productions

Additionally, BCAC received 15 percent of the UCF Campaign totals for its general operations and programming.

Major donors whose charitable gifts helped make UCF grants possible, include: the Stewart W. & Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, Broome County Government, the Dr. G. Clifford & Florence B. Decker Foundation, the Miller S. & Adelaide S. Gaffney Foundation, IBM, Eugene and Judith Peckham, Columbian Financial Group, NBT Bank, Mediabrush Marketing, Sentry Alarms, Chianis & Anderson Architects, Dr. Pamela Smart, Visions Federal Credit Union and other local businesses and individuals who believe in the value of arts investment.

Since 1987, the UCF has distributed more than $11 million to the arts in Broome County, while serving more than 100,000 residents. UCF grantees typically return $3 to $4 million annually to Broome County’s economy. The economic impact of revenue loss due to COVID has been hard felt in the arts community since March of 2020, Barno Reynolds’ press release stated, so the UCF funding “continues to be especially critical to the health and vitality of our county.”

— Barb Van Atta