5 Organizations Bringing Art to Communities in New York State

You shouldn't have to travel to another city in order to see lively theater performances and stunning visual art. Thankfully, there are many organizations throughout the State of New York dedicated not only to helping citizens engage with works of art, but to encouraging people young and old to participate in telling their own stories through whatever medium inspires them, so that no matter where you live, you can follow your creative passion. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Dynamic New York Arts Organizations

Name Location Focus
Wassaic Project Wassaic Increases access to the arts through exhibitions, lectures, the free Art Nest, classes for kids, teens, & adults, and residencies offering access to private studio space
Auburn Public Theater Auburn Provides affordable access to live performances, cinema, and community events, as well as Auburn Public Studio, which offers programs in dance, acting, rock music, and voice performance for young people and adults
The Depot Theatre Westport Professional theatrical productions in a historic train station, with the Theatre for Young Artists program offering local youth the opportunity to learn skills like singing, dance, and puppetry
Everson Museum of Art Syracuse Home to major American works in painting, sculpture, & drawing, and one of the largest holdings of international ceramics in the nation, with a variety of outreach projects to improve participation from all sectors of the community

Eva Tenuto on the Importance of the TMI Project

The Value Of The Arts In New York's Economy

According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, arts and cultural productions accounted for 7.8% of the total gross state product in New York in 2016. The table below compares the value added to the economy by arts to the value added by other sectors.

Sector Value Added
Arts & Cultural Production $119,856,783,000
Retail $69,957,400,000
Construction $46,845,800,000
Education Services $33,821,600,000
Transportation $30,966,900,000
Utilities $21,117,900,000
Agriculture & Forestry $2,394,000,000
Mining $828,100,000

The Filmmaking and Production Class at Auburn Public Theater

Arts Education in America

In Depth

Art connects and inspires us in a variety of ways, from the written word to theatrical performances. Throughout the state of New York, there are an abundance of organizations that bring art to the masses. Whether it be museums, painting and sculpture classes, or independent cinema, anyone seeking to immerse themselves in creativity have a diverse array of choices. Here in no particular order are a list of five entertaining and innovative arts organizations to take experience.

Starting the list at #1 is the Wassaic Project, a non-profit organization located outside of New York City that uses art and arts education to foster positive social change. It nurtures connections between its artists and neighbors to bridge the urban-rural divide by increasing access to the arts in rustic areas. At the heart of its education program for young children is Art Nest, a free artmaking space designed to unleash a child's creativity through the exploration of monthly themes. Other popular educational activities for kids include summer camps, field trips, and programs with local schools with the help of its Education Fellows.

The Artists Residency Program offers a community where emerging contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers, and other creatives can exhibit their work. Guest lecturers, monthly presentations, and 24-hour access to private studio spaces, offer them the opportunity to study artistic techniques, while expanding their portfolios. Residencies are available year-round and are also open to families. To bring a unique and beautiful piece of art into your home while supporting the cause and mission of the Wassaic Project, consider purchasing a high-quality screenprint from the print shop.

Residencies are available year-round and are also open to families.

At #2 on the list is the Auburn Public Theater in Auburn, New York. The theater focuses on enriching the social, cultural, and economic growth of the region through affordable access to live performance, cinema, and community events. As a hub for drama, education, and creative expression, Auburn Public Theater has brought new life to the area through such key programs as Auburn Public Studio, which offers dynamic programs in dance, acting, rock music, and voice performance for young people and adults. Students of all ages engage themselves in creativity, proper technique, versatility, equality, and performance skills.

Auburn Public Cinema is an independent, 65-seat movie house that engages the community by providing affordable and accessible cinema programming. It seeks to increase film literacy and cinema appreciation through the screening of independent, documentary, foreign, classic, and family films. To support Auburn Public Theater, you can become a volunteer, helping to prep the stage or assist as ushers during shows. You can also become a member, which offers major savings on all events and helps support performing arts through community scholarships to low-income performance arts students.

Entering the list at #4 is The Depot Theatre in Westport, New York, which seeks to entertain, enrich, and educate through professional theatrical arts and related programs based in a historic train station. Its year-round presence showcases high-quality programs that build strong partnerships and enhances community engagement while promoting diversity. The Theatre for Young Artists Outreach program offers local youth the opportunity to learn about live theater and features live accompaniment and workshops in voice, dance, and puppetry. The program is meant to add value to their lives in the early stages of learning development, as well as in the future.

The program is meant to add value to their lives in the early stages of learning development, as well as in the future.

In partnership with participating area restaurants, The Depot Theater offers Dinner and a Show, which allows theatergoers to support it via dining out. Diners can donate a percentage of the bill from their dinner meal, through the purchase of gift certificates, or feast on prix fixe meals that are made exclusively for its patrons. Through a matching grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, you can name a seat in the theater by dedicating it to a loved one. Another way to show support is to shop through Amazon's Smile Program.

Finishing up the list at #5 is the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York. Its mission is to create dynamic and meaningful encounters with modern and contemporary American art. It is home to paintings, sculpture, drawings, and one of the largest holdings of international ceramics in the nation. The Outreach Program increases access to the visual arts for those who otherwise may be unable to visit the Museum. Trained docents visit senior centers, hospitals, libraries, K-12 schools, and other community organizations, with presentations covering a range of topics including the history of the museum, its architecture, permanent collection, and special exhibitions.

The Everson Teen Arts Council is a partnership between the museum and local teens, offering a safe platform for them to share their voice, work with their peers, and engage with the greater community. The Council offers dynamic leadership opportunities to create meaningful and relevant programs and exhibitions, while giving them space to explore identity, build skills, and prepare for college and careers. There are a variety of sponsorship choices available to support the mission including Educational Programming, which underwrites scholarships, docent training, school trips, or free family programs. You can also contribute an individual donation.