Building Community Through the Arts

Spencertown Academy Awarded Major Grant by New York State Council on the Arts

February 7, 2022

Media Contact:
Gina Hyams, PR Consultant
[email protected]

Spencertown, New York—Spencertown Academy Arts Center announced today a grant award totaling $49,500 from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Following New York State’s $105 million investment in the arts for FY2022, NYSCA has awarded more than $80 million since June 2021.

“NYSCA applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their responsive investment of $105 million for the nonprofit arts and culture sector. 2022 will continue to bring change and Spencertown Academy Arts Center will play a vital role in the renewal of our state’s economy and creative ecosystem,” said Mara Manus, Executive Director, NYSCA. “On behalf of the entire NYSCA Team, we wish to extend our sincere congratulations on your award.”

“What timing! This year we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Spencertown Academy arts organization, and the 175th year since the Academy was built as a school back in 1847,” said Nick Van Alstine, President of Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s Board of Directors. “The NYSCA grant is targeted at supporting artists of all types, and we are excited by projects we are currently developing that will do just that. We are so grateful to NYSCA and Governor Hochul for this generous grant in support of our goals.”

The Academy’s new projects include partnerships with related non-profit arts groups, such as Kids Need Music, which raises funds to purchase instruments for use by underprivileged students so that they can participate in their school music programs. Also, as an outreach to professional writers, a five-day writers’ conference is being planned. Academics, agents, and published writers will lead sessions in both craft and career management. “We are excited to be in the position to offer scholarships providing access for all,” said Van Alstine “We plan specific outreach to encourage young people and people from underrepresented communities to apply.”

“The arts have long been a critical sector in our economy, and as we continue to rebuild a stronger New York, it’s essential we do all we can help this industry thrive once again,” Governor Hochul said. “These awardees represent the best of what New York’s vibrant communities have to offer and with this funding in hand, they will be able to not only continue their creative and inspiring work, but help spur revitalization in their own backyard as well.”

The Spencertown Academy Arts Center (originally Spencertown Academy Society) was established in 1972, saving the historic Greek Revival building and turning it into a community arts center. Now an all-volunteer organization, it offers a varied schedule of concerts, lectures, classes, and gallery shows. Its signature fund-raising events—Hidden Gardens, Revels, and the Festival of Books—are yearly highlights. This summer, the anniversaries of the building and the organization will be celebrated together with a day-long community festival.

The Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see


Download a PDF of the press release.

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