GO ART! was founded as Genesee Arts Council in 1962, a non-profit serving Genesee County. In 1992 we assumed the duties of the adjacent arts council of Orleans County and created the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!). Our offices are in Batavia, a small city (pop. 14,000) midway between the larger metropolitan areas of Buffalo and Rochester, and a historical crossroads for commerce, transportation and immigration. While this hub offers resources, most of our constituents live in the surrounding rural area (pop. 83,000, in towns of 7,500 or fewer). Census data show an average of 88% White, 4.8% African American, and 4.3% Hispanic/Latino, with concentrations of up to 12% of those minorities in specific towns. Within those numbers is a more complicated story: our communities include Italian, Polish, Irish and African American roots that remain relevant; the Tonawanda Nation can lay first claims to the land; and newer Latinx residents sustain our century farms. Our vision is to recognize the cultural assets of these differing and sometimes conflicting communities, and engage our mutual understanding through the powerful medium of the arts. We do this through administration of NYSCA’s Statewide Community Regrant program; by artist services such as gallery space, networking and technical assistance; by arts initiatives to youth and teens; through GLOW Traditions, a 4-county collaborative traditional arts and folklife program; and through stewardship of our National Historic Landmark cultural center which offers event and program space.
All our rural residents are historically underrepresented by geographic location. We have had a 5% population loss since 2010 and an 11.8% poverty rate. Minorities include African American, Latinx/Hispanic, Native American, and LGBTQIA persons; 7% veterans.
Agriculture is our primary industry, w/in a rural and economically depressed area. Diversity and population fluctuate w/ seasonal agricultural jobs, community colleges, an immigrant school and a prison. The region includes some mid-sized industrial employers. Services to additional communities include developmentally disabled and mentally ill through ARC and Mental Health Associations; a veterans center/hospital; senior centers; at-risk youth through community service and mentorship programs; and the LGBTQA+ community through GLOW OUT!.
We view our role to be a nexus for all socioeconomic groups to experience and appreciate a spectrum of arts experiences, from a Salon Series classical voice recital, to a workshop on Turkish paper marbling, to a youth animation film screening, to a drag queen show. We are the only public art and culture center to represent all forms of art in our counties, and strive to be a resource center for anyone looking for connections in the arts and cultural realm.
Our most effective way to expand our reach is to collaborate with businesses, non-profit, educational and service organizations. Past and current projects include working w/ ARC clients to create a group visual art exhibit; hiring teen and young adult interns through Genesee County Job Development and Genesee County Justice; sponsoring ethnic food demos at farm markets; and opening arts workshops to YMCA summer campers. We work w/ school districts/teachers to offer student scholarships to our Explore ART! Programs, where fine and performing arts teachers work w/ guidance counselors to identify children in need and/or w/ talent that would greatly benefit from a scholarship. These include Children’s Creative Arts Workshops (fine, performing, literary, culinary, media, tech, folk and design arts) and Tech Art Classes, as well as performing and visual arts classes for families. In total, GO ART! Collaborates with 35 organizations/non-profits.
We focus on: Arts and Culture
Where we are: Genesee, Orleans
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