Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative

The Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative (WCRAI) at its core seeks to enhance the vibrant arts community within Wyoming County. The current major component of this initiative will be the Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative Microenterprise Program which will specifically recruit start-up and existing businesses that are involved in creative arts. Creative arts is broadly defined to include ceramics, painting, crafts, furniture making, performing arts and any other related activities. The Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative, is a partnership of the Wyoming County Planning & Development Dept., Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism, Arts Council for Wyoming County, and Wyoming County IDA.

In December of 2015, Wyoming County was awarded $200,000.00 for the Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative Microenterprise Program as part of a successful Consolidated Funding Application through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. An application and criteria for grants to artists for private and shared studios, equipment and maker spaces, collaborative galleries, and dedicated storefront and display spaces i snow available. In addition, potential living spaces above stores will be pursued. The project outcomes include a rebranding of Wyoming County as an arts enclave and the creation of numerous new arts-based businesses and live/work artist opportunities.

The project represents the first steps of a long-term initiative within Wyoming County that will represent a niche market to attract tourism and standard retail trade. The implementation of the microenterprise program calls for the development of galleries, dedicated store fronts, and display space in the County’s villages and hamlets.  Initial efforts starting in the Villages of Perry, Warsaw and Arcade have been funded and are up and running.

Applications are now available for the WCRAI Microenterprise Program
The Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative (WCRAI) seeks to enhance the vibrant arts community that already exists in Wyoming County, New York by creating an atmosphere in which creative art of all kinds can thrive. The WCRAI seeks to support existing artists in the County and to offer a place for artists currently living outside the area to come and share their inspiration, creativity, and art. The WCRAI will offer studios, other maker space, galleries, a website, business support services, and related shops, all designed to enhance the creative arts community in Wyoming County and expand the existing tourist trade.

The initial component of the initiative is the WCRAI Microenterprise Program, which offers grant funding uniquely tailored to assisting artists and artisans in establishing and enhancing businesses that are involved in the creative arts, which is broadly defined to include fine art (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, writing, etc.), performance art (dance, music, theater, storytelling, etc.), and craft art (ceramics, jewelry, leather crafts, woodworking, furniture-making & restoration, metalworking, quilting, etc.).

Grant funding from the WCRAI Microenterprise Program will be available to subsidize the cost of studio or other maker space, rents for gallery space and other retail display venues, rental or purchase of artist’s supplies and equipment, access to an on-line marketing and point-of-sale outlet, and other operating costs typically incurred in the creation of art for the commercial market. For those relocating to Wyoming County, affordable housing and supportive services are available and assistance in finding part-time employment opportunities can be provided. Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the artist’s needs.


Review and Submission Schedule
The grant review committee made the initial award recommendations in July of 2016. All applications received will receive full consideration for funding. Applications received after July 31st may receive consideration under the initial funding round at the discretion of the committee, but will be assured of consideration for funding that becomes available either through declinations by awardees or additional program funding.


Additional Instructions
The application is available in both printable and fillable PDF file formats. Printed blank application forms can be completed using a typewriter or by hand in clearly legible printing or script. Whether using the printable or fillable versions, the completed form must be signed and submitted in the manner prescribed in the application.


For more information contact:
Bill Daly, Director, Planning & Development
Wyoming County Business Center
Ag & Business Center
36 Center Street, Suite C
Warsaw, New York 14569
Phone: (585) 786-8820