The Wyoming County Rural Arts Initiative (WCRAI) at its core seeks to enhance the vibrant arts community that already exists within Wyoming County, by creating an atmosphere in which creative art of all kinds can thrive. The WCRAI generally 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. In order to grow, the WCRAI sees the continued need for a variety of opportunities for artists including expanded studio offerings and other maker spaces; galleries; business support services and related shops. These are all designed to enhance the creative arts community in Wyoming County and expand the existing tourist offerings to our visitors. 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.
A major component of the initiative was the Wyoming County Rural Art Initiative Microenterprise Program which successfully concluded at the end of 2017. It sought to recruit start-up and existing businesses specifically involved in creative arts, offering grant funding uniquely tailored to assisting artists and artisans in establishing and enhancing businesses involved in the creative arts, 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.). 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 was made available and eleven artists and art based businesses participated. One of the primary goals of the project outcomes was to re-brand Wyoming County as an arts enclave and grow new arts-based businesses and live/work artist opportunities. The project represents a long-term initiative and commitment within Wyoming County that will represent a niche market to attract both tourists and retail/arts based businesses.
The implementation of the microenterprise program called 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 no longer available for the WCRAI Microenterprise Program, however, we are still looking for interested artists. Please contact Bill Daly at the information below as there may be further opportunities outside of the previous Microenterprise Program.
Read more in the Batavia Daily News Story WyCo Rural Arts Initiative displays unique economic development opportunities
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