Arts Services Inc. (ASI) serves as the arts council for the Western New York region. We provide connections to funding and learning opportunities for individual artists and arts and cultural organizations, as well as community access to the arts for economically disadvantaged individuals.
We understand the value of the arts and its impact on the mental, physical, and emotional health of our community. That is why we are committed to creating equitable access to the arts for all within our community by ensuring our programming, advocacy, and services are representative of our entire community.
Our Arts Access program provides low-income individuals and families in WNY with a pass for free admission and/or tickets to more than 50 area arts and cultural venues. We also provide passholders with complimentary private transportation, including accessible transportation, to and from these events to alleviate any travel barriers. This free pass is available year-round to anyone receiving income-based assistance (such as SNAP, HEAP, WIC, Medicaid, and more) and is good for one year.
During the shutdown due to COVID-19, the arts industry was one of the first industries to shut down and was the last industry to reopen, with permission and guidance given to performing arts venues by the state in April 2021. To help alleviate the financial burden on the industry, we launched the WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund in 2020 to help artists and arts and cultural organizations that lost income and revenue due to the pandemic. We were able to award over $235,000 to help sustain the field and ensure WNY's favorite artists and venues would be around once the pandemic ended.
ASI offers other funding opportunities, free and low cost professional development and training, bookkeeping services, and fiscal sponsorship to ensure the success of the region's artists and arts organizations. We also host the Spark Awards, which honor and recognize the incredible work being done by the WNY arts and cultural community. This annual celebration awards individuals and organizations for their talent, dedication, and support of the arts industry across Western New York.
And finally, ASI is the leader in arts advocacy at all levels of government, helping raise awareness about the impact and importance of access to arts experiences, including commissioning and coordinating the Arts and Economic Prosperity Report which assesses the economic impact of the arts on our region.
You can learn more about all of our programming and services on our website - asiwny.org.
Photo by: Alana Adetola Arts Photography, LLC