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UPDATE: Buffalo releases long-delayed arts funding application

The City of Buffalo, under pressure from arts organizations to deliver on its promise of funding for cultural and anti-violence groups, released its long-delayed funding application this week. The city has given groups until April 5 to apply for the funding. Here's a copy of the application, which lays out the city's requirements for applicants. 

According to Arts Services Initiative Executive Director Tod A. Kniazuk, the city did not send the application out to all eligible organziations. Kniazuk also said that the city will not employ the inordinately useful Cultural Data Project, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts specifically designed for situations like the current funding delay at City Hall and to depoliticize the cultural funding process.

ASI is sending the application out to all eligible groups today.

"So, there you have it," Kniazuk wrote in an email. "A two week turnaround for the organizations who were lucky enough to find out about it."

My take? The city's attitude toward the groups which have made Buffalo an outstanding center of cultural activity -- groups which, perhaps more than any other constituency, have created the quality of life City Hall likes to brag about -- continues to be cavalier, if not insulting.

The community's cultural leaders are understandably reluctant to bite the hand that may someday feed them, so allow me: Get your act together, Buffalo, and start treating your own cultural organizations with the respect they deserve.


I just got an email from an arts organization staffer, who writes:

Yesterday, I received an application for City funding in the mail. The proposal submission deadline is April 5. They state the application issue date is March 22, 2013 ---- but the postmark on the envelope is for March 26. I never heard anything about the application being released until this envelope came in the mail. This gives cultural organizations just about one week to prepare materials - Isn't this ridiculous?!?! Aaahhhh!!!!

Yes. Yes, it is.

That staffer then added:

I can't tell you how frustrating this is. Arts and cultural organizations have been the heart of this city - building communities, sharing stories, and celebrating the diversity among us. The city should respect that we have our own rosters of events and programs - we need to plan ahead for completing these applications.

--Colin Dabkowski


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