Change Agents for Arts and Culture

Our region boasts local artists and institutions with international reputations and festivals that draw crowds by the thousands, making it a hub of creativity and inclusion. From startups to those beloved for decades, our arts and culture organizations fulfill a vital role for artists, their supporters, and our diverse communities.

The Joseph Ave. Arts and Culture Alliance hosted the RPO Brass Quintet at 500 Norton St. in August 2021. Photo by Erich Camping

Over the years we’ve provided generous donors the opportunity to support artistic programs for youth, offer free access to performances and venues, and amplify equity for Black and Brown artists.

But there is more to be done. If you share our passion and wish to become and advocate for the arts, here are some meaningful ways to take charge of change.

The Foundation’s Arts and Culture Fund allows us to use our expertise to fund the organizations, people, and projects that are making the greatest impact on the region’s vibrant and diverse artistic landscape. Because the fund is endowed, contributors can be assured their donations will have impact today and in the future.

To learn more about setting up your own fund to support the arts, click here.  

Here are some organizations we have recently funded that would also benefit from your direct support.

  • Borinquen Dance Theatre: This “youth development through dance” organization has served more than 1,000 students and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Foundation has provided funding for programs, strategic planning, and community performances.
  • Finger Lakes Opera: To introduce this art form to new and diverse audiences throughout the region, we gave a grant that supported expansion of the Canandaigua-based opera group’s performances from five in 2019 to 12 in 2021.
  • Garth Fagan Dance: We helped this world-renowned dance company pivot to a digital platform during the pandemic and collaborate with the Rochester City School District and other agencies to continue to offer instruction to students of color. These programs provided rigorous training focused on increasing health benefits and improving self-esteem.
  • Gateways Music Festival: This festival connects, supports, and showcases professional classical musicians of African descent. The Foundation has supported the series of recitals over six days each year since 2011. The festival’s orchestra is comprised of musicians from major symphony orchestras, pre-eminent music schools, and freelance artists, and will make its debut at Carnegie Hall in 2022.
  • Rochester Community Players: We supported the free July 2021 Shakespeare production of “The Tempest” at the Highland Park Bowl that showcased a blending of hearing and sign language actors.

Connect with us on social media (FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter) for news that will inform and inspire you. You’ll learn about our region’s pressing issues and the power of community-driven philanthropy to tackle them. 

You can also sign up for our e-news and invitations. We host a range of virtual and in-person events, from webinars on the intersection of equity and the arts to our annual celebration of philanthropy. 

We’d love to start a conversation about turning your vision into real-world change. Email us at giving@racf.org.