The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) is the state’s smallest agency — with a current staff of only 30 and a budget of $5.2 million — its impact far exceeding its size. NYSCA awards approximately 2,500 competitive grants annually to arts groups each year, preserving and expanding cultural resources throughout the state and increasing access to the arts for all state residence.
General Operating Support
NYSCA’s is the single most important source of General Operating Support (GOS) for arts organizations throughout the state. At a time when funders increasingly seek to support particular projects and other sectors—health, youth services, crime prevention, economic development, education—seek to partner with arts groups, NYSCA’s GOS is more important than ever. It is the support that enables arts groups keep their doors open.
When New York State legislators established NYSCA, they had the foresight to develop a mechanism — the Decentralization Program — ensuring that public funds for the arts reach all areas of the state. With a state as large and diverse as New York, community needs and interest vary greatly. Decentralization grants foster the development of local artists and cultural groups that are responsive to community needs. NYSCA partners with a network of arts agencies in each of the 62 counties—many of which participate in Arts NYS — to distribute grants through a competitive process that is grounded in local decision-making.