As a state-wide service organization, ArtsNYS’ primary purpose is to strengthen the arts throughout New York State by building the visibility of the arts as one of the key industries in the state, providing technical assistance and professional opportunities to arts administrators, marketing the arts, leading efforts to increase funding for the arts and to strengthen the role of the arts in education, healthcare, community and economic development and other areas of civic life.



ArtsNYS is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt entity that leads state-wide efforts to advance the arts throughout New York State by:

  • Serving as a coordinating and convening agency for a broad range of arts service groups.
  • Leading efforts to promote the arts and to educate the public about the impact of the arts to the lives of individuals, communities, education, health and well-being, and economic development.
  • Sharpening the skills and knowledge of arts administrators and nurturing the next generation of arts leaders with professional development opportunities, seminars and convenings.
  • Working to increase public funding for the arts and to build support for policies that strengthen the arts throughout New York State.

Our Story

For several years, ArtsNYS, a coalition of arts service providers (primarily local arts councils) throughout the state, has been attempting to fill the gap.  Working on a shoe-string budget, with no staff, the coalition members succeeded in organizing two, state-wide convenings annually and leading efforts to secure increased funding for New York State Council on the Arts.

Transitioning from a coalition to a fully-operational nonprofit corporation was a plan for more than two years. In 2017, members voted to pursue this course of action, working with Pro Bono Partnership to develop articles of incorporation and apply for status as a tax-exempt charitable organization.  Once established, ArtsNYS will assume a statewide-leadership role in advancing the nonprofit arts sector and in providing services that address unmet needs.

While there is still much work to be done, the nonprofit arts sector has become increasingly effective in building relationships with local and state officials. Building the general public’s awareness of the benefits of the arts lags behind. Broad public support is needed if the arts are to continue to grow and to increase their impact on fields as varied as education, health care, and community revitalization.

Organizing Principals

At ArtsNYS’s June 2016 meeting, its members passed a resolution to establish ArtsNYS as the statewide arts advocacy organization, with 501c3 status. Coalition members articulated a series of organizing principals for the newly established 501 c 3. ArtsNYS will:

  • seek participation of a broad range of New York State nonprofit arts organizations.
  • establish a standing committee comprised of Decentralization sites. These are agencies designated by NYSCA to redistribute funds locally.
  • work with Americans for the Arts’ to serve nonprofit arts organizations.
  • operate independently of but in partnership with NYSCA.
  • develop programs and services that strengthen the field, including organizing conferences, convenings, and professional development opportunities and promoting the arts.
  • assume a broad advocacy agenda, including arts policy, funding, tax issues, and integrating the arts with other state agencies, including the Department of Education and the Economic Development Corporation.
MAG_In-progress photograph of The Memory Project (photo courtesy of Mamaroneck Artists Guild)


New York State’s arts and cultural sector is incredibly diverse—We are large institutions and grass-roots groups.  We are programs that keep seniors active and centers where kids create. We are artists and educators. We are ordinary citizens, patrons, and business leaders who value the arts. ArtsNYS believes that by working together we can give the arts a powerful and unified voice, increasing support for arts and culture in every town, city, and county in the state.  We invite you to join us by becoming an ArtsNYS member.

Five reasons to join:

  1. Stay informed about key policies, issues and trents affecting the arts.
  2. Connect with arts and cultural leaders throughout the State of New York.
  3. Strengthen your skills as an advocate for the arts.
  4. Build visibility of your organization.
  5. Contribute to the conversation about advancing New York State as the arts state.

As arts leaders, we know how important arts are to individuals, to communities, and our country. We know, too, that beyond their intrinsic value, the arts strengthen many other sectors - from education and economic development to tourism and transportation.


Working with our partner organizations, art enthusiasts and artists throughout the State of New York, ArtsNYS is leading the way to make sure that the leadership in Albany acknowledges the impact of the arts on economic development, tourism and community with increased funding for New York State Council on the Arts.