The Best Is Yet To Come

The moment was electric. A chorus of 400 guests shouted out a countdown to the start of ArtsWestchester’s 50th year as a wave of confetti washed over a white dance floor. The occasion was the annual gala marking the launch of a year of festivities to celebrate a golden milestone. Here’s a look back at some milestones in the growth of the county’s arts council.

Over The Years

1965 –The Council for the Arts in Westchester is founded, the same year that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA) are launched. 

1967 –The first Arts Awards are presented by the arts council for outstanding contributions in the arts.

1975 – Key corporations join with Westchester County Government and the arts council to form a public/private partnership to support the arts and the first round of grants are made to Westchester cultural organizations.

1979 – ArtsWestchester becomes one of the first arts councils in the U.S. to receive an NEA Challenge Grant.

1980 – ArtsNews, a monthly newspaper is first published.

1984 – The Visiting Artist Program begins placing artists in more than 100 schools.

1988 – Westchester County Government collaborates with the arts council to develop a comprehensive cultural plan.

1992 – Arts Excel program is initiated in Westchester Schools with $1 million raised. 

1998 –  ArtsWestchester acquires a historic building in downtown White Plains.

2007 – Challenge Grant program of $200,000 is initiated to leverage matching funds. 

2008 – Westchester Arts Council officially changes its name to ArtsWestchester and rebrands its marketing efforts.

2011 – ArtsWestchester launches its website as a comprehensive online Guide to the Arts.

2012 – The Mount Vernon City School District partners with ArtsWestchester on a second four-year federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

2013 – ArtsWestchester receives $1 million grant, largest major gift in organization’s history from Emily and Eugene Grant.

2014 – ArtsWestchester launches six 50th anniversary initiatives including plans to host A Festival of New Work in Westchester.

2015 – The best is yet to come.