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County Initiative Program (CIP)

The Schenectady County Legislature has dedicated arts and tourism funds to be distributed to local organizations in support of activities in the performing, literary and visual arts and/or historic preservation or that promote County tourism. The projects supported by the CIP grant funding provide significant benefit to Schenectady County residents and visitors, and enhances Schenectady County’s visibility and quality of life.

Program Objective

By resolution of the Schenectady County Legislature, dedicated funds from the County's Hotel/Motel Bed Tax will be distributed to local organizations in support of activities in the performing, literary and visual arts, County tourism, and/or historic preservation.  The projects supported by the CIP grant funding should provide significant benefit to Schenectady County residents and visitors, and should enhance Schenectady County’s visibility and quality of life.

General Program Guidelines 
  • Applicants are required to be project specific in their proposal; requests for general operating support or general support for fundraising events* will not be considered.
  • Average grant award ranges from $500 - $3,000.  Maximum request is $5,000.
  • Grant awards are not guaranteed from year to year.  Awardees must re-apply each grant cycle.
  • Applications will be judged on the following criteria:
    1. Existing community support for the organization including membership, subscribers, program participation and volunteers and financial support for proposed program.
    2. Additional private or other funds to be generated in support of the proposed program.
    3. Collaboration with other Schenectady County nonprofit organizations.
    4. Estimated community participation in or attendance at the proposed program.
    5. The extent to which the proposed program is likely to enhance the visibility and/or attractiveness of Schenectady County and increase visitors from outside of Schenectady County.
    6. Proposed activity represents a project involving historic preservation, or the performing/visual/literary arts.
    7. The effective use of the County Initiative Program award for the proposed program with respect to quality, soundness of program administration, adequacy and appropriateness of cost involved and need for the funds to ensure program success
    8. Projects that received funding in past years will also be judged on growth (new challenges, changes in programming, greater organizational professionalism, funding growth, or audience reach.)
    9. Projects that have not received funding in past years will be judged on sustainability and the potential to grow larger and attract more participants in future years.
    10. Additional consideration will be given to projects that are proposed as part of existing or proposed 2022 Schenectady County Special Events.  Please call Jason Lecuyer, Director of Special Events, to discuss your proposal prior to submitting your application.
    11. Proposals for general support of fundraising events will not considered.  Awards may be given in support of events that do have a fundraising component, but award must be used in support of an aspect of the event that includes historic preservation, tourism, or the performing/visual/literary arts.
Eligibility

To be eligible for a grant from The Schenectady County Initiative Program, an organization must meet each of the following criteria:

  • The organization must be an established association or institution whose earnings do not benefit any individual. Evidence of this status must be presented in the form of ONE of the following:
    1. IRS letter of tax-exempt not-for-profit status (501(c)(3) organizations)
    2. Charter issued by the Board of Regents under Section 216 Education Law
    3. Letter on official letterhead, signed by the appropriate county, city, town or village executive or departmental official, verifying the organization’s status as an official agency or entity thereof 
  • The organization must be up-to-date with all required filings with the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau and the IRS (if applicable).
  • The organization must be located in or have a physical presence/office in Schenectady County and the program services for which funding is being requested must be provided within Schenectady County.
  • The organization may not exclude persons because of disabilities, religious preference, age, gender, ethnic background or other practices prohibited by provision of the 1991 American with Disabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards, and Affirmative Action Policies set by the US Government.
  • Programs/Projects must take place within Schenectady County and must increase tourism and/or involve historic preservation and/or the performing/visual/literary arts.
  • Programs/projects must take place between April 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023.

Only one application per organization will be considered per funding cycle.

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Projects that take place outside of Schenectady County, or that are presented by organizations based outside of Schenectady County with no or little presence within the County.
  • Works of individual artists, except under the sponsorship of such organizations listed above.
  • Programs or projects that are not open to the public, or those that primarily serve the organizations’ own members or subscribers.
  • Requests for Capital Projects or the purchase of equipment, except such equipment directly related to programs or exhibits of the performing, visual or literary arts and/or historic preservation.
  • Proposals for general support of fundraising events.
Process
  • Applicants must use the official CIP form to be considered for an award. 
  • A citizens’ advisory committee will review the applications and recommend awards.
  • Announcement of awards will be made at the April 2022 meeting (tentative) of the Schenectady County Legislature, through a Legislative Resolution.
Grantee Responsibilities
  • As part of Schenectady County’s governmental obligation, grant awards must be formalized with a Public Benefit Services Agreement (contract).  These contracts will be provided to grant recipients by the Office of the Schenectady County Attorney, and must be completed (along with a Schenectady County Finance Department voucher form and an IRS Form W-9 if required) in order for the funds to be released. 
  • Grantees must provide a certificate of general liability insurance, with Schenectady County named as additionally insured for the specific project.
  • Grantee must file timely notice of all funded events and offer 2 tickets (if applicable) to the Citizens Advisory committee so that a review may be conducted by a panelist.  Admission to final dress rehearsal is permissible.
  • Schenectady County must be acknowledged in all promotional materials, including but not limited to flyers, posters, invitations, brochures, press releases, and print advertising.  Exceptions can be made for those materials printed prior to receiving notification of grant funding.  Failure to acknowledge Schenectady County in promotional materials (without prior notification) will adversely affect future grant funding.  Acceptable acknowledgement is the use of the Schenectady County Seal, or the following acknowledgement (or both, if applicable):

“Funding for this project made possible in part by a grant from the

Schenectady County Legislature through its County Initiative Program.”

  • Digital images of the Schenectady County Seal can be obtained by contacting the Director of Public Communications. 
  • Samples of promotional materials that include acknowledgement of Schenectady County should be submitted to Schenectady County for approval prior to printing and/or distribution.
  • A Final Report Form must be submitted within six (6) weeks after completion of project.
  • Failure to meet Program Requirements will result in nullification of Public Benefit Services Agreement, and grant monies must be forfeited/returned.
Technical assistance

Technical assistance is available to all organizations wishing to submit an application for funding.  If you have any questions or need guidance in filling out the CIP application please contact Jason Lecuyer, Director of Special Events, at (518) 388-4603 or Jason.Lecuyer@SchenectadyCounty.com. 

Congratulations to the 2022 Grant Awardees:

Awardee Amount
Kids Art Fest $4,000
Freedom Park Foundation - Summer Concert Series $3,850
Music Haven - Summer Concert Series $3,000
Schenectady County Historical Society - Independence Day Celebration and FallFest $4,000
City of Schenectady - Jazz on Jay Concert Series $2,100
Schenectady Hindu Temple and Community Services - Schenectady Caribbean Day $2,000
Town of Glenville - Oktoberfest $1,500
Hamilton Hill Drop-in Arts and Crafts Center - Miki Conn $2,500
Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County - Supporting Local Art: A partnership between Schenectady Habitat and Local Artists $3,500
Schenectady Greenmarket - Music Stage Series $1,500
CREATE Community Studios - CREATE Together $3,000
Niskayuna Community Action Program - Niska-Day $1,450
Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation - Fall Spooktacular $2,000
Jewish Community Center of Schenectady - Summer Outdoor Art Fair and Exhibit $1,750
Schenectady Symphony Orchestra - Free Summer Pops Concert at Music Haven in Central Park $2,000
Cycle Schenectady - Color the Canal/Art in Motion $2,500
New York Folklore Society - Artists' in the Gallery Series with hands-on workshops, demonstrations and foodways presentations $1,000
Schenectady Boys & Girls Club - Steinmetz Family Fun Day $1,000
Town of Niskayuna - Summer Concert Series $1,500
Albany Barn - Electric City Barn Spring Market $2,200
Upper Union Street BID - Holiday Tree Lighting $950
Musicians of Ma'alwyck - 2 Schenectady programs $1,000
Schenectady County Conservation Council - 9th Annual Kids Ice Fishing Derby $700
Empire State Aerosciences Museum - National Aviation Week $2,500
A Place for Jazz - 2022 Concert Series $1,000
Town of Rotterdam - Summer Concert Series $1,500
Vale Cemetery Preservation - public tours (each month April - November), bird walks, nature walk, ceremonies for Memorial Day and Juneteenth $1,000
Duanesburg Education Foundation - Duanesburg Summer Theater Program-Missoula Theater $500
Strong O.W.L.S. - A Mile in My Shoes: Stories from women in Schenectady told by art designs on a shoe or boot $500
Scotia BID - Independence Day Fireworks Celebration $1,500
Octavo Singers of Schenectady New York - Definitive Dvorak $500
Creative Placemaking Communities - Community Weave $500
My Daughters and Me MDAM My Sons and Me MSAM  Community of Unity Back to School Creative Arts Bash $1,000
Capital District YMCA Glenville Branch - Spring Fling $500

Legislative Contacts, Documents and Calendars