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Artpark & Company announces Artpark Works A New Initiative to Rebuild the Arts and Culture Workforce and Stimulate the Local Economy

June 7, 2021 - June 30, 2021

This summer, Artpark will help to rebuild the workforce of Western New York by hiring artists and other cultural sector professionals with the launch of a new $200,000 program, Artpark Works, thanks to a $100,000 grant from The John R. Oishei Foundation and Keybank in collaboration with First Niagara Foundation, aided by previously contributed $100,000 from M&T Bank and Cullen Foundation in General Operating Support.

Arts and cultural workers in Western New York have been especially vulnerable to the pandemic. This program will support seasonal part time and full-time positions, with an emphasis on those most affected by Covid-19: workers in underserved populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. 

The arts are a major engine of economic prosperity in Western New York and the United States. According to the 2017 Arts and Economic Prosperity study conducted by Americans for the Arts, the Western New York sector contributed $352 million in economic impact with $156 million in direct expenses, including engagement of 10,160 full-time employees (FTE). This shows that for every $1 of cultural sector expense, the economic impact is doubled. In a full year, Artpark contributes over $13 Million dollars to the local economy. This year, Artpark Works will support over 100 artists, technicians, and other cultural sector professionals with compensation for at least 131 weekly full-time equivalent hours. These jobs will support both new and existing arts programming, enhance the public park’s experience for all and stimulate the local economy.

“The arts community has suffered devastating losses during the past 14 months,” said Sonia Kozlova Clark, Artpark President. “This funding is a much-needed fuel igniting our economy, collective imagination, sense of belonging, joy and hope. We thank our funders for recognizing the need and the value of the professional cultural sector workers, the wisest investment a community can make.”

“Artpark Works is a creative way to support individual artists who have been hit hard by the impact of COVID, while also offering strong programming for the community in Artpark’s beautiful setting,” said Lawrence H. Cook II, Senior Vice President of Programs for The John R. Oishei Foundation. “We are delighted to support this initiative, particularly as it is focused on underserved communities and people of color.”   

“We at KeyBank are committed to making Western New York a vibrant and inclusive region with opportunity for all. The arts are fundamental to economic development by fostering creativity and innovation,” said Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of the KeyBank and First Niagara Foundations. “We are very pleased to support the work Artpark is doing to create jobs and provide opportunities that will further enhance our community.”

During the pandemic, Artpark produced 81 events specifically adapted for social distancing serving close to 10,000 visitors. In a normal summer, Artpark presents and produces 150+ programs serving 150,000 visitors employing over 200 workers and dozens of independent artists and groups and delivering over $13 million dollars in economic benefit to the local community. This summer with the help of Artpark Works program Artpark looks forward to presenting a full season pf programs as restrictions ease. 

Currently Available Positions at Artpark: 
Visual Art Residencies
Curatorial Project Manager
Performers and musicians for Artpark’s Fairy House Festival, Strawberry Moon Festival, FREE Family Saturdays, New Music in the Park series and other established Artpark programs.
Box Office Tellers 
Parking Toll Operators
Concession Workers
and more

Please inquire at artpark.net/artpark-works.html for more information on each position and updates for new positions coming shortly. 

ARTPARK is a park and a cultural institution located on the Niagara Gorge, USA. Established in 1974, Artpark is a collaboration between the New York State Parks and the cultural nonprofit institution Artpark & Company. Artpark is currently programmed and managed by an independent nonprofit Artpark & Co. and is widely regarded as a summer outdoor music venue ranked one of the top 100 Amphitheaters Worldwide by Pollstar. Artpark offers more than 150 events attended by 150,000+ visitors, on 150+ acres of land over 110 days of summer. Ninety of these events are community & family programs delivered to over 50,000+ people at low or no cost. Artpark & Co. programming delivers more than $13 million in estimated annual economic impact on the community. 

The John R. Oishei Foundation enhances the economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grantmaking, leadership and network building. For more information about The John R. Oishei Foundation, visit www.oishei.org. 

KeyCorp’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $176.2 billion at March 31, 2021. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,100 branches and more than 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.  

Founded in 1998, the First Niagara Foundation will carry out the philanthropic legacy of First Niagara Bank, which was acquired by KeyCorp in 2016. The Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, supports not for profit organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and neighborhoods primarily in Western New York.

Cullen Foundation serves the residents of Erie County by providing funding and support that significantly enhances the education of students in grades pre-K through 12 and advances theatre and the performing arts. In 2020 Cullen Foundation granted a total of $1,123,690 to 39 performing arts grantees in Erie and Niagara counties.
M&T Bank traces its origins to the founding of Manufacturers and Traders Bank in Buffalo, New York. Today M&T Bank Corporation is one of the 20 largest commercial bank holding companies in the U.S., with over 700 domestic branches & over 1,800 ATM’s across New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.


June 7, 2021
June 30, 2021