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Higgins Announces $65,000 for Art and Cultural Programs in Western New York

Feb 25, 2021
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced federal grants totaling $65,000 through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the following four local organizations: Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo String Works, and Hallwalls.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to fundamentally change every aspect of our lives, ensuring our residents have an outlet through our thriving arts community in Western New York is more important than ever. This federal funding will support the work of several of our amazing local art organizations in virtually educating and entertaining,” said Congressman Higgins.

The following Western New York organizations are receiving funding through the NEA:

  • Squeaky Wheel will receive $20,000 to support a year-round advanced level media arts program where students from underserved communities will undertake projects in a mentor-supported and collaborative setting. The funding will support virtual and in-person arts instruction.


  • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is awarded a $20,000 federal grant to support virtual programs, including online educational activities and a concert, aimed at engaging Buffalo’s West Side community.


  • A $10,000 grant will help Buffalo String Works in hosting free virtual instrumental music instruction to students with limited access to music education in Buffalo. The funding will also support small group strings instruction, lead ensemble orchestra rehearsals, and provide professional development to classroom teachers.


  • Hallwalls will receive $15,000 to produce an exhibition focused on the work of the Indigenous women’s media collective, Arnait Video Productions (AVP) in order to promote the cultural voices of Inuit women.

These organizations were among 1,073 organizations to receive over $27.5 million in funding from the first round of FY 2021 grants. On average, NEA grants generate more than $800 billion annually for the United States economy.