DEC in 2020: A Year for Flexibility
Despite delays and postponements to most of the area’s arts projects supported by a New York State Decentralization (DEC) Grant in 2020, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions, the DEC program in the Quad-County region of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton counties is alive and well and moving forward!
The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has reaffirmed its commitment to the DEC program this year and beyond, granting DEC sites—such as the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts (ALCA) in the Quad-County region—and their DEC coordinators wide-ranging flexibility in approving restructuring of projects this year and, when necessary, extending funding into 2021 for those projects being postponed in 2020. All projects that received a DEC grant for this year and that continue to meet current eligibility requirements are being fully funded, and NYSCA representatives and DEC coordinators have conferred on ways to make the application guidelines for 2021 similarly flexible.
All in all, 47 projects by 41 different arts organizations or individual artists have been funded by a DEC grant in the four counties this year, totaling $91,000 in support. Funding for 2021 DEC grants has yet to be determined. However, because we want to accommodate projects that seek to begin as early as Spring 2021, ALCA’s DEC program is moving forward with the application process—with the expectation that we will be notified soon about the funding. For details on the 2021 application process, please visit the page on this website titled “2021 Decentralization Grant Cycle.”
To learn more about 2020 projects or applying for a 2021 grant or for any questions you may have about the Decentralization Grant program overall, please contact ALCA’s NYS DEC Coordinator Fred Balzac at email@example.com or call (518) 588-7275.
The ADK-Quad County Decentralization Headquarters
The Decentralization Grant Coordinator for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton counties is Fred Balzac.
The 2019 ADK Quad-County Decentralization Awards Ceremony was held at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake on Saturday, May 4. The event honored the 2019 Decentralization Grant Awardees. It was a huge success, well attended by our grantees as well as community members. Here are a few photos of the event. The 2020 awards ceremony was postponed indefinitely because of the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope to return to the tradition of an in-person awards ceremony for the new grant-application cycle sometime in 2021.
Decentralization Grant Program
History and Purpose
Founded in 1977, the Decentralization Program (DEC) was developed to ensure that New York State's cultural funding reaches every part of the state. Decentralization has since become one of the NYSCA’s most effective means of making arts support available to geographically, economically, and ethnically diverse segments of the state's population.
The program forms the cornerstone of NYSCA’s partnership with local arts agencies throughout the state, providing a link between NYSCA and portions of the community that might not otherwise be able to access funding from NYSCA.
Decentralization funds are regranted locally by regional and local arts agencies at the invitation of NYSCA. These Decentralization or “DEC” sites are charged as advocates and catalysts for arts and cultural development at the local level and provide a wide range of multi-arts programming and services for local communities, artists, and small organizations. Through DEC regrant funding, DEC sites provide project support to a wide-range of professional, vocational, and educational arts and culture in their respective communities. The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake is the DEC site for the ADK Quad-County region, or Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton counties.
NYSCA has developed broad guidelines that provide a framework for implementing the program, while giving the DEC sites the flexibility to tailor the program to the diverse communities that they serve. Funding decisions are based on evaluative criteria designed by each DEC site and approved by NYSCA staff. DEC site administration is governed by a set of procedures outlined in the Decentralization Manual issued by NYSCA. Much of the information provided here and on the other pages of this website is based on guidelines issued in 2020 for the 2021 grant cycle. Guidelines for the 2021 cycle are in the process of development and are likely to include substantive changes, subject to approval by NYSCA.
The ADK Quad-County Decentralization Program serves as an umbrella for two distinct funding categories: Community Arts and Arts Education.
Please see the page on this website titled “2021 Decentralization Grant Cycle” for links to a PDF of both the Community Arts and Arts Education grant guidelines.
Community Arts Grants
Community Arts grants provide support for arts and cultural projects to community-based organizations, groups, collectives, or artists. Community Arts grants provide funding to emerging professional artists and organizations whose projects promote the arts and enhance the cultural climate in the communities and neighborhoods where they live and operate.
An applicant organization must be a governmental or quasi-governmental entity, a tribal organization, or a designated New York State nonprofit incorporated in New York State or registered to do business in New York State. An individual artist or collective may apply for decentralization funds through a fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor then becomes the “applicant organization” and must meet the same basic eligibility requirements as an applicant organization and provide the same required documents.
Community Arts grants usually don't fund more than 75% of the applicant’s total project budget (total cash expenses). However, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on DEC-supported projects in 2020, the match requirement is being waived in its entirety for 2021 projects. It may be reinstated for 2022 projects.
Community Arts grants support all forms of multidisciplinary projects including, but not limited to: theatre, dance, music, film, video, literary arts, visual arts, and folk arts, and can be single events or part of a series. All Community Arts grant projects must be community based and open to the general public.
Arts Education Grants
Arts Education grants fund sequential, arts education projects that take place in K-12 schools during the school day and/or after-school and community-based learning centers for youth and/or adult learners. Arts Education grants serve to bring teaching artists and their classroom skills into dedicated learning environments for all ages. Emphasis is placed on the depth and quality of the creative process through which participants learn through or about the arts. Projects must focus on the exploration of art and the artistic process.
Arts Education projects must provide:
- Sequential, skills-based study that incorporates one or more art forms and includes a minimum of 3 sequential hands-on learning sessions.
- In-depth, age and skills appropriate learning opportunities.
- Hands-on, participatory creation and/or learning opportunities in one or more art forms that may culminate in exhibitions, productions, or demonstrations.
- Stated learning goals, methodologies and outcomes, and a means for evaluation.
An applicant of record must be an individual teaching artist, collective, or a designated New York State nonprofit incorporated in New York State or registered to do business in New York State. Public schools are ineligible to apply directly. Artists or collectives from outside the county in which the project is taking place may apply using a nonprofit organization from within the county as a fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor then becomes the “applicant organization” and must meet the same basic eligibility requirements as an applicant organization and provide the same required documents.
Arts Education grants usually don't fund more than 75% of the applicant’s total project budget (total cash expenses). However, because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on DEC-supported projects in 2020, the match requirement is being waived in its entirety for 2021 projects. It may be reinstated for 2022 projects.
The applicant’s remaining project costs may be covered through planned in-kind contributions, cash income, or a combination of both as outlined in the project budget.
The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts is currently seeking individuals to serve as review panelists for the 2021 Community Arts and Arts Education grant panels. We are looking for panelists throughout our entire service region - Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Hamilton counties.