New Funding For Albany Arts, Education And Cultural Programs

Apr 23, 2015

A new fund to support arts, education, and cultural programs in the City of Albany was announced today.

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

At City Hall, Mayor Kathy Sheehan took the wraps off the Capital City Fund at the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region.    "Many cities throughout the country have learned that doing this by setting up a separate 501c3, a charitable outlet for us to be able to collect charitable donations from the broader community to support these types of very important programs in our city, has been incredibly successful. And so we reached out to the Community Loan Fund of the Greater Capital Region, Karen Billowith and the entire staff there has been amazing in helping us to get this set up and we are very happy today to announce that we are formally launching the Capital City Fund to support arts, education and cultural programs, here in the capital city."

The private, not-for-profit fund will be overseen by the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region; awards will be made by a committee of four, including Albany historian and former Assemblyman Jack McEneny.   "These things can't always be paid with standard taxpayers dollars, so the fund is set up where businesses and individuals contribute to it. It goes from celebrations and patriotism and cultural events and educational. There's a whole series of things that once you do a budget in a tight year, you take a look at some of them and they're not supported the way they should be, so the Capital City Fund is going to address that," said McEneny.

The initial $23,000 grant from the fund was awarded to the Joint Veterans Committee, which sponsors Albany's Veterans and Memorial Day Parades. Again, Mayor Sheehan:    "When we announced the budget, we had indicated that that was the amount city taxpayers had been spending in our city budget for these important events, and it is great that through private fundraising we've been able to raise those funds. But the fund is open, as of today, people can make contributions to the fund... the charitable foundation is set up, the fund is up and running, and thanks to an initial anonymous donation, it currently has $80,000 that we will be using to provide grants this year and into the future to important arts organizations, education programs and cultural programs here in our city."

The deadline for applications for the initial round of funding is May 30th.

To learn more about the fund, receive an application, or make a donation, contact the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region at or call 518-446-9638. To make a donation, call 518-446-9638 or click the “Donate Now” button at (donors should write in “Capital City Fund” in the field labeled “IF OTHER” so that their donations will go to the correct fund). To get an award application, go to and click on the “Grants and Scholarships” tab. If you’d like to find out how to support our veterans email