Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Arts groups benefit from payola fund

Poughkeepsie Journal John W. Barry

Another example of why New York Voters overwhelmingly love Santa Spitzer....ho ho ho andy

Eight arts organizations from Ulster, Dutchess and Orange counties have received nearly $750,000 in grant money from a fund fed by multi-million dollar payola settlements that Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reached with major record companies.The big winner in today’s announcement — the second cycle of grants from the payola fund — was the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which administers the payola money, known formally as the The New York State Music Fund. awarded the Bardavon $195,000 for 36 performances at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, Broadway Theater at Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston and at the annual Hudson River Arts Festival in Poughkeepsie.Bardavon Executive Director Chris Silva said he submitted a "wish list" of 36 performances that he would stage with the payola money."It’s really good news," Silva said. "It’s a real good Christmas gift."Silva said his wish list included musicians as diverse as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart.

This round of payola funding awarded $19 million to 218 nonprofit groups statewide.Other Hudson Valley groups that received funding include:— Bard College/Bard High School Early College, Annandale, $100,000.— Center for Creative Education, Stone Ridge, $130,000.— Maverick Concerts, Woodstock, $44,000.— Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, $58,000.— Soundscape Presents, Accord, $57,000.— Unison Arts and Learning Center, New Paltz, $75,000.— Woodstock Guild of Craftsmen, Woodstock, $75,000.Also announced today was a $140,000 grant for the Eldridge Street Project in New York City, for the Great Day Tour, presenting various klezmer musicians at six venues in New York City, Poughkeepsie, Fredonia, Rochester and Buffalo, along with an educational program for K-12 students and pre-performance audience dialogues.

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