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Give for Greatness kicks off 2012 Give Season on Fat Tuesday

Give Until We're Great!

Great cities have great arts and cultural scenes. A vibrant cultural community boosts tourism, attracts innovative thinkers, catalyzes economic development, and, most importantly, creates healthy communities that people thrive and succeed in. For Western New Yorkers, the enrichment provided by our arts and cultural organizations has long been a point of civic pride, and a source of economic power. According to a 2005 study, Western New York arts and cultural organizations account for more almost 4,000 jobs, contribute almost $12M to the area’s tax base, and have annual attendance figures that surpass the Buffalo Bills, Sabres, and Bisons combined! Imagine the negative economic impact this region would endure without these three sports teams and you’ll begin to understand what Buffalo without arts and cultural organizations would be like.

Give for Greatness (G4G) is an organization whose primary mission is to fundraise for, and elevate the profile of, arts and cultural organizations in Western New York. Secondarily, G4G advocates on behalf of programs that promote the arts and encourages collaboration among the region’s arts and cultural organizations, businesses, and community leaders.

Proceeds from participating Mardi Gras locations will will help to fund the following local organizations:

African American Cultural Center, Inc.

Alleyway Theatre, Inc.

American Legion Band of the Tonawandas

American Repertory Theater of WNY

Big Orbit Gallery

Buffalo Arts Studio

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens

Buffalo Film Festival

Buffalo Inner City Ballet

Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy

Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus

Buffalo United Artists (BUA)

Carnegie Art Center (Tonawandas Council on the Arts, Inc.)

Carrousel Society of the Niagara Frontier

Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

CEPA Gallery

Community Music School of Buffalo

Configuration Dance Theater

El Museo

Explore & More Children’s Museum

Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

Hull House Foundation

Impact Artist’s Gallery

Irish Classical Theatre Company

Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY

Just Buffalo Literacy Center

The Kavinoky Theatre

Kenan Center, Inc.

Lancaster, New York Opera House Inc.

LehrerDance, Inc.

Locust Street Neighborhood Art Classes, Inc.

Music is Art

MusicalFare Theatre

Musicians United for Superior Education, Inc.

Neglia Ballet Artists of WNY

New Alt Performance Group

New Phoenix Theatre on the Park, Inc.

The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, Inc.

Niagara County Historical Sociery

O’Connell & Company

Peace of the City

Playhouse of American Classics

Polish Arts Club of Buffalo, Inc.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara

Road Less Traveled Productions, Ltd.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

Springville Center for the Arts, Inc.

Squeaky Wheel

Subversive Theater

Theater for Change

Theater of Youth

Torn Space Theater

Ujima Theater

Urban Canvas Project Inc.

Western New York Artists Group, Inc

Western New York Book Arts Collaborative

Young Audiences of Western New York, Inc.

Give for Greatness, launched by Artvoice in 2011 to support Western New York’s cultural community, is gearing up for its 2012 Give Season. The campaign was inspired by similar models created by alternative newspapers across the US that have established grass roots fundraising entities for worthwhile nonprofits, including arts and cultural organizations. Last year’s three-month campaign raised $90,000—the majority coming from individual citizens—all of which was allocated to 48 local arts and cultural organizations.

Based on this initial success, Artvoice acted quickly to formalize G4G as an ongoing entity. In just nine months, G4G has transformed itself from a grassroots campaign to a full-fledged no-profit organization with support from its founder, Artvoice.

G4G, v.2.0

G4G’s 2012 Give Season line-up includes nine signature fundraising events, complemented by numerous individual-initiated parties and grass roots happenings. The exciting season kicks- off with the 17th Annual Artvoice Mardi Gras celebration—expanded this year to include after-parade celebrations in Allentown, Elmwood Village, Chippewa District, Williamsville, and Hamburg. Keeping with tradition, the festivities will begin with a 5pm parade featuring floats representing G4G beneficiaries and other area organizations.

The Give Season will conclude with the second annual Fiesta for the Arts on May 5.

A highlight of last year’s campaign will be reprised on April 29 when Musicalfare Theater and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra team up once again for a concert at Kleinhan’s Music Hall. Also at Kleinhan’s and new this year, G4G is proud to present Students For the Arts.

Beneficiary Organizations

To date, 57 organizations from Erie and Niagara Counties—including theaters, dance companies, and organizations supporting the visual arts, arts education, literature and music—have applied to participate in the G4G 2012 Give Season. Profiles of all participating organizations will appear in a Give Guide that G4G will distribute at more than 1,000 locations in late February.

A Cooperative Spirit

G4G is forging connections with key local, state, and national non-profit organizations. In particular, G4G’s efforts are being strategically aligned with the Arts Services Initiative, the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance, and other important initiatives to enhance Western New York’s arts and cultural sector.

The Bottom Line

The region’s cultural institutions deserve more than mere subsistence. They deserve to thrive. In 2005, 22 of Western New York’s arts and cultural organizations attracted two million visitors, and generated $11.4 million in sales taxes, with $6.2 million of that going directly into Erie and Niagara County governments.

We know that new audiences can be cultivated through dynamic and stimulating artistic events. We know that continued collaboration among arts and cultural groups, individual artists, and the community at large will inspire growth. And we know that Western New York’s citizens are poised to take on a greater, more meaningful role in the evolution of the artistic and cultural institutions they have come to love.

Join Us!

For additional information about events and Give for Greatness, or to make a secure a donation, visit our website at

For further information about how you can volunteer to one of the signature events—or to host your own event in support of G4G—please contact:

Megan Callahan is executive director of the Give for Greatness campaign.

more in the 17th Annual Artvoice Mardi Gras issue:
It's Fat Tuesday, Mes Chéries!  •  The Belles of Mardi Gras
The Artvoice Mardi Gras Parade •  Mardi Gras Events, Joints & Best Bets
Give For Greatness kicks off Give Season on Fat Tuesday

for more info:
The official Artvoice Mardi Gras Website  •

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