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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2005

Schumer Announces $25,000 for Westchester County Music and Folk Arts Performances

National Endowment for the Arts Grant Will Support Summer Jazz Shows and Folk Arts Consortium

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced $10,000 for Jazz Forum Arts, Inc., and $15,000 for Westchester Arts Council, Inc. The groups received the grants through the National Endowment for the Art’s (NEA) Access to Artistic Excellence program. This program aims to foster and preserve excellence in the arts and increase access to the arts.

"This is a great day for Westchester County,@ Schumer said. “An investment in the arts is an investment in Westchester County’s future as a tourist destination and as a vibrant place to live. I will continue to fight hard for programs that support artistic growth and appreciation.”

Jazz Forum Arts will use its federal money to support free summer jazz concerts. At least fifty concerts will be presented at venues in Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, Dobbs Ferry, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Ossining and Haverstraw. The Westchester Arts Council will use the federal funds to support a regional folk arts performance and consortium education program. The group will work will the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts on a project designed to bring artists to several regions throughout Westchester County, to expand audiences for local artists and to provide learning opportunities in educational settings.

Jazz Forum Arts, founded in 1985, is a not-for-profit arts presenting organization. The Westchester Arts Council was established in 1965 as a private, not-for-profit program. It is the County’s designated arts council and the largest of its kind in New York State.

Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the NEA is dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts and bringing the arts to all Americans. Over 120,000 grants have brought art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities and military bases and have generated an average of seven dollars for each dollar awarded. Grants provided during FY 2006 will help support projects that involve the creation and presentation of artistically excellent work.

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