The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has announced a proposed long range plan aimed at restructuring the organization's goals and priorities. The decision to re-organize the grant-giving council's objectives, as well as adopting strategies to achieve them, was brought about by recent changes.
These changes include reductions in NEA funding, and increases in legislative funding following years of cutbacks and downsizing. Over the past year, NYSCA has given out 1,300 grants to New York Arts organizations, totaling about $41 million.
In addition to funding changes, NYSCA has also had drastic personnel changes over the past year, including the appointment of a new Chairman, Earle I. Mack, and new Executive Director of the Council, Nicolette Clarke.
Said Clarke, "The new plan has gotten a very positive response from our constituents. People are pleased to see that we're recommitting ourselves to making the grant application process simpler.''
The five-year plan considers several focal points. Along with NYSCA's grantmaking programs and processes, the plan outlines new strategies for technical assistance, individual artist support, arts education, regranting and decentralization, public information, technology, advocacy, and special initiatives. In order to address all of these issues, NYSCA considered constituent input, along with other sources for suggestions. The Council sent a field survey to 1,250 New York artists and arts organizations asking for comments and suggestions. An impressive 40 percent returned the ballots completed.
Staff working groups were asked to recommend new goals and strategies. These recommendations were then considered by NYSCA program directors, who then sent approved plans to The Planning Committee, which further developed the recommendations. The revised suggestions now go before the full council for review and approval. NYSCA will vote on the long range plan at its Oct. 22 meeting.