Schimminger Announces State Funding for Culturals

April 18, 2007

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger and members of the Western New York Assembly Majority Delegation have secured funding in the recently enacted state budget for three local cultural/arts organizations. “The preservation and development of arts programs and venues is important to our community,” Schimminger said. “As chairman of our area delegation, I am especially pleased to announce these grants for these organizations that play such a significant role in the 140th Assembly District.”

A $10,000 grant to the Carousel Society of the Niagara Frontier for continuation of educational programs will support new exhibits, informational teaching tools and educational events at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda. Rae Proefrock, Acting Museum Director, said, “We are truly grateful for this support from Assemblyman Schimminger and the Western New York Assembly Members. We continually strive to encourage and increase tourism and economic development in the arts community. In our ongoing efforts to reach out to the community at large, educational programs are key to future development.”

Several projects at the historic Riviera Theatre being undertaken in conjunction with ongoing restoration work will be funded to the tune of $12,500. Improvements to the sound system will be the main use of the funds. The installation of a new built-in digital sound system will accommodate a full range of musical and theatrical needs of the theatre. “The installation of the new sound system will make our organization more self-sufficient by allowing us to book more events with a greater variety of programming, with the goal of attracting even more patrons to the theatre,” stated Executive Director Frank Cannata. “With an ever increasing number of local cultural groups showing an interest in using the theatre, being able to make these upgrades is both necessary and forward thinking from a development standpoint.”

One organization which the Riviera Theatre hosts will also be receiving funds this year. The Niagara Regional Theatre Guild is the oldest non-profit continuously running theatre company in Western New York, with more than 50 years of service to the community. Formed in 1923 as the Players of Niagara, evolving to the Niagara Falls Little Theatre in 1943 and renamed as the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild in 2004, the group produces four main stage productions per year, mixing musicals and dramatic pieces. Assemblyman Schimminger announced a $13,200 grant which will enable the group to purchase new lighting and stage equipment. “We serve audiences of all ages, but we have many senior citizens who purchase season’s tickets to our shows,” explained Fran Newton, Chairman of the Niagara Regional Theatre Guild. “Nothing would be more disappointing to our seniors than not being able to hear what’s going on, or not being able to see an actor’s expression due to bad lighting. The funding will allow us to upgrade our equipment and ensure that doesn’t happen.”