© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

ARPA funds available for struggling Syracuse festivals

Jason Smith
WRVO News (file photo)

Music, food, and fun could be filling the streets of downtown Syracuse again soon, as festivals come back in the wake of a pandemic. Now, the city is putting aside money to help those events get back on their feet.

The Syracuse Festivals Fund was put together by Mayor Ben Walsh and passed by the Syracuse Common Council. A committee will evaluate applications and decide how to allocate the $250,000 available.

President of theDowntown Syracuse Foundation Merike Treier said she hopes it will help support area businesses while bringing communities together.

"With the pandemic, many of these events were not able to happen for various reasons,” said Treier. “So we're now thrilled to be able to have some resources to be able to help support these events moving forward."

Treier said since the money is provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, the committee will consider how festivals were affected by the pandemic and how the event will attract visitors or tourists to struggling areas. She said the cultural role the festivals play will be an important factor, too.

"Does the festival raise awareness of arts in its many different forms? Does it build an appreciation for a variety of cultures and traditions?” she said. “Does it create opportunities to celebrate the diverse fabric of our region?"

The foundation will accept applications for round one of funding through March 21. There may be additional rounds if money is still available. You can find full guidelines and how to apply here.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.