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Regional News

ARPA funds available for struggling Syracuse festivals

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Jason Smith
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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 the Downtown 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.