Press Releases

Grants Round Up: The Smith Looks Back at A Year of Generosity and Gratitude

GENEVA, NY – As we begin 2022, the Smith Center for the Arts offers thanks to our many fiscal sponsors and acknowledges their critical role in bringing creative programming to the community of Geneva and beyond.

Early in 2021, The Smith remained closed to the public due to the public health emergency caused by the pandemic. During this time, The Smith adapted its programming to provide digital and streaming options to its patrons. The ArtSmart Educational Theatre program for school-aged children moved from stage to screen, allowing students to learn from the safety of their homes and classrooms. Once we reopened to the public in April, many of our presenting partners were able to bring their events to homebound arts patrons through the Smith’s new live streaming capabilities. Digital equipment and programming were funded by grants from the Upstate Coalition for a Fairgame and the Nelson B. Delavan Foundation.

In the Fall, The Smith honored its commitment to lift up and celebrate our communities of color by offering programming during Hispanic Heritage Month. These events included performances by acclaimed Latin musical groups Cortadito and Buffalo Tango Orkestra, as well as a free screening of the beautifully animated film “Coco.” These events were made possible by funding from the New York State Council on the Arts via a Finger Lakes Community Arts Grant.

Funding from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible two interactive musical events. The Smith hosted performances and workshops presented by folk Americana duo The Honey Dewdrops, and a community singalong event led by Choir! Choir! Choir!

Our staff were able to continue working to provide artistic programming, despite a drop in revenue due to pandemic restrictions, in part due to funding offered through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Plan.

Operations support was provided by the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation and the federal government’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). These unrestricted funds have covered The Smith’s insurance and utility bills and the basic costs of maintaining the historic Smith Opera House. At the end of 2021, we also learned that we would receive funds for operations costs in 2022 from the The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). These NYSCA funds are part of the American Rescue Plan Act. The campaign to get the SVOG through congress was a national effort recognizing the specific needs of performing arts venues and their central role in their communities.

The Smith also got the green light to begin several capital projects in 2022 that will enhance the patron and artist experience. This grant, funded through the New York Main Streets program, will allow the Smith to address accessibility, sustainability, and safety concerns, particularly in the age of COVID.

The investments made in the Smith this year by our funding partners have been instrumental in providing 9 months worth of creative programming during one of the most difficult public-health crises in American history. We could not have done it without the generosity of our grantors as well as the donations offered by individual art-lovers throughout the community.

We are determined to get you back into The Smith to enjoy live entertainment! To learn more about upcoming events at The Smith Center for the Arts visit, or visit or call our box office for phone and in-person sales, 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Friday.

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Please email or call (315) 781-5483. For more information visit