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Our Mission

"To promote and strengthen the creative capacity of our community by providing diverse opportunities for arts participation, understanding, and appreciation."

The Ontario County Arts Council is a non-profit organization with a membership of over 200 visual and performing artists and other members of our local communities who appreciate and support culture, art, music, and architecture. Established in 1989 to enhance the creative arts in Ontario County, we sponsor and co-sponsor numerous events, exhibits, and workshops, as well as support the arts with grants and scholarships. These include: 

  • Four annual Members Exhibits. Exhibits in 2022 were held at Wood Library, Cheshire Union, Fort Hill Performing Arts Center and the North Gallery at Ontario County Historical Society.

  • Annual series of juried exhibits are held from April to December in the North Gallery of the Ontario County Historical Society, and is sponsored in partnership with the Museum. Occasional workshops and lectures at the museum are held in conjunction with these exhibits. 

  • Annual series of juried member exhibits are held in the main lobby of the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center. A series of one and two person shows are planned for 2023.  

  • A Rotating Art Exhibit program at local offices and businesses that pay an annual $150 donation/fee to participate, which goes towards our grants and scholarship funds. Presently there are fourteen contributing member artists at eleven locations.

  • A $2,000 Mariner Family Scholarship is awarded each fall to a deserving visual or performing arts student at Finger Lakes Community College, and a musical performance is periodically held to help support this scholarship.

  • Art grants, workshops and exhibits are made available to the public libraries in Ontario County and several local libraries are active participants in supporting the visual arts.​

Our Board of Directors

We have an active, working Board of Directors, all volunteers, who works closely with other local organizations in support of the arts, including the Ontario County Historical Society, Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion, Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce and B.I.D., Arts in Canandaigua Galleries, and the City of Canandaigua. 

Front Row: Judi Cermak (Past President), Susan Besaw, Tina Blackwood (Vice President), Kathy Cooper (Treasurer), Kay Howard (Secretary),

Rear Row: Neal Allen, Lenore Friend, Joyce Kowba (President), Bradley Fuster, Harry Patrick, Carol Henshaw

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