We heart art

The stats were staggering, worthy of an Aaron (Hank or Judge).

As ArtsWestchester revealed recently at its Art$W Challenge breakfast at new neighbor Morton’s Steakhouse in White Plains, the arts are big-time economic players in Westchester County:

They generated $172 million for the county, an increase of 218 percent since 1995.

They deliver $25.8 million in local and state government revenue.

They support 5,179 full-time equivalent jobs.

And, perhaps most telling of all, they are the reasons that 62 percent of nonresidents visit the county.

Despite this, ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam said, “It’s been a difficult year in the arts.” She praised the man she teasingly calls her “main squeeze” – County Executive Robert P. Astorino – for helping to find an additional $19,500 to keep funding for some 50 organizations on an even keel.

Now it’s time for the Challenge: Donate to any organization on the list through Dec. 15 and ArtsWestchester will match it, with the support of county government, up to $5,000 per organization until all available funds are allocated.

For more or to donate, visit artsw.org/artswchallenge. And look for WAG’s annual salute to the arts in our November issue.

Georgette Gouveia

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