Arts, Culture & Leisure Resources

There are a variety of nonprofit groups and government agencies working to develop and enhance cultural and leisure opportunities in our region. The organizations listed below focus on critical work relating directly to the indicators presented here. Groups are listed by the sub-headings used in the "Topic Indicators" section.

Exciting Regional Destination

The  Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester is the umbrella service organization and industry association for arts and culture in the ten-county greater Rochester region, including Cayuga, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties. Its mission is to develop, promote and strengthen the cultural industry. The Arts & Cultural Council directly serves the cultural community — artists and cultural organizations — as well as the community at large. The Council also offers directories of regional artistsarts related businesses and arts organizations.

Several arts councils serve smaller areas within the region:

Visit Rochester encourages and facilitates travel for both leisure and business visitors to our region.

The Monroe County Sports Commission is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to bring organized sporting events for all ages to Rochester. The Commission actively solicits amateur championships, sports-related clinics and conventions.

Rochester is one of only four communities in the nation with a park system designed by the world-renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The Landmark Society of Western New York has launched an effort to preserve the heritage of our Olmsted Parks.

The Genesee Transportation Council, our regional planning agency, has developed a Regional Trails Initiative, a master plan for regional trail development, which includes a map of area trails.

Arts and Education

The Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester maintains links to groups that support arts education.

Support for arts education is also provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.

Public Support for the Arts

Information on local grants for the arts is maintained by the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester.

The New York State Council on the Arts provides information on state grants as well as general information on funding for the arts.

Grants in the humanities are available through the New York Council for the Humanities.

In 2012 New York State ranked fifth in the nation in Arts Spending per Capita. Click here for the national rankings.


Community Engagement Resources 

There are many local government agencies and nonprofit groups working to promote engagement in the life of our community. The organizations listed below focus on critical work relating directly to the indicators presented here. Groups are listed by the subheadings used in the "Indicator Topics" section, while organizations pursuing more general activity, including research, are listed at the end.

Civic Participation

Each area county's Board of Elections is responsible for registering eligible voters and conducting elections. Many of the county boards provide additional information or services to encourage participation in elections.

The League of Women Voters, open to both women and men, is a nonpartisan organization that encourages voter participation and active participation of citizens in government. The group conducts numerous educational activities, including publication of the Monroe County guide to elected officials called "Who Represents You?"

Rock the Vote is a national organization that strives to promote voting among younger citizens. The group uses music, actors, musicians, popular culture and new technologies to engage and motivate young people to register and then vote in every election.

Community Involvement

Youth Engagement

Youth as Resources is a community-based youth philanthropy and youth engagement program operated by the Rochester-Monroe County Youth Bureau. The YAR Board provides mini-grants to young people to design and implement civic engagement activities and service projects that target social problems, resolve community issues, and contribute to significant community improvement. YAR is governed by local youth and adults responsible for grant making.

Youth Voice, One Vision is a comprehensive youth leadership program in Monroe County, coordinated by the City of Rochester's Bureau of Recreation and Youth Services and several community partners. The Rochester-Monroe County Youth Voice, One Vision Council unites youths and adults of youth-serving organizations and faith-based groups to share resources, strengthen youth representation, encourage youth interest in civic engagement, develop youth/adult partnerships and empower youth to make change and support community efforts. Officers and members come from the various City of Rochester community/recreation center locations.

Grassroots Engagement

Roc City Coalition is a collaboration of organizations that are focused on attracting, retaining, and empowering the young adults of greater Rochester. The Coalition offers information, ways to get involved, a chance to be heard, and an opportunity to build a stronger community.

Philanthropic Support

Citizens interested in becoming engaged by making financial donations can do so in many ways. Both the United Way of Greater Rochester and Rochester Area Community Foundation support a wide range of organizations and accept online donations.


Banner photo provided by Ken Huth and Geva Theatre