Daily Archives: Sep 1, 2020

ASI has Opened Applications for their 2020-21 Arts Access Program

Arts Access Removes Financial Barriers to Accessing Arts Experiences

 

(BUFFALO, N.Y., September 1, 2020) — Applications are now open to renew or sign up for Arts Access, a program by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York (ASI) that removes financial barriers that may prevent access to arts experiences. ASI partnered with more than 50 Western New York-based galleries, theatres, and other arts and cultural organizations in 2020 to offer passholders free or discounted admission, free transportation to and from events and venues, and digital spaces that connect passholders to news of both in-person and virtual activities.

The Arts Access pass is available to any resident of Erie or Niagara counties who receives income-based public assistance, such as SNAP, HEAP, WIC, Medicaid, TANF, and others. According to a study completed by the Mobile Safety-Net Team and University at Buffalo’s Regional Institute, nearly one-third of Buffalo-Niagara residents, or 338,000 people, lived in or near poverty before COVID hit. Since COVID hit, those who serve those communities directly anticipate a spike in that number making the demand for this type of free access program even more important.

“We use the arts to help us make sense of our lives and the world we live in,” said Jennifer Swan-Kilpatrick, Executive Director of ASI. “We also use it to temporarily escape our challenges. The arts enrich all of our lives on a daily basis and most people don’t even notice until it’s no longer there. This program will continue to connect our residents and neighbors to all of the great arts and cultural activities we have year-round – a way for them to explore, create, and educate during these tough times.”

ASI has been working closely with the program’s partner organizations to continue providing accessible programming even while many arts organizations remain closed or are open at limited capacity. To continue the program in the current state of COVID-19, ASI overhauled its Arts Access website to include a calendar of virtual events and activities, launched a biweekly e-newsletter to share updates on these offerings with passholders, and continues to build space in its Arts Access Facebook Group for passholders to connect, post questions and ideas, and discover in-person and virtual arts and cultural activities.

Arts Access was established in 2013 and is currently made possible due to generous support from the New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Fund for the Arts, County of Erie, Harry Chapin Foundation, M&T Bank, and The Conable Family Foundation Fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.

To register or learn more about ASI’s Arts Access program, visit arts-access.org or contact Jess at (716) 833-3004 x514 or artsaccesswny@gmail.com.

ASI: Where the arts meet business.

Arts Services Initiative (ASI) empowers the region’s artists and arts organizations with connections to funding, learning opportunities, and community access to the arts. ASI is a resource hub for the Western New York arts and cultural sector.

WHAT: Media announcement – The month of September annually launches Library Card Sign-up Month.  A free Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Card is the best gift you can give a child and the most important school supply!  This year children who get a new or replacement library card will receive a free gift *.  We will also unveil our new library cards – one of which was designed by a local high school student. 

WHERE: Downtown Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, enter at the Washington Street ramp.

WHEN: Thursday, September 3, 2020, 1:30 p.m.

CONTACT: Joy Testa Cinquino testaj@buffalolib.org 716-858-7182

Attendees must wear a cloth face covering or mask.    

*Free children’s gift for new and replacement library cards while supplies last at all 37 Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries and the Library on Wheels Bookmobile September – October 31, 2020.

Buffalo, New York native Tito Ruiz is a documentary/street photographer, videographer, and media consultant who serves as creative director and founder of TRu iNk Media®. After three weeks on public display, he successfully closed his debut solo black and white photo exhibition at CEPA Gallery in downtown Buffalo, titled “Hope, Rebellion & Justice” on August 29, 2020. The exhibit received rave reviews for its striking candid shots and intimate portraits, primarily photographed during Buffalo’s intense summer 2020 civil rights demonstrations.

Ruiz developed a love for photography at the age of nine when his mother bought a 35mm Kodak. He also gravitated towards her Popular Photography magazine subscription. He cites the life and work of legendary photographer and renaissance man Gordon Parks as a major inspiration. Ruiz says his experience photographing ringside fights along with NBA players and street ballers at Rucker Park, a world-famous basketball league in Harlem, New York, are also factors that influence his photography style. Additionally, he worked as a jeweler for several years, and became a certified diamontologist, which he says, “trained my eye to see well beyond the surface of an object.”

A published photographer and writer, his editorials, ranging from sports features, music reviews, and entrepreneurship, have been published in national and local publications such as High Times (magazine), Vibe, Hip Hop Weekly, DUB Magazine, NY Daily News, Primer Round Boxing Magazine, et. al.

Ruiz—who began selling candy door-to-door on the West Side of Buffalo at the age of five—credits his adverse life experiences and a laundry list of dissimilar jobs he held, for equipping him with the unique skillset that he applies to his artistry and entrepreneurship. His job titles have ranged from Buffalo News delivery boy to telemarketer to magazine collections agent to men’s clothing salesman to cable auditor to banker. He even held a stint as a chauffeur for Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

Ruiz’s work early on as a marketing coordinator for Jay Z’s fan club, however, provided him with strong knowledge of effective marketing and publicity campaigns. Ruiz also learned a great deal about robust business operations and event promotions through firsthand observations of Afro-Latino entertainment mogul Ralph Mercado, whose popular Times Square nightclub Ruiz worked at for several years as a bartender and host. Furthermore, as a Village Voice editorial assistant, he learned the foundations of raw journalism.

Ruiz says in 2016 he scaled back from his normal independent contractor duties, primarily consisting of serving the multimedia communication needs of talent, small businesses, and special entities, so that he could pursue his longtime goal of earning a college degree.

In January 2019, he earned a Bachelor of Science in digital media & brand management, with an emphasis on photography and film studies, from Buffalo State College. Immediately after, he continued his graduate studies there and majored in creativity, innovation, and change leadership. He recently decided, however, to suspend his academic pursuits to focus on what Ruiz says is “creative work that is critical during these tumultuous times.”

Mayor Call for internal investigation into handling of incident.

One local protestor blamed President Trump for the incident and quoted Portland Mayor’s recent comment on national TV “It’s you who have created the hate and the division. It’s you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have. And it’s you who claimed that White supremacists are good people,” he continued. “Your campaign of fear is as anti-democratic as anything you’ve done to create hate and vitriol in our beautiful country.”

Buffalo Police announced the arrest of a Cattaraugus County man Monday afternoon, charging him with a hate crime after he allegedly held a knife and confronted Black Lives Matter protesters on Hertel Avenue Friday evening.

Michael Cremen, 47, of Franklinville who has a criminal history, is charged with harassment, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. He will be arraigned Oct. 8.

The arrest comes after a man was seen on many social media videos brandishing a knife during Black Lives Matters protests on Hertel Avenue Friday, which coincided with the anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington.

The videos show two men blocking marchers as they make their way along Hertel Avenue past Parkside Avenue. One of the men can be seen holding a knife in his hand, yelling racial obscenities and threatening marchers. A Buffalo Police officer sits in a patrol car just a few feet away.

Mayor Brown has indicated that the Police Department has opened an internal investigation into how Buffalo Police officers responded

“According to a complainant, the defendant was in the middle of the street at the intersection of Hertel and Parkside, using racial slurs and threatening the protestors. At one point, the defendant did display a knife and pushed one of the protestors, ” police said in a prepared statement.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said incidents like this won’t be tolerated, whether alleged violence or the hate speech. He said police found it easier to identify the suspects, since neither wore face masks.

“An individual from Franklinville felt comfortable to come to this community and engage in hate speech and put his hands on a member of our community. Well, we will absolutely not tolerate that. We will not tolerate any form of violence in our community and the Buffalo Police operated swiftly to find this individual and to have them arrested,” Brown said.

The mayor said the protesters have a basic First Amendment right to protest and exercise free speech.

“The individual wasn’t smart. Obviously, a lot of hatred in this person’s heart,” Brown said. “People are going through a lot right now, a lot of challenges. Three major crises we’re dealing with: the COVID-19 health pandemic, the crisis of systemic racism and an economic crisis.”

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Request for Proposal 

The City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) is seeking submittals from qualified Weatherization Providers (PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR) to participate in the Buffalo Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for the City of Buffalo.  The overall goal of this initiative is to reduce energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring resident health, safety and affordability.  This program will be funded with HUD CDBG and CDBG-CV funds and is a continuation of the existing WAP program. However, as part of BURA’s restorative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BURA is allocating additional resources to this program to help increase low income housing stability and affordability in Buffalo.

All organizations interested in applying to provide programs and services must meet the requirements specified in this Request for Proposals (RFP).  Respondents must have qualified staff on hand for this program and be ready to begin work on the anticipated contract start-up date of October 1, 2020.  It is anticipated that a minimum of 1 to 2 administrators will be selected to work on a prepared scope of services.  Additional program and activity benchmarks, specific to geographic priority areas, will be negotiated upon the award of the contracts to the selected organizations.

It is the policy of BURA, that all local Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) be encouraged to submit proposals.  BURA continues to ensure that all locally owned M/WBE’s are afforded the maximum opportunity to participate as Applicants or Sub-Applicants in the provision of goods and services for BURA.  BURA encourages the award of at least thirty percent (30%) of the total dollar value of this project directly or indirectly to M/WBE’s.

Proposal Submission Deadline: POSTMARKED by September 16, 2020 

Request for Proposal submissions are due are due by mail to:

     Yvonne C. McCray, Director of Housing

       City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

65 Niagara Square

   Room-920 City Hall

Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

 

RE: City of Buffalo/Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency – Weatherization Assistance Program RFP Submission (No. 2020-1WAP)

A full copy of the Request for Proposal can be picked up in 315 City Hall or 920 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square Buffalo NY 14202, the Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203 and https://www.buffalourbanrenewal.com/rfps/ or http://www.buffalony.gov/bids

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

Request for Proposal

The City of Buffalo (“City”), through the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (“BURA”), is seeking proposals through the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program to assist in the development of affordable housing projects in the City of Buffalo. Through this program, activities have been undertaken to enhance ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts. For the funding period covered by this application the City will assess proposals received that address the goals outlined in the City’s Consolidated Plan.

Applicants must be incorporated for-profit or non-profit entities to undertake affordable housing activities within the boundaries of the City of Buffalo.

It is the policy of BURA, that all local Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) be encouraged to submit proposals.  BURA continues to ensure that all locally owned M/WBE’s are afforded the maximum opportunity to participate as Applicants or Sub-Applicants in the provision of goods and services for BURA.  BURA encourages the award of at least thirty percent (30%) of the total dollar value of this project directly or indirectly to M/WBE’s.

Proposal Submission Deadline: September 25 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Request for Proposal submissions are due to:

Yvonne C. McCray, Director of Housing

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

65 Niagara Square

Room-920 City Hall

Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

 

RE: City of Buffalo HOME Investment Partnership Program RFP Submission (No. 2020-2H)

A full copy of the Request for Proposal can be picked up in 315 City Hall or 920 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square Buffalo NY 14202, the Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203 and http://www.city-buffalo.com/BuraBids or http://www.city-buffalo.com/bids .

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Request for Proposal 

The City of Buffalo (“City”), through the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (“BURA”), is seeking proposals through the federalCommunity Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) to support fair housing in the City of Buffalo. Through this program, activities have been undertaken for tenant empowerment and landlord education on fair housing related issues in order to guarantee equal access to housing. For the funding period covered by this application the City will assess proposals received that address the goals outlined in the City’s Consolidated Plan. As part of City’s restorative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is allocating additional resources to support fair housing to help increase housing equality, stability, and affordability in Buffalo.

Applicants must be incorporated non-profit entities to undertake fair housing activities within the boundaries of the City of Buffalo. It is the policy of BURA, that all local Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) be encouraged to submit proposals.  BURA continues to ensure that all locally owned M/WBE’s are afforded the maximum opportunity to participate as Applicants or Sub-Applicants in the provision of goods and services for BURA.  BURA encourages the award of at least thirty percent (30%) of the total dollar value of this project directly or indirectly to M/WBE’s.

Proposal Submission Deadline: POSTMARKED by September 15, 2020

Request for Proposal submissions are due by mail to:

 

Yvonne C. McCray, Director of Housing

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

65 Niagara Square

Room-920 City Hall

Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

 

RE: City of Buffalo Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) Fair Housing RFP Submission (No. 2020-1FH)

 

A full copy of the Request for Proposal can be picked up in 315 City Hall or 920 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square Buffalo NY 14202, the Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203 and https://www.buffalourbanrenewal.com/rfps/ or http://www.buffalony.gov/bids

 

City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Request for Proposal 

SUMMARY INTRODUCTION:  The City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA) is seeking submittals from qualified Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to participate in the Buffalo Community Partnerships Initiative (CPI) and/ or Homeowner Mortgage Counseling Programs for the City of Buffalo. The overall goal of these initiatives is to build and sustain healthy and stable neighborhoods, create affordable housing rehabilitation opportunities, sustain quality affordable homeownership, and address neighborhood quality of life issues. This program will be funded with HUD CDBG and CDBG-CV funds and is a continuation of the existing housing program offerings. However, as part of BURA’s restorative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BURA is allocating additional resources to this program to help increase low income housing stability and affordability in Buffalo.

All organizations interested in applying to provide programs and services must meet the requirements specified in this Request for Proposals (RFP).  Respondents must have qualified staff on hand for this program and be ready to begin work on the anticipated contract start-up date of October 1, 2020.  It is anticipated that a minimum of 2 to 4 administrators will be selected to work on a prepared scope of services.  Additional program and activity benchmarks, specific to geographic priority areas, will be negotiated upon the award of the contracts to the selected organizations.

It is the policy of BURA, that all local Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) be encouraged to submit proposals.  BURA continues to ensure that all locally owned M/WBE’s are afforded the maximum opportunity to participate as Applicants or Sub-Applicants in the provision of goods and services for BURA.  BURA encourages the award of at least thirty percent (30%) of the total dollar value of this project directly or indirectly to M/WBE’s.

Proposal Submission Deadline: POSTMARKED by September 17, 2020

Request for Proposal submissions are due are due by mail to:

                   Yvonne C. McCray, Director of Housing

                         City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

                65 Niagara Square

                 Room-920 City Hall

               Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

 

RE: City of Buffalo/Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency – Buffalo Community Partnerships Initiative (CPI) and/ or Homeowner Mortgage Counseling Programs RFP Submission (No. 2020-1CPI/MC)

A full copy of the Request for Proposal can be picked up in 315 City Hall or 920 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square Buffalo NY 14202, the Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY 14203 and https://www.buffalourbanrenewal.com/rfps/ or http://www.buffalony.gov/bids

 

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