Arts Services Initiative is proud to coordinate this project on behalf of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC).


2015 Buffalo River Programming Grants

Announcement of the Spring, Summer, Fall Season will take place soon!
Buffalo River Fest Park and Mutual Riverfront Park Information:

The purpose of the Buffalo River Programming is to develop a calendar of events and recurring programming that will activate the existing features, public spaces and water at multiple sites on and along the Buffalo River.  The funding source for the grants is proceeds payable to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation pursuant to the New York Power Authority Relicensing Agreement.

Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, Inc., on behalf of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, is seeking proposals from qualified not-for-profit organizations and similarly qualified groups or individuals with specific expertise in events and programming to provide entertainment, educational, recreational and related experiences at various sites along the Buffalo River in Buffalo, New York (the “project”) between April 1 and November 1, 2015.

This programming will reflect the community’s desire to enhance the project area as an outdoor visitor space offering an array of appealing activities.  Capitalizing on the diversified resources of the Western New York region both special events and recurring programming will integrate arts and cultural experiences with recreational activities, educational programming, water-based and waterside opportunities.


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    STOREHOUSE. Photo courtesy Torn Space Theater.

    Signature Grants: Between a minimum of $4,000.00 and a maximum of $8,500.00 per event or program ($47,000.00 available).

Intended for large-scale events or programs that will attract a wide and diverse audience and have the potential to become annual and/or self-sustaining.

  • Community Grants: Will receive either $500.00 or $1,000.00 per event or program ($5,500.00 available).

Intended for smaller-scale events and programs that will appeal to the surrounding neighborhoods.

*A match (cash or in-kind) of 25 percent or more is required for community grants, and 50 percent or more is required for signature grants.

  • Grants for Performers: Will be paid on a per-performance basis and do not require a match ($2,000.00 total available).

ASI will assemble a roster of performers, artists, and performance groups to appear at events and programs throughout the Buffalo River season.


  • Buffalo River Fest Park (249 Ohio Street)
  • Father Conway Park (300 Ohio Street)
  • Mutual Riverfront Park (41 Hamburg Street at South Street)
  • Silo City (120 Childs Street)
  • The Buffalo River

Respondents are required to submit one copy of the proposal in PDF form electronically as an attachment to an email sent to prior to 12 pm noon EST on February 11, 2015.  Additionally, one printed copy of the application containing an original signature of the applicant must be postmarked by February 11, 2015 and sent to:
Arts Services Initiative of Western New York
95 Perry St. Suite 402
Buffalo, NY 14203
Proposals received electronically after 12 pm noon EST on February 11 will be automatically rejected without exception and without review.Respondents will not receive compensation or reimbursement of any expenses associated with preparing and/or submitting the proposal.


  • RFP Advertised: January 5, 2015
  • Pre-Submittal Conference: January 21, 2015 (noon) 
  • Submission of RFP Questions: January 28, 2015 (noon)
  • RFP Answers Circulated: January 29, 2015
  • Proposal Due: February 11, 2015 (noon)
  • Interviews: February 26-27, 2015
  • Award Announcements: March 13, 2015

ASI will host a non-mandatory information session on
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12PM (noon) at 95 Perry Street, 5th floor, Buffalo, NY 14203.
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about potential programming, sites, and/or submittal requirements of the RFP.  While attendance is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged.

All questions or requests for additional information will be accepted no later than 12 pm noon EST on January 28, 2015 via written submission to  Answers will be sent via e-mail on January 29, 2015.