Albany, NY – On August 17, Alfred University’s Art Force 5 (AF5) program was invited to the “assured funding” proposal stage of the SUNY Provost’s Performance Improvement Fund initiative. The AF5 has requested consideration for a portion of the three million dollar allocation toward “Grants for Diversity and Inclusion,” specifically in the “Statewide Diversity and Inclusion Educational Strategy” category.
Alfred University senior Elvira Rodriguez and AU Chief Diversity Office Dan Napolitano represented the AF5 proposal which included full-summer internships for six students to travel the state with their unique brand of training and community-based art. Eight schools per semester over four years would allow the AF5 to serve all 64 SUNY Institutions. Additionally, each summer the program would launch an Art Force 5 SUNY ALL-Star team serving a designated city and comprised of five students, each from a different SUNY school. Napolitano is hopeful to launch a NYC team in 2018 or 2019.
The Art Force 5 has demonstrated experience providing statewide educational support to SUNY. In February and March, the team conducted a six-school tour of Brockport, Purchase, SUNY ESF (Syracuse), Canton, Potsdam, and Delhi. These visits included the creation of mosaic portraits of civil rights leaders of 1917. The work was then invited to be displayed at the NAACP National Convention in Baltimore this past July to honor the 100th anniversary of the pioneering civil rights march called the Silent Parade.
In Albany, Alfred University was joined in their category by University at Buffalo, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, Niagara Community College, and Orange County Community College. Napolitano reported back that all colleges have worthy ideas and he recognizes amount of funding for each will be a difficult decision. The ideas will now be further analyzed by SUNY’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion before announcing final grants in October 2017.