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Burchfield Penney receives $1.2 million for education, community engagement

The center said the grants will greatly expand the its ability to accommodate growth in its educational programming.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Burchfield Penney Art Center, on the campus of SUNY Buffalo State, has received two grants totaling $1.2 million that will be dedicated to the expansion of the center's educational programming. 

The center's grants were given by KeyBank, in a partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, as well as Cameron and Jane Baird. KeyBank provided $750,000 which will go toward an endowment specifically to support education. The grant comes with an additional $250,000 that's matched by the Center, bringing the total to $1 million. 

“The art education and community engagement initiative being offered at the Burchfield Penney is an exceptional program that will enlighten young people as they experience our richly diverse and creative community, “ said Executive Director of the KeyBank and First Niagara Foundations Elizabeth Gurney. 

An additional gift of $225,000 was given from the Carson and Jane Baird Foundation that will go toward upgrades of the center's education facilities. The grant will create a space dedicated to a new drop-in creativity and art -making place for families.

“We are thrilled to help expand and enhance the museum’s education offerings,” commented Cynthia Baird Stark, Burchfield Penney Trustee and granddaughter of Cameron and Jane Baird. “The new creativity center will serve as a home for the Education Department as well as a community resource. The First Niagara grant complements and augments the Center's commitment to becoming a strong educational force in our community.” 

The center has been dedicated to art in Western New York since 1966 and these grants will allow the Burchfield to continue to grow and engage with Western New York's youth for years to come. 

"This extraordinary pair of investments by KeyBank in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation and the Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation is a vote of confidence in the Center’s renewed focus on education and families," said Dennis Kois, Executive Director of the Burchfield Penney.

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