ALBANY, NY (04/22/2013)- The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACCVB) Education Foundation announced today the recipients of their first-ever Hospitality Grants, designed to support not-for-profit organizations located in Albany County. Recipients were on hand to demonstrate how the funds would be put to use.

Community Foundation

The fund, which is being managed by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region (CFGCR), supports programs that will help build and sustain Albany County tourism destinations, attractions, events, and other tourism-related activities. The grants encourage collaboration between nonprofit organizations, community groups, and hospitality businesses - further extending the economic impact of tourism and business.

"Prudent budgeting and a strong hospitality business climate has allowed the Bureau's Foundation to create this grant program and give back to the community to assure future success and destination growth." said Michele Vennard, President/CEO of the ACCVB.

The grants, ranging from $1,000 - $5,000, were approved by the Bureau's Board of Directors earlier this year and were funded through the earned income of the Bureau and no tax dollars are included in the grant fund. The recipients were selected by a committee from more than forty-three applicants.

"Tourism is a vital engine to our region's economic prosperity," said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. "The collaborative approach encouraged by the Bureau helps maximize resources and creates new opportunities to bring vibrancy to the County."

Grant Announcement

"We are pleased to work with the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau for the distribution of their Hospitality Grants," said Karen Bilowith, President and CEO of the Community Fund for the Greater Capital Region. "The Bureau has a vision to help Albany County thrive, and we are proud to be a part of that vision."

The 2013 Grant Recipients Are:

Central District Management Association, Inc.
Drawing Down Central $3,000
Grant funds will be used during the May 12, 2013 Tulip Fest to present the first annual Drawing Down Central competitive sidewalk chalk event. Funds will be used to pay for marketing, supplies and administrative costs to help make this first-time contest successful.

New York Bicycling Coalition
2013 Albany Bike Expo $1,500
Grant funds are being sought to meet the challenges of sponsoring a growing event and delivering a quality product--the third annual Albany Bike Expo.

Organization of Adirondack Rowers and Scullers, Inc.
Ice Breaker Challenge 5K/Head of the Hudson Regatta $4,500
The Ice Breaker Challenge and the Head of the Hudson Regatta are premier events for the Albany area. Hosting these events involves significant expense for event logistics, insurance, rentals, prizes and awards and facility fees. Grant funds will be used to help underwrite the cost of these events with special emphasis on promotion and advertising campaigns to draw maximum participation and promote the positive image of Albany.

Albany Institute of History & Art
The Mystery of the Albany Mummies $5,000
Grant funds will be used to supplement the promotional budget for the exhibition GE Presents: The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, to add marketing in target markets in drivable distance from Albany that could potentially stay overnight in Albany. We will promote the exhibitions and target specific programs that are highly attractive to potential overnight guests.

New York Association of Training & Employment Professionals, Inc.
2014 Youth Academy $5,000
The Youth Academy is our premier event, bringing hundreds of attendees to Albany to participate in three days of learning and sharing. We have attendees coming from throughout New York State, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and as far as Arizona. We expect next year to be even bigger. Grant funds will help us bring RoadTrip Nation to the Youth Academy, an innovative, youth-driven, interactive curriculum that provides for self-discovery to empower students to explore pathways and opportunities for their futures.

Carey Institute for Global Good, Inc.
Farm Brewery Capital Campaign $3,500
Grant funds will be used to help fund the retrofitting of an historic ice house located on the Carey Center campus with necessary improvements and equipment to host a small-scale farm brewery. The farm brewery would create a unique tourism attraction in Albany County.

Park Playhouse
Park Playhouse Front-of-House Rehabilitation $2,500
Grant funds will be used to restore, replace and rehabilitate the company's front of house spaces and equipment. Park Playhouse will spend three years replacing all reserved seating chairs, all security barriers, venue signage, box office shed space and concession facilities. In addition, grant funds will allow for expenditures related to rehabilitating the bathroom areas and the amphitheater lawn area.

Capital Repertory Company
Friend of a Friend: Tales of the Underground Railroad
Grant funds will be used for two purposes: 1) to provide scholarships for performances for the On the Go tour of "Friend of a Friend: Tales of the Underground Railroad from the Capital Region" and supplement funding to provide free performances in at least three community venues; 2) to print and distribute a show playbill promoting the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence and the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center.

African American Cultural Center of the Capital District
African American Art Exhibition
Grant funds will be used to purchase exhibition panels, partitions and lighting to enable AACCCR to mount a professional art exhibit during the months of June, July and August. The AACCCR building is just east of the NYS Museum and steps away from downtown Albany. We will outreach to Black Dimensions in Art, Inc. to curate this exhibition.

Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region
Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence Restoration
Grant funds will be part of the matching funds needed for the completion of the exterior restoration of The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence at 194 Livingston Avenue in Albany, a documented Underground Railroad historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, NYS Underground Railroad Heritage Trail, and the National Network to Freedom of the National Park Service.

2014 ACCVB Foundation Hospitality Grants

Organizations interesting in finding additional information about the next round of grants can visit:


The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit