The Tivoli Street Painting Festival will chalk up its 12th year in September, and the enthusiasm and support will remain unmarred by town budget cuts, officials said.
Village of Tivoli Trustee Susan Ezrati, who has chaired the festival since 2007, told the Observer, “The festival is, as it always has been, fully financed by grants and contributions. Taxpayers get a free ride on this festival.”
The Dutchess County Arts Council (DCAC), administrator of public funds through the New York State Council on the Arts’ decentralization program, already has provided partial support for this year’s festival, to be held on Sat., Sept.29.
It will mark the fifth year in a row that the DCAC has provided a grant to the day-long street “painting” that draws such a large crowd of participants and onlookers.
Ezrati paraphrased what the DCAC grant board said last year: “The board approves supporting this festival again, because the organizers achieve more with fewer dollars spent than any other festival in Dutchess County.”
Last year, in addition to the Arts Council grant, the Street Festival got financial support from Bard College, Classic Auto, the Tivoli Bread Company, Tivoli’s restaurants, and many individuals. Similar contributions are expected this year.
Initial concern over the fate of the festival arose last month when funding for some Tivoli programs, including parks and recreation, was eliminated in the new village budget as trustees tried to keep it below the state-mandated tax cap.
Most of Tivoli’s other celebrations, organized by trustee Robin Bruno, are also expected to survive the budget cuts with some modifications and private fundraising.
Fundraising through auctions and suppers at the Masons help fund Tivoli Day but a Movie-in-the-Park will probably not be held this year. And, organizers said, there will be a Winterfest, but without fireworks.