Providing grants, programs, and services to the artists and audiences of Tompkins County for over 25 years

Megan Barber
Executive Director
273-5072, x19

Robin Schwartz
Program Director
273-5072, x20


John Saunders, President
James Spitznagel. Vice President
Emily Russell, Secretary
Dara Engler
Hardy Griffin
Kathryn Henion
Judith Pratt
Seth Hiland



Who We Are

In Solidarity - United to End Racism

Dear CAP Family,

The CAP board and staff are committed to working in support of justice, fairness, and equity.  We commit to:
  • Reviewing our programs, services, policies, and procedures to gain a baseline understanding of where CAP stands in terms of racial equity, and then taking action;
  • Being true to the word “community” in our name, and building relationships with Black and Indigenous artists, artists of color, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-led organizations throughout Tompkins County;
  • Staying accountable to BIPOC-led organizations in our community, as well as to our partner arts and nonprofit organizations also committed to this work.

A Message From CAP Staff in a time of quarantine

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well during this time, and maybe even finding some moments of grace here and there as you witness compassion in action, hear the spring peepers, or connect with friends in a new virtual way.

All around the world we are seeing amazing outpourings of art.  Here in Tompkins County we've got our local theaters like the Hangar, Kitchen, and Cherry offering livestream shows and virtual events; Cinemapolis streaming movies to our homes; and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra showcasing videos of their musicians on Facebook, just to name a few.  Sewists** are making gorgeous masks, home chefs are making adventurous new dishes, and parents are getting creative balancing work, parenting, and teaching.
As our world reinvents itself (whether we were ready or not), we see a blossoming of creativity as people find new ways to live and connect.  
This is a time when artists can lead the way.  Art and creative expression are needed now more than ever - to remind us of our shared human experience, to help us cry and laugh, and to guide us in re-envisioning culture.  What if we could dream not just of "going back to normal", but of creating a future where things go well for everyone?  That future is possible, and we need people like you - workers, caregivers, artists, humans - to lend your minds, hearts, and creativity to the effort.
Yours in art and service, Megan and Robin
(** Robin says: Megan wrote this lovely message! So I just learned that "Sewist" is a relatively new term, combining the word "sew" and "artist!" Cool!) 


For over 27 years...

For over 27 years, our Grants, Programs, and Services Have Been a driving force behnd the vibrant arts community of Ithaca and Tompkins County. 

Connecting Artists and Audiences

An annual summer Ithaca Artist Market, the May Spring Writes Literary Festival, The CAP ArtSpace Gallery and the Greater Ithaca Art Trail are all CAP programs.  

Funding the Arts in Tompkins County 

Securing, administering, and distributing grant funding to artists and arts organizations is at the heart of our work. We have six grant programs, and have administered over 4.6 million dollars over the past 26 years to artists, arts organizations, and not for profits for public programming, career opportunities and school residencies.  

Helping Artists Make a Life in Tompkins County

There are over 1,000 artists each year that benefit from CAP and that number continues to grow.  Along with our funding programs, we offer professional development workshops,networking events, a consultant program, an on-line artist database, and meet with artist daily to provide support, advice, brainstorming and connections to area resources.  CAP is proud to assist local artists in producing the creative work that so enriches our community.


CAP By The Numbers

* To date, CAP has helped to distribute more than $4.65 million in grants and fellowships into the hands of local artists, arts organizations, and not-for-profits doing arts programming.
* Our grants in 2020 went to Arts Organizations, Not-For-Profits doings programming, individual artists, and artist residencies.
* Annual 2020 funding went to 15% visual artists and galleries, 70% performing artists and organizations doing performing arts programming, and 15% writers and writing organizations. 
* 40 Artists received emergency grant funding of $9,000 in 2020.
* Since 1999, 28,000 visitors have enjoyed the Greater Ithaca Art Trail. 700 artists have earned $850,000.
* Since 1996, 48,000 visitors have attended the Ithaca Artists Markets. And 1,800 artists have earned over $1,000,000.
* Since 2010, 700 authors and playwrights have presented their work to 8,500 regional visitors at the Spring Writes Literary Festival.

Major support for CAP comes from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the Tompkins County Tourism Program


This 4 minute video features recipients of some of CAP's grants!