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Buffalo Co-Lab

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Buffalo Co-Lab advances an equitable economy and democratic community, collaboratively integrating scholarly and practical understanding to strengthen civic action.

Justine Brennan

Photo: Justine Brennan
Buffalo, NY
Arts Services Initiative of WNY
  •  Conducted research to help further the economic development of the Buffalo waterfront. This research will help guide ASI’s Erie and Niagara County Cultural Plan, which will be integrated with existing government and economic development plans including waterfront development, tourism initiatives, and related job creation and smart growth regional plans.
  • Oversaw the grant allocation process for arts and cultural programming along the Buffalo waters with the goal being for these programs to spur economic and cultural activity.
  • Worked on the NYS Cultural Data Project in order to trace the economic impact that the arts and cultural sector has on the overall economy of the city. 

"When I found out about the High Road Program, I was immediately intrigued. Being from the greater Buffalo area, I was excited about the opportunity to give back to and improve my community while also gaining valuable experience for my future career endeavors. By working with the Arts Services Initiative, I am able to be a part of work that addresses pressing issues for this community and to contribute to cultural revitalization projects, such as Buffalo River, as well as gain valuable knowledge about economic development, local business, and finance.

Taking the High Road means choosing the moral path, even when it’s not easy or convenient. Revitalization and activation of a city is not something that happens easily or without struggle; rather, it takes patience, time, perseverance, and incorporates the needs and wishes of the people actually in the community. Through this program I have met amazing, intelligent people with incredible passion for their work. Their energy and drive has shown me the power an individual can have when she sets her mind to accomplish something. With the right plan and the right people, change really can happen."