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The Arts Center of the Capital Region, founded in 1962, serves the Capital Region as a leader in arts advocacy, education, investment and programming. We own and operates 30,000 square feet of studios, galleries and performance spaces that draw 40,000 visitors a year and directly contribute to the economic well-being of Troy. We regrant funds from NY to artists and arts projects, offer 500 classes a year, operate a 2000 square foot gallery, serve local artist community through a comprehensive training program and produce public art that puts art in the forefront of the civic experience.


The Arts Center of the Capital Region’s mission is to enable people to create and to engage in the arts. 



The Arts Center of the Capital Region was founded in 1962, as the Rensselaer County Council on the Arts, at the invitation of the New York State Council on the Arts. Our first priority was to promote the arts throughout the region. In 1963, with the help of the Junior League, RCCA organized its first big event – Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic at RPI fieldhouse for area children.

We built support quickly, and just three years later, seven families personally secured our first mortgage to purchase a building on Troy’s Washington Park. By 1965 we were offering classes, studio space and exhibition space to the public. In 1979 we entered into a contract with HVCC to provide craft courses for credit, which we continue today. In 1989 we received the Governors’ Arts Awards for outreach into populations with special needs, which also continues today.

We outgrew our Washington Park location and in 1995 we bought six contiguous buildings on River Street in downtown Troy for $160,000. River Street was desolate and the buildings were in major disrepair, and the customized renovation cost over two million dollars. The primary funding came from the State of New York.  When we opened in 2000, Senator Joseph Bruno stated “The intent was that [ACCR] would be the center of rejuvenation and renaissance in Troy…and it has worked out that way”. Since its earliest inception ACCR recognizes that while its primary role is to engage the community in the arts, we also anchor River Street and its continued development.

Today, the Arts Center of the Capital Region serves 40,000 people each year from the eleven counties surrounding Troy.  We operate 36,000 square feet of studio space that focus on pottery, digital arts, printmaking, culinary arts, jewelry making and metalworking, woodworking, painting and drawing, stained glass, writing and dance in addition to our four contemporary art galleries and 100 seat black box theatre.

Our community is everyone of any age who wants to explore their creativity. We offer 500+ classes each year; week-long art camps for children and teens; credit from HVCC for coursework at the Arts Center; programs for children and adults with disabilities and scholarships for all our programs. 

We also provide support for artists. Every class is taught by working artists and we provide comprehensive training programs on the business of arts for area artists. And, going back to our founding principles, we are a partner of the New York State Council on the Arts, distributing $90,000 a year in decentralization grants for artists who work in the community. 

We hope you make the Arts Center of the Capital Region your own and we will see you soon.


Our guiding principles serve as a compass, guiding our actions and aspirations. Informed by a deep understanding of the transformative power of the arts, we champion. The Arts Center:

  • believes that the arts can connect people, foster understanding, and create change in our community.
  • understands that people define art in their own way and that our role is to encourage an open-ended dialogue of these multiple and open-ended meanings.
  • believes that every person can be creative and we respect each individual’s artistic investigation and expression.
  • acknowledges that there are many kinds of successes for an artist, and we strive to help artists reach their own goals, from creative output to financial success to simply living well.
  • strives to build an environment in which people can be comfortable, take risks, collaborate and cross-pollinate.
  • strives to build an environment that is inclusive, respectful, and thoughtful, and fosters understanding and growth without harming any person or community.
  • is committed to the well-being of Troy as our core community and the Capital Region as our whole community.
  • shares its resources with to foster the growth of artists and emerging organizations so they can contribute to the cultural expression in communities and neighborhoods where they live and operate.
  • is a reliable partner that values relationship building, collaboration and sustainability in the arts in the community.
  • acknowledges that we, and our community, are human, and that at times, we will make mistakes that we will strive to correct with openness and honesty.
  • stands on our legacy as a leader in the arts community, and works to maintain our role with integrity, generosity and innovative thinking.
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