Shineman Foundation awards major grant to ORA

Above, part of the East Mohawk and Seventh streets ORA block.

OSWEGO — Local leaders have announced the Richard S. Shineman Foundation’s awarding of a $150,000 grant to the Oswego Renaissance Assocation (ORA) for 2020.

This grant is the eighth consecutive award from the Shineman Foundation to the ORA since 2013.  In the ORA’s first year, the Shineman Foundation provided support for a $50,000 neighborhood revitalization analysis and strategy development for Oswego’s neighborhoods. Since that initial study, the Shineman Foundation and the ORA have partnered for seven straight years in the revitalization of the city of Oswego. Thus far, this collaboration, in combination with support from other sponsors, has leveraged nearly $3.5 million in private investment in city of Oswego neighborhoods.

“It’s safe to say that the ORA, and the city of Oswego, would not have the momentum it has without the Shineman Foundation,” says ORA Director Paul Stewart. “Oswego is undergoing a steady, organic revitalization process due to many coordinated actions of the ORA, neighborhood Block Leaders and residents, business owners, the mayor and city of Oswego, and countless institutional and corporate partners.”

This year also begins a new chapter for the ORA, according to Stewart.

“The Shineman Foundation has been a great catalyst to drive us to expand our board capacity and diversify our revenue streams,” he said. “In 2020 alone, we nearly doubled our corporate fundraising support.”

Karen Goetz, executive director of the Shineman Foundation, said the Shineman Foundation is “especially pleased this year to continue its support of the ORA.”

“In spite of the COVID-19 crisis, the newly formed board of the ORA has shown strength and resilience by adapting its annual neighborhood revitalization initiative to ensure its continued success,” Goetz said.

This year, 26 neighborhood groups from around Oswego followed social distancing obligations and organized themselves via email, Skype and Zoom to apply for ORA neighborhood revitalization activities. Grant Awards will be announced on May 15.  

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