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Our Story

Photo by James Bogue

Build on the arts. Transform the future.

We all have something to express. That’s the beauty of our shared humanity. And it’s why the Joseph Avenue Arts and Culture Alliance is committed to bringing music, dance, theater, and visual arts to families and children throughout our neighborhood—and throughout Rochester. The centerpiece of our efforts: transforming a landmark synagogue into an 11,000 square-foot performance and gallery space by 2019. And while we’re at it, we’re also helping to coordinate programming our neighbors can take advantage of right now. 

It’s a lot of work. And we love it. But to keep the momentum, we need your generous support.


JAACA at a Glance

  • Founded in 2014 by a small, determined group of performing arts lovers
  • Key urban location: Northeast Quadrant, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Cornerstone initiative: renovation of the 1928 Congregation B'Nai Israel synagogue at 692 Joseph Ave. into a performing arts center
  • Facility size: 11,000 square feet, with seating for 300
  • Events hosted: theater, music, dance, visual arts, and community gatherings  
  • Local population served: 30,000 in neighborhood, hundreds of thousands throughout Greater Rochester
  • Fundraising goal: $2.6 million
  • Funds raised to date: $500,000 
  • Anticipated grand opening: Early 2019
  • Other events currently co-sponsored: summer outdoor concert featuring an RPO Ensemble with the Garth Fagan Youth Dance Ensemble and the Rochester Latino Theatre Company; after school performing arts programs; entertainment at the Annual Joseph Avenue Festival; library-based music instruction programs with the Eastman School of Music

Renovation Milestones Achieved

  • Landmark Designation, City of Rochester
  • Feasibility Study (Farash Foundation Grant)
  • Business/Operations Plan
  • Steering Committee Formation
  • 501(c)3 Approval
  • Start-up Fundraising to support branding and web presence
  • Progress Grant: Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Letters of support received
    • Mayor Lovely Warren
    • Senator Joseph Robach
    • Joseph Ave. Business Association
    • Borinquen Dance Company
    • Rochester Medical Orchestra
    • Kingfisher Theater
    • Rochester Latino Theater Company
  • Listed on National Registry of Historic Places [Read about this on WXXI News]
  • Application approved for New York State Registry of Historic Buildings
  • Pardi Associates, Architects chosen as project architect