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As the recipient of a $70,000 state grant, the African Cultural Center, 350 Masten Ave., will continue to provide its annual 67,000 patrons with cultural entertainment and education.

Lt. Gov. Mary O. Donohue announced in the center Wednesday $383,135 in grants targeted for Erie and Niagara counties' nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, including the center, as part of the New York State Council on the Arts' fourth and final round of funding for fiscal year 2001.

Overall, more than $3.25 million in grants will be awarded to upstate organizations.

The grant to the center will be used to help fund its educational programs, including drumming, dance, arts and craft and technical workshops. The money also will be used toward its theater productions and arts training.

Agnes Bain, executive director of the center, said the organization is grateful to receive the grant.

"Our center is one of only two in the City of Buffalo, and to be funded on a continuous basis makes us extremely proud that NYSCA believes that we are an institution that should receive funding in support of our activities and our community," Bain said.

Donohue said the grants will finance an array of public cultural events and arts throughout the state.

"The arts are such an important aspect of our culture and society -- adding great energy to the state -- both intellectually and economically," she said in a statement. "They lift our spirits, challenge our minds and enrich us all in many ways."

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