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Hancock Arts Center

The Arts Center of Hancock operates with a simple principle: Culture Creates Community

The Hancock Arts Center is being presented to the local community as unique opportunity to revitalize the Downtown Region of Hancock New York, and encourage local residents and visitors to the area to support the arts.

Specifically, local civic group along with the Hancock Partners(501c3), and the Hancock Economic Development Initiative are actively working to bring investors together to consider buying the Hancock Capitol Theatre and turn it into the new Hancock Arts Center. As such, the initiative hopes to help bring together a full slate of local civic groups, business owners, volunteers, and artists across all categories.

The Hancock Arts Center hopes to be a creative and responsive organization with deep community roots, and provide an exciting collaboration of artists and community groups to foster an expansive vision of how arts can flourish in our community and stimulate the local economy.

It is the mission of the Hancock Arts Center to advocate for the well-being of artists and to increase public participation in the creation of all types of art. This Arts Center is a creative and exciting opportunity to cultivate and develop our community into a stronger village/town and make our mark on the region by helping to foster a supportive, inclusive and livable community that is built on love and neighborly support. We unapologetically advocate for the well-being of artists and for increased public participation in the making of all types of art.

As part of the Hancock New York and Western Catskills community, the Hancock Arts Center will be here to provide stewardship and support with Hancock Partners, Inc and support organizations such as the Hancock Community Education Foundation. Together with the New York State Council on the Arts the center intends to foster a supportive, inclusive community dedicated to the cultural enrichment of area.

“Our goal is to create a robust and creative community that thrives on public works, educates our youth, and inspires the entire public while fostering growth in our artists, and transforming our community’s cultural understanding and expression from the stage to the walls of our town.”

We achieve this goal with four core programs:

  • Purchase of the Arts Center Building: Needed for Public Performances & Art Exhibitions.
  • Community-built projects: Foster neighborhood engagement & civic group support.
  • Education and Art: Seek funding and resources to offer dozens of classes each year for all ages and abilities, including community college and public-school programs.
  • Services for Artists: Help yo provide resources to find funding and training for local artists in need.

The Hancock Arts Center is only possible thanks to the generous support of the owners of the Hancock Capitol Theatre, and the Hancock Partners, Inc. whose steadfast leadership, and management of this program through their Director of Regional & Economic Development, Hancock Economic Development Initiative. Special thanks are also given to the Hancock Community Education Foundation for their initial support and belief in this vision for the community!


During the creation of this concept, we and other organizations took a moment to ask ourselves – “why do we do what we do?” To answer this question, we developed a new set of guiding principles that remind us every day why we are here, and who we hope to be. In sharing these, we are sharing our deepest hopes for all of us.  We hope you see yourself when you read these.

We, at the Hancock Arts Center in the Western Catskills

  • Believe that the arts can connect people, foster understanding, and create change in our community.
  • Understand 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.
  • Believe that every person can be creative and we respect each individual’s artistic investigation and expression.
  • Acknowledge 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.
  • Strive to build an environment in which people can be comfortable, take risks and cross-pollinate.
  • Are committed to the well-being of Hancock as our core community and the Western Catskills Region as our whole community.
  • Share our resources 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.
  • Be a reliable partner that values relationship building, collaborating and supporting sustainability in the arts of the community.
  • Stand firm as a new voice for the arts, within our community, and work to maintain our role with integrity, generosity and innovative thinking.