At a recent legislative meeting, acclaimed artist and musician John Baker was named the Erie County Legislature’s Citizen of the Month for February 2020 by Chairwoman and District 2 Legislator April Baskin. Recently, Mr. Baker has been active in promoting the importance of cultural and arts funding and engagement for smaller, local organizations and artists of color in our community.
A graduate of McKinley High School and Buffalo State College, John Baker holds a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies and shared his artistic talents widely as an art teacher for the Buffalo Public Schools until his retirement. John works as a freelance graphic artist who designs apparel and also coordinates community art events on a volunteer basis.
As the current President of the Wester New York Urban Arts Collective, John has advanced and promoted underserved and under-supported artists of color in our community while building and fostering new talent in and around the City of Buffalo
Mr. Baker has been previously honored by former Mayor Anthony Masiello, current Mayor Byron Brown, the New York State Legislature, and multiple other local arts organizations for his dedication to promoting inclusion in the local arts community.
“I commend Mr. Baker for his commitment to mentoring new artists and for working so hard to make sure that our local talent is showcased the way they deserve to be. As an artist myself, I know how important it is to have someone who is willing to take a chance and believe in you. John Baker has been that person for countless young people, and his numerous public exhibitions all around this area continue to inspire all of us,” said Chair Baskin.
(Arts and cultural groups interested in applying for funding through Erie County are encouraged to visit the Department of Environment and Planning and complete an application at http://www2.erie.gov/culturalfunding/. Erie County has recently introduced an easier, more streamlined application process for smaller organizations at the request of Chairwoman Baskin and numerous local arts organizations.)