The Arts Services Initiative announced Wednesday the completion of its 2013 decentralization grant program, which will distribute $98,700 to arts groups in Erie County.

The grants are scheduled to be announced in a ceremony at 3 p.m. today in Suzuki Strings, 4 Webster St., North Tonawanda. The event includes performances from Tony-nominated actor Stephen McKinley Henderson and the Suzuki Strings Quartet along with an exhibition of artwork by Scott Reagan.

The program has been in disarray in recent years because of problems at the defunct Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County, and staffing and funding changes at the New York State Council on the Arts, which has funded the program since 1978. Arts Services Initiative assumed control last year.

Erie County community arts grant recipients include the Allentown Association, Blasdell Recreation Department, Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus Inc., Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Colored Musicians Club, Community Music School, Friends of Vienna Inc., Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc., Hispanics United of Buffalo Inc, Impact Artists’ Gallery, Juneteenth Festival Inc., Kyla Kegler/People United for Sustainable Housing, Lancaster Opera House, Learning Disabilities Association of WNY/Starlight Studio & Art Gallery, Neglia Ballet, Orchard Park Chorale, Schiller Park Community Services Inc., Subversive Theatre Collective, Town of Boston Arts Council, Town of Brant, Town of Elma and XCEL Leadership Center.

Erie County arts education grants were awarded to Jacqueline Albarella and Stephen McKinley Henderson for programs at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts.

Niagara County community arts grants went to the Buffalo Suzuki Strings, Historic Palace Theatre, Lewiston Council on the Arts, Lockport Chorale, Market Street Art Center, Mental Health Association in Niagara County, Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, Rivershore and the Sanborn Area Historical Society.

A Niagara County arts education grant went to Karen Sirgey for a project at Niagara Wheatfield High School.

Individual grants went to photographer Lukia Costello, theater artist Erika Gault, performance artist Kyle Kegler, poet and installation artist Scott Reagan and dancer MarCe Zerrate. A full list is online at