New York City Awards New Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact to Seven Projects

Success Garden in East New York.


As part of its CreateNYC cultural plan, New York City today announced seven projects designated for grants to either create or continue partnerships between arts organizations and city agencies in the interest of, according to a press release, “bringing the unique benefits of arts and culture to help address pressing civic issues including public health and safety, domestic violence, literacy, planning, immigration, and criminal justice.”

Each of the new grants is handed down in an allotment of $50,000 from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, with an additional $25,000 match of either in-kind or cash awards from each project’s partnering agency. The total amount granted comes to $500,000.

In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose office released findings from a first-of-its-kind city-wide cultural survey last year, said, “Our CreateNYC cultural plan called for thoughtful, innovative ways to integrate our city’s creative energy into public service. Today, we continue to put that into action. When city government works hand in hand with community anchors, we can deliver the cultural access and equity which all New Yorkers deserve.”

Chirlane McCray, the city’s first lady, added, “I often point out that poetry and dance were safe outlets to channel difficult emotions in my teenage years. However, art has many benefits throughout all stages of life, and in New York City the arts should be for everyone.”

The seven winning projects are:

— CivLab, a project for which ARTs East NY will partner with the NYC Department of City Planning to bring together city planners, local artists, and residents in Success Garden, a community garden in East New York.

— Claremont Illuminated, a series of nocturnal artworks and programming in the Claremont Village neighborhood of the South Bronx to promote community safety and connections, by way of the Bronx Documentary Center and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

— Free Verse Poetry Apprentice Project, which began in the Bronx and, via Carnegie Hall and the Department of Probation, will provide free year-round literary arts programming for people on probation to expanded areas in Staten Island and Jamaica, Queens.

Cool Culture, whose previous work with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will continue to encourage participation in art and culture by preschool-aged children living or receiving childcare in 93 shelters across the city.

— Hands are for Holding, a school-based program that enlists dance to help prevent teen dating violence and promote healthy relationships, as envisioned by Gibney Dance and the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.

—  Raising Readers: Books Are for Everyone, a reading-appreciation initiative that offers programs and free books to underserved populations as provided by the National Book Foundation and the Department of Youth and Community Development.

Teatro Inmigrante Comunitario, an interactive and bilingual theatrical event to be created by Spanish-speaking youth from Washington Heights in Manhattan and Kingsbridge in the Bronx, under the aegis of the People’s Theatre Project and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

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