Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Names Inaugural Arts Engagement Grantees

José Carlos Casado, Trade.v03, 2016, archival print on aluminum and vinyl, polyurethane.


The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) have announced 37 recipients of grants from an inaugural UMEZ Arts Engagement program to distribute a total of $250,000 in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. The program, which is funded by UMEZ and administered by LMCC, was launched in 2017 to provide funding for individual artists and small non-profits that create public-facing works or programming in Upper Manhattan.

Grantees were recommended by a selection committee of jurors that included Marinieves Alba, a nonprofit arts consultant; Joanna Castro, executive director of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance; Gina Crusco, director of Underworld Productions; Sita Frederick, artistic director at Areytos Performance Works and director of community engagement programs at Lincoln Center; Julia L. Gutiérrez-Rivera, booking manager for non-profit organization Los Pleneros de la 21; Monique Martin, director of programming at the Harlem Stage; Jonathan McCrory, director of the Theatre Arts Program at the National Black Theatre; Sami Abu Shumays, deputy director of Flushing Town Hall; and Melissa Smey, associate dean and executive director of the Columbia University School of the Arts.

“These investments are particularly important in the communities of Upper Manhattan, which are home to such a diverse population,” Blair Duncan, CEO of UMEZ, said in a statement. “It’s thrilling to be able to support public interaction in arts projects that engage the Upper Manhattan community.”

The list of 2018 UMEZ Arts Engagement grantees follows in full below.

UMEZ Arts Engagement Grantees in Dance:
Capoeira Center of New York, Inc., The Harlem Celebration of Capoeira
Dances For A Variable Population, Inc., Dance and the Beauty of Age Festival
General Mischief Dance Theatre, Universal Language
Ranardo-Domeico Grays, Healing Works II
Harlem Dance Club, HDC Amphitheater
The Harlem Swing Dance Society, The Harlem Roots and Rhythm Urban Dance Festival
Kotchegna Dance Company/Vado Diomande, Kekene XII (The Gathering XII)
ModArts Dance Collective/Leah Smiley Tubbs, Moving to Change
Torkomada, Inc., Raqs Revolution
Matthew Westerby, The Harlem Project

UMEZ Arts Engagement Grantees in Multidisciplinary & Literature:
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance, Community Fall Festival
Jazz Power Initiative, Engaging the Community in Jazz Arts Experiences: Intergenerational Jazz Jams
La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, Inc., LATINO ICONS
Pan American Musical Art Research (PAMAR), Latin American Cultural Week 2018
Stefanie Nelson Dance Group, Alzheimer’s Awareness Festival at Harlem Gatehouse
Sarah Cameron Sunde, Across an Empty Lot: a temporary memorial to the empty space
Yaffa Cultural Arts Inc., Stories for Change

UMEZ Arts Engagement Grantees in Music:
Cantanti Project, Cantamos: A Celebration of Spanish-Language Songs
Cornerstone Chorale, Handel’s Messiah in the Neighborhood
East Winds, Japanese music programs Series
El Taller Latino Americano, El Barrio Canta Su Historia/El Barrio Sings Its History
Ensemble Échappé, A Season of Song: Part 1
The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc., The Harlem Chamber Players 2018 Season
Harlem Presents, Inc., The Harlem Opera Festival
Eric Lemmon, The Impossible Will Take a Little While
loadbang, loadbang performs at The Crypt of The Church of the Intercession
Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, The Fall 2018 Concert Season

UMEZ Arts Engagement Grantees in Theatre:
American Slavery Project, American Slavery Project: Unheard Voices
The Anthropologists, This Sinking Island

UMEZ Arts Engagement Grantees in Visual Arts, Media & New Media:
Andrea Arroyo, Women in Flight
The Black School, Black Love Fest NY 2018
José Carlos Casado, I don’t know why the caged bird sings, ah me, When her wing is bruised and her bosom sore, When she beats her bars and would be free
Marne Lucas, Bardo ∞ Project
Omanut: Jewish Uptown Arts, Sukkahwood
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria, El Alto: Un esfuerzo gráfico/The Heights: A Printmaking Endeavor

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