Recipients From Central Brooklyn and South Bronx Receive Support For Innovative Community-Based Cultural Programs


Recipients From Central Brooklyn and South Bronx Receive Support
For Innovative Community-Based Cultural Programs

NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2017)—Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, today announced the inaugural recipients of the Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund. This new pilot grant program encourages innovative strategies to catalyze greater access to, and participation in, cultural opportunities in the diverse neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. Each of the 12 grantees will receive support for initiatives ranging from digitizing the history of Caribbean Diaspora in Central Brooklyn to a new monthly live performance series featuring transgender and gender nonconforming artists in the South Bronx to using the arts and the tenets of environmental and social justice campaigns to bring together residents and workers in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx.

The Rockefeller Foundation selected Lincoln Center to manage the fund based on the institution’s steadfast commitment to building community-based partnerships and its expertise in designing and implementing impactful programs. Each recipient receives a one-year grant, in addition to additional resources and technical support from Lincoln Center to further their work.

“Cultural innovation has the power to energize and advance our communities. But to innovate requires resources and support—and that’s where The Rockefeller Foundation and Lincoln Center come in. We are dedicated to ensuring communities can create, collaborate, and blaze new trails towards a better future,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The inaugural Cultural Innovation Fund with Lincoln Center will empower neighborhoods from Central Brooklyn to the South Bronx to increase access to cultural opportunities, benefitting local residents and New York City as a whole. We are honored to lift up these forward-thinking initiatives and look forward to seeing how they bring together the arts and social issues.”

“We are very proud to have been invited by The Rockefeller Foundation to partner on this important initiative,” said Debora L. Spar, President of Lincoln Center. “Building upon Lincoln Center’s relationships across the five boroughs of New York City, we are thrilled to help realize these innovative and socially engaged projects that will encourage participation in the arts within these vibrant communities.”

Following the announcement of the launch of the Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund in December 2016, Lincoln Center received interest from more than 70 community nonprofits. Lincoln Center worked collaboratively with advisors, including The Rockefeller Foundation and representatives from Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx, to establish an advisory panel that evaluated applications and recommended the grant award recipients.

The Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund pilot program offers grants in a range of $50,000–$100,000 and has three overarching goals: to increase arts access and participation in the diverse neighborhoods of the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn; to increase the range of places and platforms where cultural activities are taking place in both boroughs; and to support nonprofit organizations in piloting cultural innovation strategies and programs. Projects are encouraged in all arts disciplines (with partnerships strongly encouraged) and must both promote the active participation of residents in local cultural activities and plant the seeds for long-term arts-going habits. The projects that focus on innovating cultural engagement can be completely new programs or experiments that take a fresh approach to an existing effort.

BAAD!The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance – Transvisionaries: Live Performance Series
Transvisionaries will be a monthly free performance series featuring trans and gender nonconforming artists, hosted at restaurants and cafés in the South Bronx. These casual public gatherings will serve to increase access to performance outside the formal confines of theater while bringing visibility to trans people. The series re-envisions local eateries as one-night arts centers where dance, cabaret, literature, performance, and theater live in the neighborhood.

Bronx Documentary Center – Claremont Village Documentary Project
The Claremont Village Documentary Project will explore the diverse lives and stories of residents of Claremont Village, a New York City Housing Authority in the South Bronx. For nine months, Bronx Photo League photographers will create projects that incorporate voices of Claremont Village residents. The project will culminate in a group exhibition hosted at the BDC and in the Claremont community and will offer free public programs, such as photo workshops, family portraits, and an oral history booth.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts – The Bronx Speaks
The Bronx Speaks will pair groups of diverse South Bronx undocumented college students in workshops with culturally based community anchors, such as social clubs, community gardens, religious institutions, and small “mom and pop” first- and second-generation immigrant-owned businesses. All will work with artists, poets, and writers to develop first-person narratives, stories, poetry, and/or live performances in response to socio-cultural justice issues of particular concern to the community.

Bronx River Art Center – River Rising/Sube el Rio: Starlight Park / 1918–2018
River Rising/Sube el Rio uses as its central motivation a little known but greatly illuminating piece of local history—that nearly 100 years ago the New York International Exposition of Science, Arts, and Industries was held in the northernmost section of Starlight Park. River Rising/Sube el Rio will be a re-enactment of this exposition in the renewed Starlight Park, as interpreted by visual and performing artists who explore the intersections between art, science, technology, and community.

THE POINT Community Development Corporation – Now More Than Ever: Dissolving Barriers to Resiliency Project
Via the Now More Than Ever project, THE POINT and its partners intend to further social cohesion between two distinct populations coexisting in Hunts Point—residents and workers—via the arts. Through a series of engagements in strategic corners of Hunts Point where residents and workers coexist alongside an invisible barrier disconnecting them, artists trained in environmental and social justice campaigns will facilitate experiences serving to elucidate and bind these two often at-odds populations.

Pregones – Puerto Rican Traveling Theater – STAGE-GARDEN-RUMBA: A Citizen Artist Exploration
STAGE-GARDEN-RUMBA will be a new series of free-admission arts and culture interactions addressing urgent questions about the environment and sustainability. The project will harbor a new call for local citizen activists to partner with professional artists in the creation of chamber-scale theater, dance, music, and multimedia works and will launch of a new series of weekend events featuring professional and community performances, cultural celebration, and dialogue. Activities will be multi-season and take place both indoors and outdoors throughout the South Bronx.

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