Pilot program announced to launch local arts initiatives

Six South Bronx groups will receive grants to help them extend cultural programming in their communities, as part of a new pilot program.

A new pilot program will help six South Bronx groups extend cultural programming and expand local access to the arts across the area.

The Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund will provide grants ranging between $50,000 and $100,000 for each organization, along with additional resources and technical support, to help encourage residents to get involved in innovative local projects.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and The Rockefeller Foundation will jointly administer the program.

The organizations and their specific programming are:

-The Point CDC – Dissolving Barriers to Resiliency Project Via the Now More Than Ever project. The Point and partners will bring Hunts Point residents and workers together via the arts through a series of engagements around the neighborhood. Artists trained in environmental and social justice campaigns will facilitate experiences aimed to bridge gaps between these two often at-odds populations.

-The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance – Transvisionaries: Live Performance Series. A monthly free performance series will feature trans and gender-nonconforming artists, and will be hosted at South Bronx restaurants and cafés, with an eye to re-envisioning local eateries as arts centers where dance, cabaret, literature and theater can thrive.

-Bronx Documentary Center – The Claremont Village Documentary Project will explore the diverse lives and stories of residents of the Claremont Village NYCHA complex. For nine months, Bronx Photo League photographers will create projects that incorporate residents’ voices, culminating in group exhibitions at the Bronx Documentary Center on Courtlandt Avenue in Melrose, and in Claremont, and will offer free photo workshops, family portraits, and an oral history booth.

-The Bronx Museum of the Arts – The Bronx Speaks will pair groups of undocumented local college students from diverse backgrounds in workshops with cultural community anchors, such as social clubs, community gardens, religious institutions, and small, 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 concern to the community.

Bronx River Art Center – River Rising/Sube el Rio: Starlight Park / 1918–2018. This initiative uses a little known chapter in local history, when nearly 100 years ago the New York International Exposition of Science, Arts, and Industries was held in Starlight Park. A re-enactment of this exposition in the now-renovated park will be interpreted by visual and performing artists exploring art, science, technology, and community.

-Pregones – Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. The Walton Avenue based theater group will offer a series of free-admission arts and culture interactions, Stage-Garden: Rumba: A Citizen Artist Exploration, will address urgent questions about the environment and sustainability, calling on citizen activists to partner with professional artists to create chamber-scale theater, dance, music, and multimedia works and will launch weekend events featuring professional and community performances, cultural celebration, and dialogue.

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