The Bushwick Starr and five other local arts and culture organizations are among 116 such groups across the state to receive a cut of a $20 million investment from the New York State Council on the Arts. More than 100 groups across the state were chosen for the grant, which will fund projects ranging from new construction and renovations to equipment safety upgrades.
“From our vibrant cultural anchors, to celebrated historical sites, our arts and cultural spaces represent the ingenuity of New York and preserve our state’s rich history and character,” said Governor Kathy Hochul, in a release.
Engaging in these projects shows the arts in New York and surrounding area are “both back and thriving,” according to Hochul.
The Council on the Arts doled out 70 grants worth $50,0000 to $1 million, plus alloted $10,0000 to 46 organizations in need of new equipment and improvements to their facililities. All grants worth $10,000 went to organizations with budgets under $1 million.
Along with dozens of organizations across the city, six Brooklyn-based arts organizations were chosen for the grant — The Bushwick Starr, The Center for Performance Research, the Green-Wood Historic Fund, The Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History, Dancing Crane, Inc., and Jack Arts, Inc. The organizations will use the money for everything from purchasing audio-visual equipment and HVAC systems to building a new education center.
Around this time last year, The Bushwick Starr, a theatrical venue, lost their leased space, where they had been since 2001. After having already closed due to COVID-19, Development Director Lauren Miller feared they wouldn’t open again. The NYSCA money will allow the Starr to build their very own venue.
“Today, we not only hold the deed to 419 Eldert Street, but have the extraordinary support of both New York State and New York City to fund the construction of our dream venue,” Miller said in an email. “And in about a year from now, we will reopen as a permanent cultural asset in Bushwick, which will serve hundreds of artists and thousands of New York audiences for decades to come.”
The NYSCA’s investment is “game-changing,” Miller said.
To date, NYSCA has given $50 million in grants. Out of 88 of these past projects across New York state, 50 percent are near completion, according to the governor’s office.
“New York is a global beacon for arts and culture, and every dollar invested in the arts supports jobs, culture, and economic growth in every region of New York State,” Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell said in a release. “The work of these Capital grantees strengthens our economy, supports the health of all New Yorkers, and enriches our lives.”