2024 Arts Award Honorees: Part 2

Advancing Equity awards, which recognize both a non-profit cultural organization and an artist that demonstrate exemplary leadership in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility through and in the arts. Along with a cash prize, these grantees will be acknowledged during ArtsWestchester’s April 10 Arts Award luncheon with six other awardees. The Arts Awards have been presented since 1976 and recognize organizations and individuals who have enriched the cultural life of Westchester. This year’s event, emceed by CBS reporter Tony Aiello, will take place at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase. Here are the 2024 Advancing Equity grantees:

Arts Award recipient Andromeda Turre

Advancing Equity Individual Award:  Andromeda Turre (resides Katonah, NY)
Andromeda Turre of Katonah is an internationally acclaimed Jazz vocalist and composer, and the founder of Growing Up Jazz. Drawing upon the oral tradition of Jazz to raise awareness for socially relevant issues, Turre’s artistic practice is rooted in providing her audience with experiences that invite them into new depths of perspective and self discovery. As a Cornell University-certified Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) professional, her work often reflects issues that pertain to DEI. Her acclaimed Growing Up Jazz program teaches Black history though the lens of Jazz, and earned her the prestigious 2022 Women of Distinction Award from New York State Senate and Westchester County legislators. She now serves on the County’s DEI and Juneteenth Committees, using the arts to foster connections locally. As a recipient of a 2023 Jazz Road Creative Residencies grant funded by the Doris Duke Foundation, and with additional support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a NYSCA Support for Artists grant sponsored by ArtsWestchester, Turre was able to research, compose and record her upcoming album From the Earth, set to release this summer (click here for tickets to the listening party, where audiences can hear the record album for the first time). The album, which explores environmental justice through the lens of four marginalized communities in North America, epitomizes Turre’s commitment to advancing equity through the arts.

Arts Award recipient Yonkers Arts

Advancing Equity Organization Award:  Yonkers Arts
Yonkers Arts has a proven record of offering engaging creative and educational programming to underserved communities in the City of Yonkers. Since the installation of its Black Lives Matter street mural in 2020, Yonkers Arts has expanded its program offerings and developed partnerships to enhance its ability to offer programming and events that support community social justice issues. In 2023, Yonkers Arts engaged over 5,000 art enthusiasts through exhibitions and events hosted at the organization’s Project Space, as well as educational programming offered directly in the communities they serve. Some recent projects include Let Me Fly: a DMX Tribute Exhibition, a Fall Arts Festival at Carpet Mills Arts District, Reflections: The Past, Present, and Future of Black Excellence, the Art of Social Justice, Finding Your Voice Creative Writing, Film Programs in collaboration with Sarah Lawrence College and S.I.C Film School, and the installation of the We The People mural in downtown Yonkers.

Arts Award recipient New Era Creative Space

Advancing Equity Organization Award, Runner Up: New Era Creative Space
The mission of New Era Creative Space (NECS) is to inspire stronger communities through creative programs. As such, the group provides arts programming that promotes excellence and empowers young people to use their talents to engage in social action and community building. Their offerings span the visual and performing arts, as well as cultural immersion travel and empowerment programs. NECS bridges the gap between local artists and educators of broader Westchester and the historically under-resourced youth of Peekskill, NY and its surrounding towns. In 2023, NECS was awarded the WNYC Lehrer Prize for Community Well-Being, and its student film, We Are Democracy, was featured at The Peekskill Film Festival. NECS received a nationwide SONY Create Action award, through which SONY created a short film about NECS. NECS has also produced six episodes of a student-initiated and student-led podcast called My Activist Life.

Photo credit: Andromeda Turre 2023 (courtesy of the artist); We The People Mural Unveiling, February 2024 (courtesy of the organization); Girls Empowered Trip to The Gambia (courtesy of New Era Creative Space).

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