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ArtsWestchester Wins Grant

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ArtsWestchester Wins $50K NEA Grant to Beautify Public Housing

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (June 14, 2021) – ArtsWestchester announced today that it won a $50,000 “Our Town” grant from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to develop “A Plan for Arts & Culture at Brookfield Commons” in the City of White Plains.

ArtsWestchester’s “Our Town” NEA grant will enable the arts council to expand its partnership with the White Plains Housing Authority to reimagine its campus as a place for public art and arts programming. This is part of an overall plan to rebuild this housing complex as a new, modern mixed-income complex maintaining current tenants and introducing moderate market-rate units. The NEA grant will enable ArtsWestchester to work with the developer to create a plan for artwork and cultural facilities on the premises that will benefit all residents and their families.

ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam explains, “Having art in your environment is good for everyone.” Langsam continues, “This grant will help us bring beauty and inspiration to a once-marginalized community whose members will be meaningfully engaged. Artists will involve Brookfield Commons residents to create temporary artwork for the grounds and will use their feedback to inform a long-term vision and cultural plan for the housing complex.”

Mack Carter, Executive Director of the White Plains Housing Authority adds, “The cultural plan will establish long-term guidelines for public art and arts programming at Brookfield Commons. This cultural partnership will serve as a model for other housing authorities on how artists can work with residents in the redevelopment process.”

New York Congressman Mondaire Jones explains, “I’m thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded ArtsWestchester with a $50,000 grant to invest in bringing the arts to our public housing. Art inspires us, tells stories, and connects us to the world around us. The simple presence of public art and arts programming can transform an ordinary space into a community with vitality and identity. With this federal investment, more members of our community than ever before will be able to engage with the arts right in their own backyards. I’m grateful to ArtsWestchester and the White Plains Housing Authority for their commitment to bringing the arts to everyone in our communities, and I’ll continue to support artists and the arts throughout New York’s 17th Congressional District.”

This NEA grant is part of $88 million in recommended grants to organizations in all 50 states and jurisdictions.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations reengage fully with partners and audiences,” says NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “While the arts, whether through books, movies, or online performances and programs, have been a sustaining force for many throughout the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

“Our Town” is the Arts Endowment’s creative placemaking grants program, supporting projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.

ArtsWestchester’s project is a partnership with the White Plains Housing Authority, and a collaboration with City of White Plains and Trinity Financial.

ArtsWestchester has long been a leader in public art in Westchester County and with this new grant it will work with the developer to create a plan to integrate public art and cultural enrichment into the new master plan for mixed-income affordable housing. ArtsWestchester’s other current public art partnerships include projects with Ginsburg Development; LMC, a Lennar Company; Alexander Development; The Beitel Group and Ridge Hill. To find out more about ArtsWestchester’s public art or arts consulting services, contact Kathleen Reckling at [email protected]

About ArtsWestchester:  For more than 50 years, ArtsWestchester has been the community’s connection to the arts. Founded in 1965, it is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State. Its mission is to create an equitable, vibrant and sustainable Westchester County in which the arts are integral to and integrated into every facet of life.

ArtsWestchester provides programs and services that enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds audiences through diverse marketing initiatives. In 1998, ArtsWestchester purchased the nine-story neo-classical bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue which has since been transformed into a multi-use resource for artists, cultural organizations, and the community. A two-story gallery is located on the first floor of ArtsWestchester’s historic building in downtown White Plains. To learn more about ArtsWestchester visit: www.artswestchester.org

Contact: Ernie Garcia, 914-762-1900
[email protected]