ARTSITE ARTIST INTERVIEW: JOSE CARLOS CASADO

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ARTSITE ARTIST INTERVIEW: JOSE CARLOS CASADO

Jose Carlos Casado is a multimedia artist whose work is grounded in community. His work includes sculpture, painting, animation, and installation art. Check out this video where he shares how ArtSite impacts his work and how he hopes his project engages the community.

ArtSite aims to establish an ecosystem of local artists and art producers to create new work that reflects the diverse cultural stories particular to the communities of Jamaica and Jackson Heights. By allowing the artists to partner and create dialogue with the local business community, we can reinvent the external perceptions of these two communities as sources of inspiration and epicenters of the new America canon of dance, theatre, music, and art.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTSITE HERE

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2018-19 Artist Peer Circles

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2018-19 Artist Peer Circles

On Monday, November 26, 2018, we hosted an orientation for this year’s Artist Peer Circle program participants. The Artist Peer Circle program is designed to provide artists a structured support system in an effort to help advance their professional development. The artists meet once a month for nine months and finish the program with a public event. Our first two cohorts of the year consist of one peer circle for visual artists and one for interdisciplinary artists.

QCA 2018-19 Artist Peer Circle

This year’s Artist Peer Circle facilitators are Ran Yan, Executive Director of Lewis Latimer House, and Malcolm Chang, writer and Newtown Literary Alliance board member. Peer Circle artists include Zonia Tsang, Allison Escoto, Melanie LaRosa, Pichchenda Bao, Symin Adave, Kaiser Kamal, John Day, Aileen Bassis, Helen Quinn, and Will Kaplan. Learn more about the Artist Peer Circle program HERE.

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Emery Jones' Work in Far Rockaway

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Emery Jones' Work in Far Rockaway

Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts is a nonprofit organization that uses arts and culture to improve their community and contribute to the professional development of local artists. Founder Emery Jones is a Far Rock native and has served his neighborhood for over 30 years. We sat down with Emery to ask him about his organization’s mission and what it has been like to work with QCA in our efforts to bring more professional development opportunities to artists in Far Rockaway.

What does Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts do and who does it serve? 
Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts provides the Rockaways a space to create community, especially amongst artists and young people. We offer opportunities for people in the neighborhood to involve themselves in creative activities including animation, graphic design, cinematography, acting, and dance. Our goal is to help cultivate interest in these creative outlets and develop people’s abilities into productive tools that they can use to enhance their lives.

 Emery Jones and Samantha Inniss

Emery Jones and Samantha Inniss

What has it been like to partner with QCA on hosting Creative Conversation? 
We have learned a great deal from this experience. It has been such a pleasure to work with the QCA staff and to become more familiar with QCA’s work in supporting artists and organizations.

What is one highlight that has happened since you started hosting Creative Conversations?
We have learned a lot about how to write a solid grant proposal. Each meeting has brought something new to the table- from watching participants discover new things about themselves to learning strategies for how artists can apply their creative abilities to move their personal goals forward.

What are your long term goals for your work in the community?  
Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts will be a consistent and viable part of the community and we will continue our work with the ultimate goal of becoming a University of Far Rockaway with a focus on arts and culture.

 l-r: Jason Heuer, Elaine Short, and Emery Jones

l-r: Jason Heuer, Elaine Short, and Emery Jones

Far Rockaway Cultural Performance Arts is located at 44-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd and you can learn more about the organization at https://www.facebook.com/frcpag/.

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The First ArtSite Project Installed!

ArtSite Awardee, Yvonne Shortt Installs
What We Carry in Dunningham Triangle, Elmhurst

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Queens artist, Yvonne Shortt, with the help of NYC Parks, artists Joel Esquite and Mayuko Fujino, along with the Jackson Heights Community, recently installed the sculptural installation What We Carry in Dunningham Triangle, celebrating immigrants. 

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“We may come to the United States in a variety of ways, but once we come, we are the foundation for our community. We carry our stories and history when we leave one place, and form new traditions once we arrive. Whether we were forced to come or come on our own, from us flourishes strength, hope, and unlimited possibility. This community art initiative, “What We Carry,” celebrates immigrants through a collaborative aluminum sculpture installation, and employs wood flower sculptures to represent the positive force we bring to our communities. Its co-creative process provides a creative platform for everyone in the community, with or without artistic training, and empowers them to have a voice in public art.” – Yvonne Shortt

What We Carry celebrates immigrants through a two-part installation. The first element, an aluminum sculpture of a silhouetted woman, is adorned with cut-out designs illustrating the journey of those who come by plane, water, and land. She holds a bowl that symbolizes what binds all of us: our family and our community. A series of flowers comprises the second part of the installation. The flowers were co-created by the community members at the collaborative workshops, then fabricated in wood and hung around the iron fence, which traditionally sets boundaries but here communicates a sense of togetherness and collaboration.

In order to capture the stories of immigration in Jackson Heights, Shortt sat in Dunningham Triangle over a series of days speaking and listening to those community members passing through and enjoying the park.

“My family came by boat but I thought by listening to others I could incorporate other influences into the piece.  Sitting in the park I learned how some came by plane and others by land.  I think it’s so important to remember that in many cases, one doesn’t leave everything behind unless where they are leaving is worse.” -Yvonne Shortt


ABOUT ARTSITE

A key goal of ArtSite is to empower local artists to engage on a local level, understanding that they can be a catalyst for change. QCA, along with its partners, the Jamaica Center BID in Jamaica and the 82nd Street BID in Jackson Heights, seek to create a self-sustaining supportive art culture in these communities.

This program has been supported by the Queens Council on the Arts with funds from NYS Regional Economic Development Council in partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts, with additional support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Special thanks to the 82nd Street Partnership and NYC Parks. 

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ArtSite Artist Interview: Margaret Rose Vendryes

At last month’s Creative Conversations in Jamaica, Queens, we were joined by some of the newly selected ArtSite artists. One of the attending artists, Margaret Rose Vendryes, is a painter and multimedia artist who works in Jamaica. Check out this video where she shares how ArtSite impacts her work and how she hopes her project engages the community.

ArtSite aims to establish an ecosystem of local artists and art producers to create new work that reflects the diverse cultural stories particular to the communities of Jamaica and Jackson Heights. By allowing the artists to partner and create dialogue with the local business community, we can reinvent the external perceptions of these two communities as sources of inspiration and epicenters of the new America canon of dance, theatre, music, and art.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARTSITE HERE

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Co-Working in Jamaica

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Co-Working in Jamaica

At last month’s Creative Conversations in Jamaica, Queens, hosted at The Harvest Room, we were joined by Brendez Wineglass, Project Manager at the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. Since last year Brendez has participated in the development of several of QCA’s public programs. In this meeting she introduced the community to the concept of co-working and solicited their feedback on what an ideal co-working space might look. Here Brendez shares with us some of what’s happening with the development of new co-working spaces in Jamaica.

 Brendez Wineglass of Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

Brendez Wineglass of Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

 Dan Bamba and Sherese Francis

Dan Bamba and Sherese Francis

Can you tell me a little about the co-working space that is about to open in Jamaica?

The first co-working space in Jamaica, Queens, is on it's way and is targeted to open as early as 2019. As a part of the $10MM revitalization initiative that was awarded to downtown, Jamaica can expect to see a new, state-of-the-art facility. This space will be designed with the intent of offering work space and business opportunities to the many independent contractors, small businesses, non-profits, and those interested in working in a new entrepreneurial culture.

Our hope is practical peacemaking that will support the needs of the present businesses and a growing residential community. The project is being managed by our community development company, The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, who has been entrusted with the facilitation of the development process.

Why do you think it is important to include artists in the planning process for the development of the co-working space?

I think it is important to include artists in the planning process because many artists who reside in Jamaica are contractors with many professional skill sets that they may use to make a living more-so than their art. In addition, the creative community adds to the conversations that we’ve been having around intuitive design and innovation. Their insight lends to more comprehensive design concepts and the potential uses of the space.

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How do you hope that the new co-working space will impact the community?

My hope is that the birth of Jamaica’s first co-working space will be a seed of opportunity for more co-working spaces to emerge and create a canvas of work cultures that satisfy professionals of all industries and ages. This new business work model promotes healthy, multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural conversations that typically don't occur in siloed office buildings and within the present Jamaica ecosystem. I hope that it will attract long-standing residents to consider working in Jamaica and will welcome new residents to explore all of the opportunities that Jamaica has to offer. 

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ArtSite At Creative Conversations Elmhurst

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ArtSite At Creative Conversations Elmhurst

Every month we host Creative Conversations in three neighborhoods (so far) including Jamaica, Elmhurst, and Far Rockaway. At the most recent Creative Conversations in Elmhurst we were joined by this year’s ArtSite grant award winners. Marissa Lazar, ArtSite and Public Art Coordinator, coordinated the ArtSite artists’ attendance at Creative Conversations and she shared her inspiration for bringing them together at Creative Conversations.

 L-R: Jimmy Ferguson, Jose Carlos Casado, Marissa Lazar, Chemin Hsiao, Annabelle Popa, and Yvonne Shortt

L-R: Jimmy Ferguson, Jose Carlos Casado, Marissa Lazar, Chemin Hsiao, Annabelle Popa, and Yvonne Shortt

Why did you choose to have the new ArtSite artists attend Creative Conversations Elmhurst?

It is important for the ArtSite artists to meet the creative community and the community at large in Elmhurst/Jackson Heights as this is where their artwork will be presented. We want there to be a dialogue between the community and the art and for passers-by to be able to know who created the work and their inspirations for it.

What was it like to have most of the ArtSite artists together for the first time at Creative Conversations Elmhurst?

Having the ArtSite artists together for the first time was wonderful! It was great to hear each artist speak to their practice at large and their ArtSite project while having the others ask questions, provide feedback and advise to each other. I think it made them feel more connected and realize that they are not alone in this project and reaffirm that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

 ArtSite artist Yvonne Shortt shares her work

ArtSite artist Yvonne Shortt shares her work

 ArtSite artist Chemin Hsiao shares his work

ArtSite artist Chemin Hsiao shares his work

 ArtSite artists l-r Jimmy Ferguson, Yvonne Shortt, and Jose Carlos Casado

ArtSite artists l-r Jimmy Ferguson, Yvonne Shortt, and Jose Carlos Casado

 ArtSite artist Jose Carlos Casado shares his work

ArtSite artist Jose Carlos Casado shares his work

How do you hope that the new ArtSite projects will impact the communities that they serve?

One of the goals of ArtSite is to further relationships between artists and the community as well as connecting more artists to each other. These projects will temporarily alter people's every day spaces in ways that should inspire dialogue while also beautifying certain spaces. Hopefully the community can find points of connections to the work!

The ArtSite artists will also join us at Creative Conversations in Jamaica on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, at the SUNY Queens Educational Opportunity Center in Jamaica, Queens.

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Lifetime Arts' Creative Aging Trainings

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Lifetime Arts' Creative Aging Trainings

  Annie Montgomery (center), Director of Education at Lifetime Arts

Annie Montgomery (center), Director of Education at Lifetime Arts

On Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Lifetime Arts hosted a free creative aging training for artists at Kew Gardens Public Library in partnership with QCA. Creative aging refers to arts education programming and practices designed to serve the older adult population. Founded in 2008, Lifetime Arts is a national arts service organization that offers a positive, modern, artistic and social lens  through which to serve, inspire and engage America’s growing population of older adults. Lifetime Arts has partnered with QCA in the past, most recently through our first annual Creative Aging Conference in Astoria last May. We sat down with Annie Montgomery, Director of Education at Lifetime Arts, to discuss the value of the free creative aging trainings across NYC.


What inspired Lifetime Arts to offer creative aging trainings?

Our mission is to encourage Creative Aging by promoting the inclusion of arts education programs in organizations that serve older adults; to prepare artists to develop the creative capacity of older adult learners; and to foster lifelong learning in and through the arts by increasing opportunities for participation in community based programming.

This current series of trainings happening across the five boroughs of New York City is a part of an initiative is funded by the New York Community Trust Foundation and in partnership with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Department for the Aging, LiveON NY, the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, and all of the New York City arts councils.


How do you hope the Creative Aging trainings will benefit artists?

There are several goals. These training sessions will help expand teaching artists’ understanding of the Creative Aging program model (i.e., a series of sequential sessions designed to build art-making skills and support positive social engagement in a non-ageist learning environment), and expose them to best practices in program design. Furthermore, for those teaching artists interested in applying to the SU-CASA program, this training will assist them in writing and submitting a clear and detailed application for this highly competitive grant.

 A creative aging workshop exercise facilitated by Lifetime Arts

A creative aging workshop exercise facilitated by Lifetime Arts

Can you share a success story from Lifetime Arts’ Creative Aging trainings?

Just yesterday, one of the artists at our training came up to me after the training and said:

“I have taught older adults painting for years, but being part of this training gave me the tools to help me articulate the goals and impact of Creative Aging programs. Now I can be be more skilled in proposing and seeking funding for the kind of class I would like to teach to older adults.”  

This is just what we hope teaching artists and organizations will gain from this training. As this knowledge spreads, Creative Aging Programs will become embedded in our senior service and cultural organizations so that it is not a “special” offering but a standard approach to arts enrichment and learning for the older adults in our communities.  


What impact do you think that Creative Aging Programming has on communities?

Older adults in our communities can often feel invisible, undervalued, pushed aside, and forgotten. However, with the emergence of Creative Aging programming, older adults now have more access to programs where they may to explore and hone talents, express themselves, and demonstrate to their whole community their strong presence and place in our world--  a presence that is not diminished simply because they are older. Creative Aging programming gives organizations who serve older adults the power to integrate older adults into the life and fabric of every community.


Learn more about Lifetime Arts at
www.lifetimearts.org.

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Member Memoir – Stephanie S. Lee

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Meet Stephanie S. Lee, one of QCA’s talented members and a longtime Queens resident by way of South Korea. Her story echoes that of many other creative citizens in our borough, with an immigrant experience that informs her craft. Read on for the first entry in our Member Memoir series!

What is your discipline?

I do paintings inspired by Korean Folk Art. With my graphic design background, I do exhibition design.

How long have you been a practicing artist?

I’m originally from South Korea. Since my childhood, art was always around me. I went to art high school and at age 19 came to Pratt Institute to study graphic design. I proceeded further into [the] art industry and became a graphic designer. Now I’m settled as a US citizen and have been living in Queens almost 20 years.  Queens is my home. 

 I think I was more passive when I was in South Korea compared to what I am now. Part of it is because I was young, and another part of it is because of the traditional culture that emphasizes hierarchy in many aspects. It didn’t occur to me to become a professional artist until 2010. While I spent my time raising my child after [resigning] to concentrate on motherhood, my desire to paint and draw became clear and bigger.

 Around 2010 I visited Korea and had a chance to learn Korean Folk Art painting for the first time. Since then I kept painting and it lead me to do exhibitions and I developed as an artist.

 What has been your experience as an artist living/working in Queens?

I’ve been living in Queens more than 15 years.

Here, I’m a kindergartener in everything. Language is different, culture and people are different and I’m facing something new everyday. [Queens] transformed me to become more proactive and I’m not afraid of [asking] questions since I’m from a different culture. 

 This kind of attitude is very important to the artist. Artists need to be actively seeking new perspectives and not afraid to ask questions and express themselves even to the people who [differ]. Living and working in Queens helps me a lot in that sense. 

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 If you think [of] everyday life as inseparable from art, living and working in Queens does affect and inspire me since [it’s] such a large portion of my everyday life. 

Some artists prefer to work in foreign places to seek stimulation and inspiration. But since I have a young child, I can’t travel around at the moment, so I adjust myself with what I have. I also think one can express fully when they are in [a] comfortable environment. I’m comfortable in Queens, where I know where to eat, commute and get materials. And I think it helps [to be organized], which allows me to have more time to paint.

 Queens is local but not too far from the city so you can enjoy both rural and urban environments. It is a very diverse and energetic place that is essential for artists to expand their perspective. Every moment I spent in Queens adds up to my life and my life is reflected in my paintings. 

I don’t believe that artwork and artists are two different things. I think good work is from a good person. Artwork is [a] consequence of [an] artist’s life. So I try to live life well-balanced, and try my best to be genuine and original in everyday life.

 Also, I remind myself that there is no competition in art. The dignity of the artist should come from inside out, not by comparing, copying and competing.

 
Which of your projects would you like to tell our readers about?

I teach Korean Folk Art painting in Flushing and Bayside. It was not easy to find a place to learn traditional techniques and get materials when I first [started] painting Korean Folk Art. So I decided to provide a place for Korean Folk Art enthusiasts to experience and paint close to them.

In addition to teaching Korean Folk Art in Queens, I often curate group exhibitions with fellow Korean artists in public venues including libraries and museums. I think it is meaningful to showcase contemporary and traditional Korean visual arts to general audiences in the places that [are] easily accessible to [the] public.

Understanding other cultures is key in this global world and art is one of the best forms to [learn] about other cultures. Interaction with fellow artists through exhibitions strengthens bonds between artists so we can move forward, overcome obstacles in art careers and grow together.

 In 2019, we are planning to have a group exhibition called ‘Threads & Pigments’ at the Flushing Town Hall. It is a group exhibition of nine Korean American artists. Sharing one heritage as Korean-American, each artist will create new artworks, embody diverse and dynamic philosophies depicted through materials such as stitched threads and color pigments. Pigments symbolize the diversity and thread symbolizes the connection and relationship of races and cultures.

 This exhibition will be a start of Community Outreach with Art program (COWA) that I envision to be held in Queens and public venues in other local areas. Culture and art is something you can’t teach in [the] short term. Exposing audiences to exhibitions like this will help viewers to engage with multicultural aspects, both traditional & contemporary without boundaries and to understand diversity.


Which of QCA's resources has helped you the most with your art?

[The] Under the Hood program I participated [in] several times helped a lot. Besides advice and training on artwork, artists also need to learn [the] practical side of art careers. Not many art schools teach it. QCA’s program helps artists in this practical aspect. They provided really essential knowledge such as how to write artist statements, how to write a grant proposal, how to prepare [a] budget, etc. Their passion and effort on helping artists impressed me, and I’m really thankful Queens has this organization for artists.  

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Tiger and Magpie
2018 | 18” W x 24” H
Natural mineral & color pigment and ink on Hanji 

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Cabinet of Desire III
2017  |  Natural mineral pigment & ink on Korean mulberry paper
30˝ (H) x 24˝ (W) x 2˝ (D) each

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Cabinet of Desire III
2017  |  Natural mineral pigment & ink on Korean mulberry paper
30˝ (H) x 24˝ (W) x 2˝ (D) each


To learn more about Stephanie’s practice, visit www.stephanieslee.com

Click here for information on QCA membership

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Just Announced - The Queens Arts Fund Nearly Doubles For 2019!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2018
Contact:
Grants and Residencies Manager, Dan Bamba, DBamba@queenscouncilarts.org or 347-505-3017

QUEENS ARTS FUND FOR LOCAL ARTISTS AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS NEARLY DOUBLES FOR 2019 WITH SUPPORT FROM THE CITY

 QCA will offer over $520,000 in grants for community arts programs and new work by individual artists.

 Deadline to apply for all three Queens Arts Fund grants is October 25, 2018.

QUEENS, NY Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) is pleased to announce that the Queens Arts Fund (QAF) will distribute $527,600 in regrants to individual artists and nonprofit organizations – almost twice as much as was awarded in 2018. Applications for 2019 QAF grants may be submitted online until Thursday, October 25, 2018.

The increase in available funds for local artists and arts organizations is due in large part to significant additional support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), whose funding for QCA’s artist grants increased by $240K over last year’s total. Thanks to support from the Mayor and City Council, DCLA’s funding for the Queens Arts Fund has grown by 4x since the start of the de Blasio Administration. Support for local artists and creators is a key recommendation in the CreateNYC cultural plan.

“We are excited to have this significant increase in funding to further grow the Queens arts community,” said QCA Executive Director Hoong Yee Krakauer. “Being the most diverse borough in the world, a program like the Queens Arts Fund puts us in an amazing position to support emerging artists and organizations that provide invaluable arts and cultural projects to the Queens community as a whole.”

“I spent 24 years working in Queens cultural institutions, so I have witnessed firsthand the essential roles local artists and arts organizations play in the borough’s thriving communities,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “In CreateNYC, the City committed to increasing support for artists and community-based groups as a way to help them continue to flourish in all five boroughs. In collaboration with City Council, particularly Council Member Van Bramer, we’ve made significant progress on this commitment by making a substantial investment in the cultural life of Queens and communities across the city.” 

“As the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries, I am proud to have secured a $20 million funding increase for the DCLA in this year’s budget and I fought for this funding to directly benefit the Queens Council on the Arts,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “The Queens Arts Fund empowers artists and organizations with the grants needed to create diverse art projects and cultural programming throughout the Queens community. I am excited to see all of the work that this new round of grants will bring to our borough.”

“The Queens Council on the Arts has excelled in achieving its mission to foster and develop the arts in Queens and to support individual artists and arts organizations in our borough,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “This increase in funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs will enable the Council to provide even greater support to the artists and arts organizations that are the mainstay of our borough’s vibrant creative community. The Department and the Council deserve to be commended for their great work in supporting the many emerging artists of Queens.”

QAF offers grants to Queens-based individual artists, collectives, and nonprofit organizations offering distinctive arts and cultural programming that directly serves the community of Queens.

For Queens-based nonprofit organizations, QAF offers two grant opportunities. The Arts Access Grant (funded by DCLA) and the Community Arts Grant (funded by NYSCA) each range from $1,000-$5,000. These project-based grants support nonprofit organizations and artist collectives partnering with Queens community organizations to create cultural projects and arts activities that enhance the vibrancy in Queens communities and neighborhoods.

For artists, QAF offers the New Work Grant (funded by DCLA), which supports individual artists of all artistic disciplines who live or have a studio in Queens for the creation of new work. New Work Grants are $3,000, and do not require fiscal sponsorship.

Funds cover costs for eligible projects such as:

·       Projects with a public component that benefit Queens communities

·       Arts activities taking place within Queens in the 2019 calendar year

·       Individual artists' costs needed for the execution of a cultural project (direct administration costs, marketing and publicity costs, venue rentals as well as supplies and materials)

Grant applications are now open and the deadline to apply online is Thursday, October 25, 2018.

 

Since 1978, QCA has been funding cultural activities across the borough keeping Queens neighborhoods rich with cultural vibrancy. In 2018, QCA awarded $329,000 in grants to 56 individual artists and 88 organizations for the creation of arts and cultural programming for the borough of Queens.

If you have any questions, please contact Grants and Residencies Manager Dan Bamba at dbamba@queenscouncilarts.org or 347-505-3017

For more information, please visit https://www.queenscouncilarts.org/qaf/ 

The Queens Art Fund is made possible in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Queens Council on the Arts is the borough-wide arts council of Queens. The mission of the Queens Council on the Arts is to foster and develop the arts in Queens County and to support individual artists and arts organizations in presenting their cultural diversity for the benefit of the community. QCA thanks the partnering venues for graciously providing use of their meeting spaces for the info sessions.

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