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PR- 320-11
September 7, 2011


Cultural and Community Groups Are Part of the Rebirth of Lower Manhattan, Where Number of Residents Has Nearly Doubled Over Past 10 Years

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Empire State Development Corporation today announced that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) is awarding $17 million in Community and Cultural Enhancement Fund grants to non-profit organizations in Lower Manhattan. The grants will fund crucial projects, programs, services and facilities that will continue the ongoing transformation of Lower Manhattan for residents, workers and visitors.

“Ten years after 9/11, Lower Manhattan is full of life,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The new residents have chosen to live there because of the many new schools, parks, restaurants, businesses – and the fantastic cultural and community institutions. The groups that will benefit from this funding are what make Lower Manhattan a dynamic 24/7 neighborhood, not just a place to live or work.

The 38 grants have been awarded to not-for-profit organizations for a broad range of projects and services including youth, senior and social services; health care; education; recreation and cultural initiatives. Since the announcement of the funding last year, LMDC received 266 applications totaling $191 million in funding requests. Grantees were selected based on the rating of their applications by the Cultural Grant Advisory Committee, a six-member panel composed of three representatives from both the State and City.

Funding allocations were based on adherence to the Community and Cultural Enhancement Guidelines, established by the LMDC Board and released last year. They include the capacity of a project or program: to spur long-term Lower Manhattan revitalization; to build audiences; to encourage collaboration to strengthen the quality of life in the neighborhood; to enhance existing infrastructure or create new infrastructure; to sustain multiyear programs; and, to create and sustain jobs in Lower Manhattan’s distinct and diverse communities.

“Vibrant community and cultural institutions are a key ingredient in creating vibrant neighborhoods because they attract residents, visitors, jobs, and private investment,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “These investments by the LMDC will help expand the depth and breadth of these vital institutions with deep roots in Lower Manhattan, one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in New York City.”

“The revitalization of Lower Manhattan is a testament to the resilience of New Yorkers in the face of great tragedy,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “These grants will go a long way toward redeveloping Lower Manhattan into a premier center for culture, commerce, and tourism. I commend the efforts of the State and City for providing the strong support these community-based non-profit organizations need to continue their valuable service to the local community.”

“I have been a strong and determined advocate for our Lower Manhattan community benefiting from these vital funds,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “As we approach the 9/11 anniversary, it is a time to recognize the remarkable rebuilding we have accomplished. Our non-profit and community organizations have played a key role in transforming Lower Manhattan into the thriving, 24/7 community we enjoy today. These awards are well-deserved, greatly needed and will have an enormously positive impact on the lives of Lower Manhattan residents.”

“Our downtown community and cultural organizations are critical to Lower Manhattan’s continued rebuilding. The small non-profits that serve our community every day are as integral as the headline projects that are reviving and transforming our community,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron.  “Lower Manhattan Community and Cultural Enhancement funding will help these organizations continue to revitalize and serve downtown.  These LMDC grants, along with LMDC’s other funding priorities – from Battery Park City to the East River Waterfront – are a sign of the great leadership Lower Manhattan is lucky to have.”

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the commitment by Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg to the future of Lower Manhattan,” said LMDC Chairman Avi Schick. “Through LMDC funding, these projects will enhance the vibrancy of Lower Manhattan by bringing new projects and programs to the area by funding organizations that have helped to shape and define our community.”

In the past, LMDC has awarded $27.8 million in cultural enhancement grants to Lower Manhattan arts organizations, and $37.4 million in community enhancement grants to Lower Manhattan community organizations through similar grant programs. The grant recipients are:

Community Projects

  • Asian Americans for Equality: Housing preservation and anti-displacement program to provide housing rights education and anti-displacement assistance to Lower Manhattan residents. $300,000.
  • City Parks Foundation: Free arts, sports, education and community building programs in Lower Manhattan parks. $500,000.
  • Common Ground Community II HDFC: Safety upgrades at the Lee, a newly constructed supportive housing facility at located at 133 Pitt Street. $250,000.
  • Educational Alliance, Inc.: New program which prepares parents of Educational Alliance’s Head Start program for community college by providing ESL, GED and college prep classes. $300,000.
  • Grand Street Settlement: Replacement of the main elevator at flagship building located at 80 Pitt Street. $1,000,000.
  • Hamilton Madison House: Renovation of space used to provide mental health services and purchase new electronic management record keeping system. $250,000.
  • Hamilton Madison House: Expand services offered at their Chinatown Resource Center to include job development, coaching and placement for unemployed or under employed. $200,000.
  • Indochina-Sino-American Community Center: Installation of a central heating/air conditioning system and the purchase of equipment and software for a new multi media lab. $125,000.
  • Manhattan Youth Recreation and Resources, Inc.: Manhattan Youth’s six afterschool programs which will keep programs affordable and available to Downtown families. $500,000.
  • MFY Legal Services, Inc.: “Lower Manhattan Justice Project” which provides legal services for low and moderate- income individuals and families. $500,000.
  • New Amsterdam Public Market Association, Inc.: Increase outreach and marketing to expand the Market’s customer base and attract new vendors to public market located in East River Market District. $250,000.
  • New York Asian Women’s Center, Inc.: Expansion of services and outreach for the NYC Family Justice Centre, at 80 Centre Street.
  • NYC Dept. of Parks F/B/O Gulick Park: Complete the Reconstruction of the western sections of the park. $900,000.
  • NYC Dept. of Parks F/B/O Hester Street: Renovation of the comfort station at Allen and Delancey Streets. $1,000,000.
  • NYC Dept. of Parks F/B/O-Friends of Washington Market Park: Landscaping improvement, sod installation and equipment to facilitate the extended use of the Park lawn. $100,000.
  • NYC HHC F/B/O- Gouverneur Healthcare Services: Installation of a CAT scan and imaging system and upgrade to the related facilities. $820,000.
  • Southbridge Adult and Senior Citizens Activity Center: Onsite social worker to ensure seniors health and well-being by performing house visits, meeting one on one and providing intervention services. $100,000.
  • The Fund for Public Schools: New equipment and materials for all Lower Manhattan public schools. $1,480,000.
  • University Settlement Society of New York, Inc.: Free recreational programs for low and moderate income residents at The Houston Street Center. $250,000.

Cultural Projects

  • ABC No Rio: Construction of a new multi-use arts center at 156 Rivington Street. $275,000.
  • Battery Dance Company: Renovation of the organization’s rehearsal facilities located at 380 Broadway in Tribeca. $125,000.
  • Children's Museum of the Arts, Inc.: Launch of the new Teen Arts Center at CMA’s new facility. $250,000.
  • Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center Inc.: Design and planning for interior renovation at 107 Suffolk Street. $500,000.
  • Friends of NYC Fire Department Collection, Inc.: Cataloguing and artifact conservation project. $100,000.
  • H.T. Dance Company, Inc.: Renovation of office space, public lobby and grand staircase at 70 Mulberry Street. $125,000.
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Exhibit development for three historic apartments; a Jewish Refugee Apartment, a Chinese Immigrant Apartment, and a Puerto Rican Migrant Apartment. $400,000.
  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Inc.: Marketing program to provide training, assessment, planning support and marketing plans for seven Lower Manhattan cultural institutions. $500,000.
  • Museum of American Finance: Installation of a new climate control system for the archive space and the special display gallery. $100,000.
  • Museum of the City of NY F/B/O Seaport Museum New York: Museum planning and programming and preservation of collection for long-term stabilization of Museum. $2,000,000.
  • New Museum: Hire a producer to launch the 2013 festival “Festival of Ideas for a New City”. $100,000.
  • New York Public Radio: Purchase portable equipment to record “Downtown Cultural Connections”, a new program highlighting concerts and performances downtown. $200,000.
  • Pace University: Expansion of dance rehearsal space to be used by the University as well as by outside groups. $1,000,000.
  • The Flea Theater, Inc.: Construction of a new three-theatre complex located at 20 Thomas Street. $500,000.
  • The Paul Taylor Dance Company: Renovation of a dance studio into a multi-purpose black box performance space at 551 Grand Street. $250,000.
  • The Wooster Group: Reestablish the Performing Garage as a year round presenting and rehearsal venue for the Wooster Group and other groups. $250,000.


  • Public Art Fund, Inc.: 2012 and 2013 free public art exhibitions in City Hall Park. $250,000.
  • River to River Festival: 2012, 2013, and 2014 River to River Festival free summertime cultural festival in Lower Manhattan. $700,000.
  • Tribeca Film Institute: 2012 “Drive-In”, a free, public, three-day outdoor screening of films in Battery Park City. $250,000.

Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency and administrator of the statewide business resource portal, Business First (  The mission of Empire State Development is to promote business investment and growth that leads to job creation and prosperous communities across New York State.  ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand.  For more information on Empire State Development, visit


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958


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