Press Release

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NYCHA selected by National Endowment for the Arts of Prestigious Grant

New York, NY—Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced it has been selected for a distinguished Our Town grant of $100,000 to support "Make Mott Haven," a neighborhood-based effort to enrich the lives of South Bronx residents through local arts and cultural opportunities. Joining sixty-nine Our Town grant recipients across the nation, NYCHA is one of three projects in New York State to receive this competitive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“I am proud that NYCHA has been chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Our Town grant, and incredibly excited about the creation of art installations and performances that tell the story of our diverse communities. This award will help move forward our NextGeneration NYCHA vision through beautifying our developments with culturally-relevant art, and connecting them visually to their larger neighborhoods. We will continue to utilize these unique opportunities to communicate to New Yorkers about the import role public housing plays as a part of the fabric of our city, as we move forward our larger vision to maintain safe, clean, and connected communities throughout NYCHA.” said Chair Shola Olatoye, New York City Housing Authority.

“Cultural activity enriches so many communities across New York City, bringing people together and invigorating our public spaces,” said New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Deputy Commissioner Edwin Torres. “We are thrilled that Make Mott Haven was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts. As a proud Mott Haven native, I can’t wait to see the extraordinary programming that NYCHA and its cultural partners will create with Bronx residents.”

“At Casita Maria we are thrilled to be able to deepen our existing partnership with NYCHA and Dancing in the Streets, Ghetto Film School, and SoBRO through this NEA Our Town grant,” said Sarah Calderon, Executive Director, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education. “Mott Haven is a wonderfully vibrant community, and we are delighted that we will have the opportunity to further develop our work with the residents to create arts-based interventions that will positively contribute to their neighborhood's future.”
“We are honored and excited to collaborate with Casita Maria, NYCHA, Ghetto Film School, and SoBRO on the Make Mott Haven initiative,” said Dancing in the Streets’ Executive and Artistic Director Aviva Davidson. “We believe that the initiative’s free, public, community-based arts programming will serve as a catalyst for developing a safe, vibrant, and economically sound neighborhood that reflects and fosters the values, distinct character, and cultures of the South Bronx.”

Nationwide, Our Town projects offer a wide variety of cultural programming— including public education and arts workshops, small and large-scale dance and music performances, an artist residency program, and an annual large scale arts festival celebrating the area's rich cultural history. The grants themselves help support creative projects that work to transform communities into more lively, beautiful, and resilient places.

“The arts reveal the heart and soul of our nation,” said Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julían Castro. “We’re proud to work with the NEA to create neighborhoods of opportunity where culture is honored and creativity can flourish. Together with our partners, we’ll give more Americans the chance to experience life in a vibrant and thriving community.”

“The Our Town program represents important tenets of the NEA’s work,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Our Town supports an impressive level of creativity in the field and helps spark vitality within a community through the arts.”

“Culture and the arts make our communities vibrant and exciting places to call home,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “With the prestigious Our Town award, I know that NYCHA’s ‘Make Mott Haven’ will  enrich the South Bronx and deeply engage residents with the beautiful diversity of stories, music, art and film in their neighborhood and across New York City.  This is exactly the kind of investment that allows our communities to flourish and thrive and I look forward to the exciting cultural programming ‘Make Mott Haven’ has in store.”



About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.

About Our Town

Our Town grant awards are made to partnerships that consist of at least one nonprofit organization and a local government entity. Many projects are centered on multi-partner investments in a community’s future.

Here are the full list of this year’s recipients