The young people of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan are going to benefit greatly from the Mayor’s office of Media and Entertainment and the Theatrical Teamster 817 when three local youth groups each receive a $50,000 grant by the Theatrical Teamster.
The announcement of the $50,000 grants that occurred during the Tribeca Family Festival, which will help high-need community based organization fund their academic, media/film or arts programs, will go to El Puente, Socrates Sculpture Park and Urban Arts Partnership. These programs inspire and nurture young people to take leadership in their academic, art and media work.
“At the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, we’re committed to supporting our local communities, and we are grateful to Tommy O’Donnell and the Theatrical Teamsters for their generous donation,” said Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Cynthia López, who partnered with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to create the project. “The three organizations selected to receive the community grants share a mission of helping young people develop their talents through media and the arts. This not only leads to opportunities for young New Yorkers but will further expand the pool of talented New Yorkers for the media and entertainment industry.”
The co-founder and executive director of the Brooklyn community organization EL Puente, Frances Lucerna, was thrilled to continue closing the gap between storytellers. “It is fitting that, in Spanish, El Puente means ‘the bridge,’” Lucerna said. “We believe that this project will serve as a bridge, allowing El Puente to grow and nurture partnerships with the media and entertainment industries that have made their home in North Brooklyn, and most importantly, support us in providing equitable access for the young people we serve to the resources and the training to document their Brooklyn experiences as storytellers themselves.”
CEO Philip Courtney of the Urban Arts Partnership, which was co-founded in 1991 by Rosie Perez, thanked Commissioner Lopez and the Theatrical Teamsters for their support to the thousands of youths in their lower Manhattan community. “Currently serving 15,000 youth, we use the arts to help NYC’s underserved students develop their voice, strengthen their connection to academics, and develop an enduring passion for learning. We aim to provide opportunities that these students would not have access to otherwise, and this support will allow our young people to create exceptional artwork inspired by their communities and to celebrate their accomplishments through digital badging. We believe arts education is the future of learning, and we are thrilled to be working toward this future together.”
Stuart Match Suna, board president of the public space, Socrates Sculpture Park, and president of Silvercup Studios, was grateful for receiving a grant that will continue pushing the 30-year-old program that has provided a space that allows artists to showcase large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations.
“Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park is truly unlike any other summer film festival in New York City,” said Stuart Match Suna, Board President, Socrates Sculpture Park & President, Silvercup Studios. “For the last 17 years, we have presented sophisticated international films on our waterfront and worked hard to engage the Queens community in every aspect along the way. Receiving this prestigious award today is recognition that Queens is home to incredible cultural diversity worthy of celebration and has become New York City’s borough of film.”