Adams pumps $6.9 million into borough’s cultural institutions
BAM, libraries, dance companies to receive funding
Brooklyn’s libraries and cultural institutions are part of what makes Kings County a unique place to live, according to Borough President Eric Adams, who recently came to Bay Ridge to announce a $6.92 million investment from his capital budget for programs that enhance the lives of the borough’s residents.
“When we invest in a library, we increase the chances that a child will want to come here to read. When we invest in a small dance organization, we increase the likelihood that more residents will have the opportunity to engage the performing arts. When we invest in outlets of expression, we increase the likelihood that our children and young men and women will stay off the streets. These investments are not about the buildings; these investments are about the people that these buildings can build,” Adams said at a press conference he held at the Bay Ridge Library on Ridge Boulevard to announce the funding.
The Bay Ridge Library is one of 11 recipients of the borough president’s capital funds. Adams is also proving funding for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, St, Ann’s Warehouse, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the New York Aquarium and the Gallim Dance Company, among other organizations.
“These organizations provide an extraordinary range of arts and education programming in neighborhoods across Brooklyn,” Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl said. “My agency is proud to work with Borough President Eric Adams to provide funding for capital projects critical to expanding access to the arts, ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to experience and contribute to the borough’s colossal amount of creative energy.”
Councilmember Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) said the funds Adams is giving to the Bay Ridge Library will be put to practical use: the installation of a new roof.
“If it’s a good day for cultural institutions, and it’s a good day for libraries, and those cultural institutions and libraries happen to be in Brooklyn, then it’s a good day for Brooklyn. I’m really excited about the new roof we’re putting here at the Bay Ridge Library,” Gentile said at the press conference.
“It is important that we keep our cultural institutions up to date and the wear-and-tear that these buildings go through, and so it is very important that we get the funding that we need for facilities like the library here,” said state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southwest Brooklyn).
Councilmember Larue Cumbo (D-Fort Greene-Clinton Hill), whose district includes BAM and the Brooklyn Museum, said these institutions deserve support.
“For more than a century, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Brooklyn Museum have inspired millions of New Yorkers and tourists to explore their creativity through art, film, theater, dance, music and opera. With public support, Brooklyn’s cultural district can continue to educate, inspire, and empower its visitors,” she said.
“Brooklyn is thriving and much credit can be given to the fact that our borough is a premiere cultural destination,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-North Brooklyn), who contributed funding to a major project at St. Ann’s Warehouse with Adams. St. Ann’s Warehouse received $500,000 in funding for Phase II of its conversion of the Tobacco Warehouse into a performance space.
In addition to the Bay Ridge Library, Adams is also pumping money into the Bedford and Windsor Terrace branches of the Brooklyn Public Library.
“We are deeply grateful to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for his investment in addressing the critical infrastructure needs facing the libraries of Brooklyn,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “Through his generous and unprecedented allocation of $2 million for much-needed repairs and renovations at the Bay Ridge, Bedford, and Windsor Terrace libraries, Borough President Adams has shown he truly understands the importance of our libraries to Brooklyn’s future.”
Andrea Miller, artistic director of Gallim Dance Company, said the $70,000 in funding the group is getting from Adams will enable it to expand its mission by improving the capabilities of the company’s performance space.
“We are confident that the grant will enable Gallim Dance to expand its community programming through new audio-visual equipment and, ultimately, will help us to accelerate our path towards becoming a hub of arts and education in Clinton Hill,” she said.
The New York Aquarium will use $1 million from Adams to repair areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy, according to Jon Forrest Dohlin, the aquarium’s director and the vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the organization that operates the aquarium.
“This generous gift will allow us to make necessary improvements to our popular Sea Cliffs exhibit that will help us continue our commitment to providing the highest standard of animal care and improve our visitors’ experience,” he said.
At the press conference, Adams presented representatives of the cultural institutions with honorary checks depicting the seal of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
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