BP Adams unveils millions in capital funding for arts and cultural institutions
Adams Focused on Preserving ‘Unique Flavor’ of Brooklyn
On Monday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams unveiled the details of his arts and cultural institutions capital budget for Fiscal Year 2017, an investment of more than $7.9 million in facilities across Brooklyn. He made the announcement in Bedford-Stuyvesant at the Billie Holiday Theatre, a 45-year-old performing arts space at Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza that was built to expose the community to the arts and employ local talent. The theater, which has been home to world-renowned artists such as Debbie Allen and Samuel L. Jackson, will benefit from $200,000 in funding to support its first-ever major renovation.
Standing beside theater artifacts that have been discovered during the ongoing restoration work, Adams spoke about how his capital allocations are focused on preserving the “unique flavor” of Brooklyn, in addition to fostering the creative spirit that is inspiring cutting-edge cultural expression.
“Brooklyn is home to everyone from everywhere, and our arts scene reflects that,” said Adams. “Our popularity comes from being a melting pot of so many diverse forms of expression, and that generates millions of dollars for our borough. Our first-class cultural institutions genuinely care about the people of this borough and the people of this city. They have brought a new signature to arts and culture and made it applicable to today’s life. Now more than ever, as people adjust to the national climate, they are going to need these outlets. We need to figure out how to use these cultural spaces as safe spaces where people can express themselves on both sides of an issue.”
In Crown Heights, $500,000 will fund the construction of new wet labs and classroom space for the Brooklyn Center for Sustainable Gardening at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In the same neighborhood, Adams granted $250,000 to the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History, which will go toward the preservation of the historic Hunterfly Road Houses. Dating back to the 1830s, the time of the first free African-American community in Brooklyn, these landmarked structures are part of the Weeksville Heritage Center. Also, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will receive more than $1.34 million from Adams to support construction of a new retaining wall for their garden, which will allow for an expansion of programming for currently inaccessible parts of the open space.