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Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance announce series of affordable housing seminars for artists

Seminars Will Educate Artists About The Affordable Housing Process and Opportunities In Downtown Brooklyn; First Seminar Scheduled for December 13

December 13, 2016 From Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP), Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance (DBAA), and The Actors Fund today will host an affordable housing seminar for artists and other creative professionals in Downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday, December 13 at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at Borough Hall.  Additional seminars will be scheduled for early 2017.

The seminars—hosted in collaboration with Borough President Eric Adams, State Senators Daniel Squadron and Velmanette Montgomery, State Assemblymembers Walter Mosley and Jo Anne Simon, Congressmembers Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries, and Councilmembers Laurie Cumbo and Stephen Levin—will provide insights to the affordable housing application process, including strategies to organize one’s financial picture, an overview of the application itself and important deadlines to for the process.  Identifying housing opportunities for artist was one of the central components of the Culture Forward plan that DBP and DBAA released earlier this year to support the neighborhood’s continued cultural growth. 

“Earlier this year we unveiled an ambitious blueprint for expanding Downtown Brooklyn’s status as a place where artists can live and thrive, but to make that a reality we first must make sure that our creative professionals are taking advantage of all the affordable housing that is available,” said Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Regina Myer.  “Hosting these seminars is one step toward addressing one of our top priorities—keeping the neighborhood an attractive and viable destination for generations of artists.” 

“For artists with episodic and fluctuating income, applying for affordable housing is a major challenge,” said The Actors Fund COO, and DBAA representative, Barbara Davis. “The Housing Resource Center at The Actors Fund provides training to artists around the city to help them understand the affordable housing process. We are a proud member of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and are pleased to partner with our DBAA peer organizations and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership on this important initiative to educate artists about affordable housing.”

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“I’m proud to once again partner with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership on affordable housing seminars that are critically important to the future of our borough, with this series having a particular focus on our oft-overlooked community of artists and creative professionals,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.  “As I travel around Brooklyn, the most common concern I hear is the ability to access affordable housing opportunities. It is so important that Downtown Brooklyn can remain home to the thousands of Brooklynites who have made this neighborhood a safe place to raise healthy children and families. The arts are a vital component of the vibrancy that makes our borough so special, and my administration has had a keen focus on how to protect and enhance that vibrancy going forward. The assistance that these affordable housing seminars, organized in partnership with the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and The Actors Fund, will provide are a meaningful component of our plan for Downtown Brooklyn’s bright future.”

“As a former executive director and founder of an art museum, I saw firsthand the challenges that artists face in one of the most expensive cities and boroughs in the world. Cultural expression is the fabric that intertwines our city. As neighborhoods achieve a critical mass of arts-related activities in a single area, they become even more appealing to a creative class of workers. Residents, small business owners and nonprofit organizations that have played a pivotal role in building our communities should thrive where they have established their roots; but are too often displaced by newcomers. My role as a legislator is to create pathways to solutions, and the affordable housing workshops that we are hosting for artists is a huge step towards the preservation of our neighborhoods’ innovation,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and co-chair of the Women’s Caucus. 

“Ensuring access to affordable and reliable housing is the bedrock to a thriving downtown,” said Council Member Steven Levin.  “These affordable housing seminars will be an important tool for artists and other creative professionals to obtain the resources they need to be able to live and work in a downtown that embraces art and culture. I applaud the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and the Actor’s Fund for their leadership on this topic.” 

The first seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13 at 6:00 PM in the Community Room at Borough Hall.  Additional seminars will be scheduled for early 2017.

In addition to affordable housing seminars, Culture Forward included 12 other initiatives aimed at bolstering Downtown Brooklyn’s cultural infrastructure.  Culture Forward called on the city to develop the area’s underutilized parcels into artist studio spaces and change land-use policy to allow more cultural space in existing public spaces and new developments, for example.  You can read the entire plan here.

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