Immediate Release: Contact:
Tuesday, April 7, 2008 Charles Walker
(212) 410-0030 x234
EMPOWERMENT ZONE AWARDS HARLEM’S
A MULTI-YEAR GRANT
- - Today, Kenneth J.
Knuckles, President & CEO of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corp.
(UMEZ) and Maurine Knighton, the organization’s Senior Vice-President for Program and Non-Profit
Investments, announced that UMEZ has awarded the historic Studio Museum in
Harlem (Studio Museum) a $1.7 million multi-year grant. This grant will be used to support institutional
stabilization by funding personnel, consultants, equipment, market research,
product development and licensing.
Mr. Knuckles said, “Our grant to the Studio
will help to fulfill our vision of enhancing 125th Street’s unique character as Harlem’s Main Street.
Additionally, this grant will help the Museum to strengthen its
operations, in turn helping it enhance 125th Street’s stature as a premier
arts, culture and entertainment destination.
For forty years, the Studio Museum, located in the heart of 125th Street, has dedicated itself to
exhibiting, collecting and interpreting visual art by African American artists
and artists of African descent worldwide. The museum has played a historic role
in addressing the lack of opportunities for black artists; consistently
captured the imagination of the public and the press with groundbreaking
exhibitions and programs; acted as the standard-bearer for a new generation of
multi-cultural arts institutions; and spurred the culturally-driven economy
that has been a major factor in the current revitalization of Harlem.
Today the museum is an internationally recognized venue for artists of
African descent and a vital resource for the community. Over 10,000 people a year attend Studio Museum lectures, gallery talks, symposia,
workshops, and performances.
1968, the Studio
has been a bellwether for identifying, supporting, and promoting the work of
important contemporary visual artists from throughout the African diaspora,”
said Ms. Knighton. “Moreover, through its collections, exhibitions, workshops
and special events, the Studio
has helped to educate and enlighten visitors from around the corner, around the
country and around the globe.” This
investment aligns with our intention to strengthen the local cultural ecosystem
as a means for revitalizing Upper Manhattan’s
“We are proud to be the recipients of UMEZ’s generous
support, which will immeasurably expand our ability to serve our community and
our greater public,” says Thelma Golden,
Studio Museum director and chief curator. ”Not
only will this grant allow the Museum to greatly enhance our programs, it will
also allow the Studio Museum to continue its legacy of supporting the work of
artists of African descent and presenting artwork to the Harlem community.”
ABOUT THE Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
UMEZ seeks to revitalize distressed communities
by using geographically targeted public funds and tax incentives as catalysts
for private investment. In Upper Manhattan, the communities that
lie within the Empowerment Zone's borders include Harlem, East Harlem,
Washington Heights and Inwood.
ABOUT THE CULTURAL INDUSTRY
celebrates Upper Manhattan’s
rich past while creating new legacies.
The work of the CIIF is two-fold:
community building through a cultural and economic lens; and, a
marketing of place that repositions Upper
Manhattan as one of New
York City’s primary cultural
districts. The goals of the CIIF are
sustaining the local economy by promoting development, revitalization and
strategic cultural investments; and, strengthening the cultural ecosystem.
The CIIF provides support to
cultural organizations that use the arts as a tool for economic development,
job creation and growth of cultural tourism, within the five communities of Upper Manhattan.
Primary means of support include funding and provision of technical
ABOUT THE STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM
Studio Museum in Harlem is a contemporary art museum that focuses on the work
of artists of African descent locally, nationally and globally, as well as work
that has been inspired and influenced by African-American culture, through its
exhibitions, Artist-in-Residence program, education and public
programming, permanent collection and archival and research facilities.
Studio Museum in Harlem is committed to serving as a unique
resource in the local community, and in national and international arenas, by
making artworks and exhibitions concrete and personal for each viewer. The
Museum provides a context within which to address the contemporary and
historical issues presented through art by artists of African descent.
1968, the Studio Museum has earned recognition for its
catalytic role in promoting the works of artists of African descent. The
Museum's Artist-in-Residence program has supported over ninety graduates
who have gone on to highly regarded careers. A wide variety of education and
public programs have brought the African-American experience alive for the
public by means of lectures, dialogues, panel discussions and performances, as
well as interpretive programs, both on- and off-site, for students and
teachers. The exhibitions program has also expanded the scope of art historical
literature through the production of scholarly catalogues, brochures and
Studio Museum's permanent collection contains
over 1,700 works, including drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media
works and installations. It is comprised of works created by artists during
their residencies, as well as pieces given to the Museum to create an
art-historical framework for artists of African descent. Featured in the
collection are Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Melvin Edwards,
David Hammons, Richard Hunt, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis,
Julie Mehretu, Senga Nengudi, Chris Ofili, Martin Puryear, Betye Saar, Nari
Ward and Hale Woodruff, among others. The Museum also is the custodian of an
extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the
quintessential chronicler of the Harlem community from 1906 to 1984.
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