Queens Council on the Arts celebrates grant winners

By Kerlern Rae Tuitt

The Queens Council on the Arts will host an open house Wednesday to honor those artists selected for the 2014 Queens Arts Fund and Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide program

This year, the QAF will award $175,000 to 47 different art organizations and 31 individual Queens artists in the areas of visual arts, theater, multimedia, film, literary arts, dance and music. The grants are given to artists and nonprofits which provide arts and cultural programming specifically to Queens citizens.

“The funds will go to good use for our essential operating expenses, including covering fees for special films and music, and stipends for our staff,” said QAF grant recipient Alan Webber, of the Rural Route Film Festival.

The open house will also recognize the 11 artists selected to participate in senior center arts programming through SPARC’s competitive application process. The artists were given stipends to host a series of workshops with seniors in different categories of art including dance, drawing, quilt making, painting and embroidery.

Photographic artist Shari Diamond was chosen to host a 12-week digital photography workshop at the Services Now for Adult Persons in Queens Village. She said she was thrilled to collaborate with other SPARC residents and artists from different centers and to work with the community.

“The group developed a relationship with one another through sharing their lives, through the process of learning photography and having a common interest,” Diamond of New York City said.

The free event is an opportunity for artists to meet other artists and QCA program directors, but also to share details about their funded projects.

“If the general public wants to come to a gathering with some of the most creative people in their borough and network, then they are welcome,” QCA Managing Director Lynn Lobell said.

The open house takes place at the QCA’s office, 37-11 35th Ave. in Astoria, from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 29.

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