By Carlotta Mohamed
The Queens Council on the Arts announced Oct. 1 it will distribute $527,600 in grants to individual artists and nonprofit organizations.
“We are excited to have this significant increase in funding to further grow the Queens arts community,” said QCA Executive Director Hoong Yee Krakauer. “Being the most diverse borough in the world, a program like the Queens Arts Fund puts us in an amazing position to support emerging artists and organizations that provide invaluable arts and cultural projects to the Queens community as a whole.”
Throughout 2018, the Queens Council on the Arts awarded $329,000 in grants to 56 individual artists and 88 organizations for the creation of arts and cultural programming for the borough of Queens.
According to the organization, the increase in available funds for local artists and arts organizations is due in large part to significant additional support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, whose funding for QCA’s artist grants increased by $240,000 over last year’s total.
“I spent 24 years working in Queens cultural institutions, so I have witnessed firsthand the essential roles local artists and arts organizations play in the borough’s thriving communities,” said Tom Finkelpearl, Cultural Affairs commissioner. “In CreateNYC, the city [is] committed to increasing support for artists and community-based groups as a way to help them continue to flourish in all five boroughs.”
Finkelpearl said they’ve made significant progress making a substantial investment in the culture life of Queens and communities across the city in collaboration with City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), the chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries.
“I am proud to have secured a $20 million funding increase for the DCLA in this year’s budget and I fought for this funding to directly benefit the Queens Council on the Arts,” said Van Bramer.
The Queens Arts Fund provides grants to Queens-based individual artists, collectives, and nonprofit organizations offering distinctive arts and cultural programming that directly serves the community of Queens.
For Queens-based nonprofit organizations, QAF offers two grant opportunities: The Arts Access Grant — funded by DCLA — and the Community Arts Grant — funded by NYSCA — which each range from $1,000 to $5,000.
For artists, QAF offers the New Work Grant — funded by DCLA — which supports individual artists of all artistic disciplines who live or have a studio in Queens for the creation of new work.
New Work Grants are $3,000 and do not require fiscal sponsorship.
According to QCA, funds cover costs for eligible projects, including projects with a public component that benefit Queens communities, arts activities taking place within Queens in the 2019 calendar year, and individuals artists’ costs needed for the execution of a cultural project.
Applications for 2019 QAF grants are now open and the deadline to apply online is Thursday, Oct. 25.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha