Flushing Town Hall to award funding to Queens artists

Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd. (QNS file photo)

Flushing Town Hall is partnering with the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) to administer more than $100,000 in regrants for artists and arts organizations based in Queens. 

Formerly known as NYSCA’s “Decentralization” program, the program is being rebranded as “Statewide Community Regrants” and is intended to support artists and organizations in every county across New York State. NYSCA was a pioneer of this model of arts regrants, a model that has been adopted by numerous other states and municipalities, including in New York City. 

“NYSCA supports local artists and non-profits by administering vital funding across all regions of our great state,” said Mara Manus, executive director of NYSCA.”Our Fiscal Year 2022 strategic goals prioritize expanding eligibility and increasing access for the full and richly diverse ecosystem of artists and arts organizations of New York. NYSCA regrants are a critical piece of NYSCA’s mission to develop and support the diverse spectrum of artists living and creating in New York State.”

The regrants distributed by Flushing Town Hall will fund arts and culture projects created and presented in Queens, in order to enrich and enliven the community.

Ellen Kodadek, executive and artistic director of Flushing Town Hall, said they’re tremendously grateful to Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature for increasing funding to NYSCA this year. 

“At Flushing Town Hall, we believe the arts are essential and that artists are vital to the health and well-being of communities and neighborhoods. It’s imperative to support artists in their creative endeavors in which we all benefit so greatly, particularly these days, when arts and culture are essential to New York State’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, economically, emotionally, and socially,” Kodadek said. “Thanks to NYSCA, we are thrilled to offer these new grants programs to support artists and arts organizations in Queens.”

Kodadek referred to NYSCA as an “incredibly impactful agency” in New York State, that offers more than funding to the artists and organizations. 

“It provides leadership, vision, and integrity, and has been a major force uniting the arts community as a whole,” Kodadek said. “We pledge to uphold NYSCA’s high standards of integrity and community responsiveness as we take over this program, and we invite the artists and arts organizations of Queens to hold us accountable to this pledge.” 

Flushing Town Hall’s mission is to serve the global communities of Queens through programming that celebrates and uplifts the full range of cultural diversity in the borough. In addition to music, dance, visual arts, theatrical, and educational programming, Flushing Town Hall already offers a wide range of artist services, including space grants for artists to develop new work, professional development workshops, networking conversations, and more. 

The new regranting program will complement these other offerings and enable Flushing Town Hall to fulfill its role as an arts council. The institution was founded in 1979 as the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, which was its legal name. 

Kodadek, as well as several of her staff members, already have experience in working with NYSCA on regrant programs, including Deputy Director Sami Abu Shumays and Dan Bamba, who have been promoted to director of Arts Services, and who will be directly administering the program. 

Flushing Town Hall will release grant guidelines and applications on Oct. 4 along with information sessions and grant writing workshops for prospective applicants throughout the fall. 

Grants will be open to Queens-based artists and community organizations to hold public arts and culture programs in the borough throughout 2022.

For more information, visit www.flushingtownhall.org/artist-services

Artists and organizations with questions or interested in learning more, can reach out to Dan Bamba at: dbamba@flushingtownhall.org