September 17, 2019

New York City to Build $15 Million Immigrant Research and Performing Arts Center

NEW YORK—New York City is planning to build a new $15 million performing arts center dedicated to the American immigrant experience in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. The cultural venue is being spearheaded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), which issued an REFI (request for expressions of interest) for nonprofit organizations interested in running the center on September 4.

“At a time when immigrants are constantly under attack by the current administration, this cultural institute will be a beacon of hope and safe haven for millions of immigrants,” said Ydanis Rodriguez, a city council member who represents the tenth district, comprising Inwood, Marble Hill, and Washington Heights.

The Immigrant Research and Performing Arts Center will host a variety of programing and serve as a space for local arts and cultural groups. It will also partner with the New York Public Library to develop educational initiatives and collaborate with the City University of New York’s Dominican Studies Institute, Mexican Studies Institute, and Center for Puerto Rican Studies as was as other organizations and schools across the boroughs.

The center is part of the Inwood NYC neighborhood plan, which aims to invest more than $200 million in the area to strengthen affordable housing, provide access to workforce training, modernize the streets, renovate public parks, and add public amenities. The plan was approved by the city council last August. A location and timeline for the construction of the facility has yet to be decided.

Commenting on the project, NYCEDC president and CEO James Patchett said: “As the Inwood community continues to grow, we’re thrilled to support local organizations and artists that reflect the rich culture that defines this neighborhood. The Immigrant Research and Performing Arts Center will deliver state-of-the-art cultural space in Northern Manhattan, providing a permanent home to honor the vibrancy and history of immigrant contributions to our cultural fabric.”

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