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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Cultural Center Opens in Chelsea to Help Artists Amid Pandemic

The pandemic has disrupted the lives of dozens of artists across New York, leaving many of them unable to find stable jobs.

The Performing Arts Hall is now hoping to help Manhattan.

The Chelsea Factory, a 14,000-square-foot cultural center in West Manhattan, announced on Tuesday that it will offer a venue for performances and rehearsals for artists trying to pursue ambitious projects in the changing landscape of the coronavirus. The center, supported by philanthropists and real estate managers, will operate as a “pop-up initiative” for five years and offer residencies for artists in the music, dance, theater and film fields.

James H. Herbert II, the head of the bank behind the project, said the center’s goal is to “accelerate recovery from the pandemic” for artists.

“Artists and partners can pursue ambitious ideas with financial and creative freedom,” said Herbert, founder, chairman and co-CEO of First Republic Bank, in a statement.

The first group of Chelsea Factory resident artists were selected by the center staff with input from the creative communities. It includes, inter alia, choreographers Hope Boykin and Andrea Miller; composer Troy Anthony; and directed by Luis G. Santos. Each of them will receive a scholarship of $ 10,000 and provide studio space as well as production support for projects.

The center also plans to partner with local organizations such as the Joyce Dance Theater and the National Black Theater.

Donald Borror, the center’s managing director, said the center hopes to help artists “finish the piece that was never finished” due to the pandemic.

“We just see an opportunity to really move people forward in their careers,” he said in an interview.

Lauren Keel, executive director of the center, said the five-year schedule would allow him to be flexible.

“Bringing these resources to the scene right now in such a flexible way is a unique proposition that can respond quickly to whatever is about to happen as the art sector moves into the next several uneven, unpredictable and unprecedented several years,” she said.

World Nation News Desk
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