Governors Island to provide spaces for artists affected by COVID-19 during the 2020 park season

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New York City artists will be able to display their work or have a space to create at Governors Island for the 2020 park season.

The Trust for Governors Island (The Trust), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and 18 cultural organizations with space on Governors Island will join forces to host free residency programs through the new Governors Island Residency Initiative. The initiative will allow 115 artists and cultural practitioners that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis to use repurposed indoor spaces as residencies or workspaces from August to October this year for free.

The initiative is open to artists, writers, cultural workers and creative practitioners living and working across the five boroughs. All participating organizations will manage their own selection processes and oversee their own independent residency programs in their spaces, including LMCC, which will launch an open call application process on Thursday, July 23 through LMCC.net.

“Right now, creative solutions are needed to help the artistic community get back to work after months of disruption and shutdown,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “By partnering with the Island’s vibrant community of cultural organizations and LMCC, we can make better use of available space on the Island, while helping to support the artists that have played such an important role in shaping our history, values and identity. We look forward to welcoming an exciting group of artists and creatives for the rest of the summer and fall.”

Organizations that are participating in the Governors Island Residency Initiative will be guided by a shared set of values and priorities that will inform their individual approaches to outreach and the selection of residency participants:

  • Serving artists and cultural workers in need of workspace in the wake of COVID-19;
  • Ensuring that artists and cultural practitioners of diverse racial identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations from across NYC have access to this opportunity and are being represented in the Initiative;
  • Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices give back to, or aim to make positive change within, the NYC cultural community and/or the City at large;
  • Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices address important socio-political issues, including but not limited to public health, gender discrimination, immigration, racial equity, climate change and environmental justice;
  • Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices will benefit from working on Governors Island as a public space serving diverse audiences.

Participating organizations include 4heads, American Indian Community House, ArtCrawl Harlem, Beam Center, BronxArtSpace, Climate Museum, Endangered Language Alliance, Harvestworks, LMCC, NARS Foundation, New Art Dealers Alliance, NY Virtual Volcano Observatory, NYC Audubon, Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Shandaken Projects, Swale, Triangle Arts Association, West Harlem Art Fund, and Works on Water.

“LMCC, the Trust for Governors Island, and the Island’s community of cultural organizations are uniquely positioned to share space, resources and programmatic opportunities for valuable cultural workers,” said Lili Chopra, LMCC’s Executive Director, Artistic Programs. “We are united in partnership to create an initiative that serves artists in our five boroughs in a just, equitable and sustainable way.”

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