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Borough President Awards Grants to Abrons Arts Center, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Al Smith Rec Center

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Abrons Arts Center; image from fundraising brochure published by Henry Street Settlement.

Several Lower East Side organizations were awarded significant grants by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer last week.  The announcements were made in conjunction with Mayor de Blasio’s $74 billion budget.

The Henry Street Settlement is receiving $250,000 for the expansion of the art gallery at the Abrons Arts Center. According to its capital campaign brochure, the non-profit organization is in the midst of a $2.5 million fundraising push to repair the exterior of the arts center, as well as to upgrade  the historic playhouse and renovate the galleries, including the “installation of moveable walls (to) accommodate video installations and other contemporary work.”   In an interview last week, Henry Street Executive Director David Garza said the organization saw a need to raise the level of Abrons’ facilities to match the high quality programming that has been added in recent years.  Since fundraising is still ongoing, Garza said he’s not yet ready to share all of the design details, but improvements to the amphitheatre are expected.

Other grants awarded by the borough president include: $250,000 for the bike path near Jackson Street along the East River, $200,000 for the Al Smith Rec Center on Catherine Street and $100,000 for an East River Park wetland project being spearheaded by the LES Ecology Center.  Also, a $250,000 grant was earmarked for the renovation of a comfort station in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.


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