Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Dumbo Improvement District Announce Call for Proposals for the Downtown Brooklyn Public Art + Placemaking Fund
State-funded program will award grants for new public art, performance, and accessibility projects that improve quality of life and connect neighborhoods throughout Greater Downtown Brooklyn.
June 24, 2020
Brooklyn – Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and DUMBO Improvement District (DUMBO) today launched a call for proposals for the Downtown Brooklyn Public Art + Placemaking Fund. The $600k fund, made possible as part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), will be awarded to public art, performance, and capital improvement projects that serve to connect neighborhoods, revitalize public spaces, and increase access to cultural programming in the greater Downtown Brooklyn area.
Funding of this new program was announced last year as part of Governor Cuomo’s $10M grant to Downtown Brooklyn made in 2018. Other projects selected to receive funding under the State DRI $10M include: Commodore Barry Park upgrades; safe crossings at the intersection of Tillary and Navy Streets; a new pedestrian crossing at St. Edwards Street and Flushing Ave.; a more accessible public entrance to the Brooklyn Navy Yard; a digital tech center at the Ingersoll Community Center; and transformation of Walt Whitman Library into a modern community hub. All projects were selected to address the Downtown Brooklyn DRI goals of re-connecting the core of Downtown Brooklyn to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and DUMBO, and investing in areas that have been traditionally underserved.
Part of Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive approach to create vibrant neighborhoods and boost local economies, DRI investments are a crucial part of the State’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities. DBP and DUMBO partnered with Borough President Eric L. Adams on the winning 2018 proposal, which grew out of the Brooklyn Strand, an ambitious plan to knit together disparate and underutilized open spaces to create a greener and more cohesive Downtown Brooklyn.
“Improving public art and cultural space is a crucial way to revitalize downtowns that can be enjoyed by all,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This $600,000 grant will boost Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Navy Yard and DUMBO, and improve quality of life for the greater Downtown Brooklyn area. This is part of our effort to revive downtowns and neighborhoods hit hard by this nightmarish pandemic, and build back New York City better than ever before.”
“Some of the things I love most about Brooklyn are its cultural diversity and commitment to community, and art – especially public art that can be appreciated by any and all – is often the way we best express that,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I am so proud to have been a part of bringing $600,000 specifically to this program, which could not have come at a more crucial time. We are rebuilding our city – literally and figuratively – and the inclusion of art in our city’s infrastructure sends exactly the right message.”
The Downtown Brooklyn Public Art and Placemaking Fund will be overseen by DBP and DUMBO, with support on location recommendations from NYC Department of Transportation and NYC Parks, and additional input from a project review committee with members including: Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo; the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; Brooklyn Arts Council; BRIC Arts; BAM; Smack Mellon; the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance; NYCHA Tenant Associations; and others.
“As an arts administrator myself, and staunch advocate for the arts, I have first-hand knowledge of the power that creative outlets provide, both at an individual and communal level,” said NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo. “Historically, art has been a medium through which the silenced and forgotten were able to be seen, heard, and remembered. Public art has revitalized many neighborhoods, including some right within District 35. Throughout the past few weeks, we have seen creative public expression utilized as a form of activism all over the globe. The power of public art is undeniable, and its existence is critical to rebuilding a world that we ALL thrive in. That is why I am overjoyed to be a part of this effort to ensure that public art is embedded in our city’s infrastructure.”
“The launch of this initiative couldn’t come at a better time,” said Regina Myer, president of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Public art has the power to reshape the way we experience our cities. Art can remake streets and improve public safety, inspire people, draw in visitors, and enhance residents’ quality of life. By combining public art projects with investments in city infrastructure, such as the State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative does, we can create more vibrant neighborhoods for everyone.“
Alexandria Sica, executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District, said, “Brooklyn’s public spaces have never been more important. At its best, public art can transform the daily lives of those who engage with it. It send a powerful message, brighten a day, and connect us all to each other when we need it most. I can’t wait to see the proposals.”
Applicants are welcome to apply from June 25, 2020 to August 18, 2020. Winning projects will be announced in fall 2020, with all selected projects to be implemented between October 2020 and October 2021. Application and selection guidelines, and details on the information webinar are available at https://www.downtownbrooklyn.c…
Read more about Governor Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative which transforms downtown neighborhoods into vibrant communities where New Yorkers want to live, work and raise families.
Read about the Downtown Brooklyn Downtown Revitalization Initiative: https://www.ny.gov/downtown-revitalization-initiative/new-york-city-brooklyn