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The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today announced that not-for-profit and government organizations are invited to submit applications for LMDC’s Community and Cultural Enhancement Program.
The LMDC will provide up to $17 million for not-for-profit and government organizations engaged in cultural or community programs or projects that benefit the residents, workers, and communities of Lower Manhattan. Funding for this program is provided through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“The creation of the Community and Cultural Enchantment Program will provide additional aid to community and cultural organizations that have participated in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan,” said Governor David A. Paterson. “These are the exact organizations that have remained committed to Lower Manhattan, despite the enormous challenges of rebuilding after September 11th”.
"The Community and Cultural Enhancement Program presents an important opportunity for New York City," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "Through this initiative, the LMDC will provide crucial support for nonprofit organizations and reinforce Lower Manhattan's identity as an exciting destination for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world.”
The LMDC Board of Directors will appoint an advisory panel to evaluate applications and make funding recommendation to the Board of Directors. Guidelines and application materials for the competitive funding process are available on the LMDC’s website at www.renewnyc.com under Projects & Programs.
The program was developed as a result of community needs articulated by the public at LMDC-sponsored public meetings, in written comments, unsolicited funding proposals, as well as needs advocated by community representatives and organizations.
LMDC seeks applications for:
· Community facilities or programs in Lower Manhattan that are designed to support education, employment, economic development, health care services, and/or recreational or community gathering needs.
· Cultural facilities or programming in Lower Manhattan that are designed to spur long-term Lower Manhattan revitalization, and benefit area residents, workers, businesses and visitors.
Details of the evaluation process are set forth in the guidelines which are available on www.renwenyc.com. This provides, among other things how the proposals will be evaluated based on:
· Community need for project, program or service.
· Organizational experience with comparable projects.
· Organizational capacity to manage grants.
· Financial status of project.
· Importance of LMDC support as a catalyst for other funding or support.
· Sustainability of project, program, or service after LMDC funding ends.
The LMDC’s allocation and expenditure of HUD CDBG funds is subject to federal and state regulations and requirements including, but not limited to, environmental review and auditing procedures. All Community and Cultural Enhancement Program allocations are subject to the execution of a definitive funding agreement.
Avi Schick Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said: “As Lower Manhattan has been transformed into a 24/7 neighborhood, it must continue to attract and nurture world class cultural and community organizations. We are pleased to release the application for our Community and Cultural Enhancement Program, which will ensure that these vital organizations help Lower Manhattan thrive during these difficult times.”
New York State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, said: “Supporting worthy community groups and cultural institutions in Lower Manhattan is vital to our rebuilding efforts, particularly as many of them continue to suffer as a result of the economy. The local organizations that provide services for our community’s seniors and families are crucial to the quality of life in our neighborhood. I also strongly believe that having a thriving, dynamic arts and cultural scene Downtown is essential to maintaining this area as a world-class community that will continue to attract the best and the brightest from all over the world.”
New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, said: “Community and cultural organizations have been vital to the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, and we need to continue supporting these programs to help this neighborhood thrive. This program will provide critical support to community and cultural organizations that bring so much to Lower Manhattan. In the last few months, we’ve seen how challenging it is for local cultural organizations to survive in this economy. I hope that this grant will provide much needed support for these groups, and I urge organizations to apply individually or together.”
NYC Councilmember Margaret Chin, said: “This is great news. The release of this funding from the LMDC will really help the Lower Manhattan arts groups and the community as a whole. When I chaired a hearing of the Council’s Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committee last week, dozens of arts, cultural, and community groups came out to express their needs for this type of funding. Not only that, but they highlighted the positive impact that prior LMDC funding has had, and I am confident that this new round of funding will provide even greater benefits. I am thankful that the LMDC is now able to release this $17 million, and look forward to working with them and our Lower Manhattan neighbors to keep rebuilding our community.”
Julie Menin Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1, said: “Congress intended that the funds given to the LMDC for this allocation help community and cultural groups be a part of the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. When the city faces record unemployment of 9.4 percent, it is critical that LMDC help retain and create jobs for these groups and help to rebuild Lower Manhattan, and the city's, economy."
In the past LMDC has awarded $27.8 million in cultural enhancement grants to Lower Manhattan arts organizations, and $37.4 million in community enhancement grants to Lower Manhattan community organizations through similar grant programs.