Empire State Development (ESD) today announced $17 million in Community and Cultural Enhancement Fund grants from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) were awarded to non-profit organizations in Lower Manhattan. The grants will fund crucial projects, programs, services and facilities that will continue the ongoing transformation of Downtown Manhattan for residents, workers and visitors.
The 38 grants have been awarded to non-profit organizations for a broad range of projects and services including youth, senior and social services; health care; education; and, recreation and cultural initiatives. For a complete list of grant recipients with brief descriptions and funding allocations, see the attached pdf.
Since the announcement of the funding last year, LMDC received 266 applications totaling $191 million in funding requests. Grantees were selected based on the rating of their applications by the Cultural Grant Advisory Committee, a six-member panel composed of three representatives from both the State and City.
Funding allocations were based on adherence to the Community and Cultural Enhancement Guidelines, established by the LMDC Board and released last year. They include the capacity of a project or program: to spur long-term Lower Manhattan revitalization; to build audiences; to encourage collaboration to strengthen the quality of life in the neighborhood; to enhance existing infrastructure or create new infrastructure; to sustain multiyear programs; and, to create and sustain jobs in Lower Manhattan's distinct and diverse communities.
"The revitalization of Lower Manhattan is a testament to the resilience of New Yorkers in the face of great tragedy," said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "These grants will go a long way toward redeveloping Lower Manhattan into a premier center for culture, commerce, and tourism. I commend Governor Cuomo for providing the strong support these community-based non-profit organizations need to continue their valuable service to the local community."
"Vibrant community and cultural institutions are a key ingredient in creating vibrant neighborhoods because they attract residents, visitors, jobs, and private investment," Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. "These investments by the LMDC will help expand the depth and breadth of these vital institutions with deep roots in Lower Manhattan, one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in New York City."
"Today's announcement demonstrates the commitment by Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg to the future of Lower Manhattan," said LMDC Chairman Avi Schick. "Through LMDC funding, these projects will enhance the vibrancy of Lower Manhattan by bringing new projects and programs to the area by funding organizations that have helped to shape and define our community."
"I have been a strong and determined advocate for our Lower Manhattan community benefiting from these vital funds," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "As we approach the 9/11 anniversary, it is a time to recognize the remarkable rebuilding we have accomplished. Our non-profit and community organizations have played a key role in transforming Lower Manhattan into the thriving, 24/7 community we enjoy today. These awards are well-deserved, greatly needed and will have an enormously positive impact on the lives of Lower Manhattan residents."
"Our downtown community and cultural organizations are critical to Lower Manhattan's continued rebuilding. The small non-profits that serve our community every day are as integral as the headline projects that are reviving and transforming our community," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "Lower Manhattan Community and Cultural Enhancement funding will help these organizations continue to revitalize and serve downtown. These LMDC grants, along with LMDC's other funding priorities – from Battery Park City to the East River Waterfront – are a sign of the great leadership Lower Manhattan is lucky to have."
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.
Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency and administrator of Business First, a statewide business resource portal. The mission of Empire State Development is to promote business investment and growth that leads to job creation and prosperous communities across New York State. ESD also oversees the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Empire State Development, visit www.esd.ny.gov.
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