Response to Nicholas's Post

I guess the rest of NYC is under the impression that the community above 96 street is not populated as well with arts organizations. I cannot seem to figure out why this northern part of the city, while vibrant with talent, does not accomodate more outlets of expression. Theatre or film festivals may be a good way to bring some attention to the region. Residents travel all the way to the south to find theatre, cinema, and music festivals which begs the question, "Are there simply no locations uptown to host similar events?" Downtown Manhattan finds a lot of supprt from the city because it is the focus of development in New York.

I guess I would like to know what would it take to bring attention to this Northern region. A thousand signatures that we can take to funders? High profile persons who can lend their support? Grants? Or take a more commercial route and find sponsors?

I think a film and theatre festival would be a great way to get things started. A monthly event to start with, expanding into an annual event and smaller events throughout the year.



Imagine the Possibilities...

In the beginning of the Month, it was announced that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) will award more than $27 million in cultural enhancement grants to 63 Lower Manhattan arts organizations. The grants are expected to leverage more than $410 million in investments for cultural institutions below Houston Street.

Renew NYC

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “These organizations represent the energy, diversity, and excellence of New York City’s non-profit cultural community, which is the backbone of our tourism industry and a magnet for students, businesses and new residents. By strengthening organizations over time, allowing projects to move faster, and attracting new cultural programs to the area, we are helping to reinforce and expand Lower Manhattan’s identity as an exciting cultural center for artists and audiences from here and around the world.”

At first I was excited that the Arts was recognized for the economic contribution it makes to New York City with more than just accolades but actual funding for a broad range of activities related to culturally significant events and programming, but most importantly capital projects and planning. Most often times, as Artists and Arts Administrators, we're constantly trying to make the case on why we should be funded in the first place. My excitement began to wane however when my thoughts turned to the rest of our City and the state of its artistic and cultural communities, in particular Upper Manhattan above 96th Street.

My waning excitement was due really to my frustration with the lack of consistent and reliable large scale investment in the Arts above 96th Street such as we're seeing in Lower Manhattan. Notice I said "investment" and not "funding." Funding for our organizations is usually available, but tends to take the shape of restricted grants for programmatic purposes. While this type of funding is needed, it does little for the real growth and development of our Arts and Cultural organizations—the way capacity-building efforts like staff professional development, financial management training, and expansion of technology would.

It is no secret the significant impact that the Arts can have on community and economic development. We only have to go as far as the Mayor's comments to see that "by strengthening organizations over time, allowing projects to move faster, and attracting new cultural programs" will we also see a significant change in the viability and sustainability of our organizations as well as a return on investment which would benefit the entire the City.

Take into consideration that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is investing $27 million and is expecting a$383 million return on that investment. If this is an example of the type of investment that can generate both a significant financial as well as social return, why aren't we doing it in all five Boroughs?

More importantly, why aren’t we doing it here in Upper Manhattan?


Introducing Nicholas Arture of AHA

Delighted to introduce Nicholas Arture, Director of Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) as a member of WHAT.

He'll be contributing to the blog and we'll try and find ways to collaborate with each other.

Check out the link to AHA by clicking above. There's also a permanent link to their site at the sidebar. Here's a bit about AHA


Founded in 1975, the Association of Hispanic Arts, Inc. (AHA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Latino arts, artists and arts organizations as an integral part of the cultural life of the nation. We facilitate projects and programs designed to foster the appreciation, growth and well being of the Latino cultural community.


* Events

Find the wide variety of films, exhibitions, concerts, readings, theatre, dance performances and other cultural events in the Latino groups community.

* AHA/JPMorgan Chase Regrant-- The Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) is pleased to award unrestricted project support grants to eligible Latino arts and cultural organizations throughout the New York tri-state area. Funding for this program is made possible through the support of JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

* Technical Assistance-- AHA offers workshops and seminars for individual artists and arts organizations. Topics include Strategic Planning, Fundraising, Grantwriting, Marketing, Legal Issues, and more.

* Directory of Latino Arts-- Our directory of listings for Latino arts/cultural organizations and individual artists.


* Encuentros-- These events bring Latino artists and the public together for "encounters" built around themes that reflect Latino arts and culture.

* AHA! Hispanic Art News-- Our quarterly magazine features the latest in Latino arts and culture.

* Resource/Referral-- We maintain a growing database listing several thousand Latino arts/cultural organizations and individual artists, and are able to tailor information requests by artistic discipline and geographic area.


Cultural/Artistic Communities

Thank you for putting this bLog together. As this is my first post, I look forward to sharing and learning more about the cultural and artistic communities of Washington Heights.


How To Make The Best of This Site

Hi All,
The best way to take advantage of this blog is to add your profiles, news, website links etc. I'll add stuff on the side bar that would be of importance to artists.

By the way, when I mean artists, I mean everyone having to do with creating performance or fine arts. Not all important information about places need be within Washington Heights. For example, websites that help actors, writers, dancers, costume designers, concert violist, or whatever the profession or career it might be, can be included. I'm slowly adding information re: film, radio, theatre, and news as much as I can. The more information I'll get, the more I'll categorize them in appropriate sections.

I strongly suggest adding your personal weblinks to the site as well. Let's say you have a site called www.johndoe.com, you should add that. Now, if you don't have a site of your own, I recommend creating a blog at www.blogger.com, this site's host, and adding a link to WHAT. Having a blog with Blogger.com site is the next best thing to owning your own site. And it's FREE!

The way we can have an extensive and diverse community is to link your web or blog site to WHAT and when you have updated news or information on yours, drop in a line at WHATARTS.BLOGSPOT.COM and give us a headline version of the news. People can click on the link to your site to find details.

Posting info and membership is intended strictly for people from or around Washington Heights only. However, anyone wishing to participate, respecting guidelines, is welcome to become a member. Everyone's participation will be reviewed.

I have the right to cancel, exclude, or decline membership, post or news from anyone. After carefully evaluating eligibility, of course.

Please respect everyone's space. Please respect everyone's profession and opinion. And please, do share and inform.

Not sharing won't make you a greater or lesser human being and artist than you are already. Inform, share, and, to add one more, help...as much as possible. If that's not your thing, this is not the community for you.


Welcome to WHAT

Welcome, dear WHAT members! This blog is all about artists living in and around the Washington Heights area.

My original Yahoogroups site had very limited options, but I have been very happy with Blogspot for my own EMONOME blog. This blog will let us share news, information, and thoughts. It's also easily accessible.

Please visit and update your information. You will need to register to post comments. I promise to do more with WHAT with a new look and home.

Washington Heights Artists Theater