BCA highlights 2016 grant opps

The Bronx Council on the Arts is highlighting opportunities for artists in the upcoming year.

The organization opened its online grant portal in August, and is hosting a series of ‘How to Apply’ workshops in the coming months.

The annual grant program, funded by the city and state’s cultural agencies, is an integral part of BCA’s mission to develop arts and culture in the borough, said BCA director Deirdre Scott.

“We are helping to bolster the creative economy of the Bronx,” said Scott.

There are three different grant categories for individual artists, artist collectives, art organizations or community-based organization with various requirements.

The grants, which fund up to 75 percent of a project with awards between $1,000 and $5,000, will support projects occurring during the 2016 calendar year.

Last year, BCA funded 72 programs with $153,900.

The 2015 projects are still ongoing.

Many of the grant program’s first-time participants go on to apply for and win larger grants, said Scott.

“BCA is a kind of proving ground,” said Scott.

BCA’s grant program gives artists the confidence to continue pursuing funding, said BCA grants administrator Sabrina Cedeno, and the program offers moral support in addition to financial support.

“It think it has a huge impact on the artists receiving the grant,” said Cedeno.

While the specific grants have different goals, the over arching theme is community-based projects, be they visual art, theater or music.

“The biggest thing we’re looking for is community engagement,” said Cedeno. “How is it benefiting the Bronx?”

The winners’ projects create opportunities for cultural experiences close to home.

“Many Bronx residents are able to see high quality art and performances for free or low cost,” said Cedeno.

BCA wants to draw attention to the work of both new and established artists across the borough and hopes the public will recognize the wealth of talent present in their own neighborhoods, said Scott.

“We have our own local, rich art scene,” said Scott. “You don’t have to leave the Bronx.”

BCA’s grant portal opened online in August, and deadlines in October.

Information about the grant requirements, how-to workshops and previous winners can be found at Bronxarts.org/grants.asp.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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