Adams Plays Santa to Brooklyn’s Top Arts & Cultural Institutions


Christmas has come early to 21 of Brooklyn’s leading arts and cultural institutions thanks to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and the biggest stocking stuffing of cash going to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the Brooklyn Museum.

All were part of Adams’ arts and cultural institutions $7.9 million capital budget for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), which he unveiled yesterday at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Billie Holiday Theatre, which will benefit from $200,000 in funding to support its first-ever major renovation.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

“Brooklyn is home to everyone from everywhere, and our arts scene reflects that,” said Adams. “Our popularity comes from being a melting pot of so many diverse forms of expression, and that generates millions of dollars for our borough. Our first-class cultural institutions genuinely care about the people of this borough and the people of this city. They have brought a new signature to arts and culture and made it applicable to today’s life. Now more than ever, as people adjust to the national climate, they are going to need these outlets. We need to figure out how to use these cultural spaces as safe spaces where people can express themselves on both sides of an issue.”

The biggest allocation went to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, which is getting $1.341 million for construction of a retaining wall which will allow for an expansion of programming for currently inaccessible parts of the open space. In FY16, Adams contributed $337,000 to this project.

“This grant puts the Museum on a path to building a 10,000 square foot space for art and science education in a beautiful, natural setting. We are proud that Brooklyn supports cultural institutions in their work with children and families,” said Stephanie Wilchfort, president of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Other monies doled out in Crown Heights include $500,000 to fund construction of new wet labs and classroom space for the Brooklyn Center for Sustainable Gardening at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and $250,000 to the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History, which will go toward the preservation of the historic Hunterfly Road Houses.

Dating back to the 1830’s, the time of the first free African-American community in Brooklyn, these landmarked structures are part of the Weeksville Heritage Center.

The Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway
The Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway

Both BAM and the Brooklyn Museum received $1 million allocations. BAM’s allocation is going towards the Fulton Street Redevelopment Project, which will update the Harvey Theater and better activate two adjacent properties; $500,000 to the Theatre for a New Audience for the outfitting of new offices and studio space; $482,000 to Mark Morris Dance Group for the recladding of their center’s deteriorating façade, and $35,000 to BRIC House for upgrades to the theatrical lighting system in their main theater.

At the Brooklyn Museum in Prospect Heights, Adams allocated the money for a comprehensive building envelope project to address issues that threaten the institution’s ability to protect its collections and maintain climate control. Last year, he allocated $1 million for renovations to their Education Division.

Below is a full list of the arts and cultural institutions which received capital funding.

Brooklyn Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library $500,000 Techmobile Design and Outfitting
New York Aquarium $500,000 Sea Cliffs Renovation
Brooklyn Museum $1,000,000 Building Envelope Project
Brooklyn Botanic Garden $500,000 Sustainable Gardening Center
Brooklyn Children’s Museum $1,341,000 Retaining Wall Construction
Brooklyn Academy of Music $1,000,000 Fulton Street Redevelopment Project
Brooklyn Public Library $500,000 Techmobile Design and Outfitting
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation $200,000 Billie Holiday Theatre Renovations
Brooklyn Historical Society $250,000 HVAC Replacement
Dancewave, Inc. $250,000 New Dancewave Center
STREB $500,000 STREB Lab for Action Mechanics Renovations
Mark Morris Dance Group $482,000 Expansion of Dance Center and Renovation of Façade
Theatre for a New Audience $500,000 Outfitting of Offices and Studio Space
Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History $250,000 Preservation of Historic Hunterfly Road Houses
International Studio and Curatorial Program $47,000 Computer System
Rooftop Films, Inc. $45,000 Cargo Van
National Sawdust $35,000 Livestreaming Project Installation
Spoke the Hub Dancing, Inc. $50,000 Retractable Seating for Gowanus Arts
Green-Wood Historic Fund $277,000 Initial Outfitting of Weir Greenhouse
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music $144,000 Steinway Pianos
BRIC House $35,000 Theatrical Lighting Upgrades