Downtown Alliance Invests Over $100,000 To Support Local Arts + Cultural Organizations In Lower Manhattan

Downtown Alliance Invests Over $100,000 To Support Local Arts + Cultural Organizations In Lower Manhattan

The Alliance for Downtown New York has awarded 11 local arts and cultural organizations with $10,000 individual grants as part of a wide-ranging effort to support the recovery of Lower Manhattan. In recognition of the important role that arts and cultural institutions play, this latest round of grants were awarded to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, 9/11 Tribute Museum, Battery Dance Company, China Institute, Fraunces Tavern Museum, Gibney Dance, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Poets House, Skyscraper Museum, South Street Seaport Museum and Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. 

Funded by the Alliance with support from Brookfield Properties, Silverstein Properties and The Howard Hughes Corporation, the Alliance’s grant program has awarded over $600,000 to more than 60 small businesses this year and engaged urban design consultancy Streetsense to help many businesses transform their storefronts into COVID-compliant retail spaces. Additionally, the organization’s recovery efforts have included a partnership with BentoBox to provide restaurants with a commission-free ordering service, facilitating industry-specific working groups to share best practices and spotlighting local businesses among other marketing initiatives to support Lower Manhattan.

Additionally, the Downtown Alliance and LMHQ will co-host a panel discussion on Thursday, December 17 at 12p ET, to hear from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Brookfield Place, the Perelman Center for the Arts, and the South Street Seaport Museum on the challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve pivoted their offerings, and their vision for their institutions going forward. Lili Chopra, Executive Director, Artistic Programs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will moderate the discussion.

“For centuries New York has been defined by our arts and culture,” Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin said. “No economic recovery will be truly successful without finding a way to support the cultural growth we’ve witnessed take hold in our neighborhood over the past several years.”

Grant recipients heralded the move, adding:

“We are deeply grateful for the Downtown Alliance’s generous support during this period of unprecedented challenge. As we saw in the days after 9/11, coming together to help one another is a powerful act, affirming hope and the promise of resilience in the face of adversity. The Downtown Alliance was there to support and champion Lower Manhattan’s renaissance in the wake of the attacks nearly 20 years ago, and their generosity now proves they are once again at the forefront of recovery and renewal.” — Alice M. Greenwald, President and CEO, 9/11 Memorial & Museum

“The 9/11 Tribute Museum is grateful to the Downtown Alliance for their generous donation. With tourism low due to COVID-19, outside support has been necessary for us, as it is for museums around the world.  The Downtown Alliance is a truly wonderful steward for Lower Manhattan, attracting new industries and a diversity of businesses to our community. Their teams keep our streets clean, safe, and welcoming; support local companies; and assist visitors to the area, so that Lower Manhattan remains the unique and special place it is.  The 9/11 Tribute Museum’s team looks forward to the day when we can connect with and support the September 11th community and educate our visitors in person; and to working with our friends at the Downtown Alliance to keep Lower Manhattan a vibrant and caring place.” — Jennifer Adams, CEO, 9/11 Tribute Museum

“When the pandemic struck in March, Battery Dance was in the midst of preparing for its 45th anniversary and its 39th Battery Dance Festival. The Company pivoted from what had been a robust schedule of live performances and pedagogy to the virtual world. With the creation of Battery Dance TV and a regular schedule of classes, performances and interviews online, the Company garnered 1.4 million views.  In August, the 39th Annual Battery Dance Festival went virtual with live-recorded performances from Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park in Battery Park City and dance films from around the world, witnessed by an audience of over 28,000. The support of the Downtown Alliance is a great shot of adrenaline, demonstrating that our community is there to support our transition at this time of great hardship for the performing arts.  We will carry on with our online program, poised to “go live” as soon as conditions permit.  We are grateful for the morale booster and financial support that the grant has provided!” — Jonathan Hollander, President and Artistic Director, Battery Dance Company

“China Institute made the move to Lower Manhattan with a vision to become a world-class center for education and dialogue around arts, culture, and business. The generous support from The Alliance for Downtown New York and its partners will help us continue to offer engaging programs, courses, and exhibits exploring all things China; we are honored to be recognized among this important group. I applaud the Alliance for implementing this emergency funding initiative and for its recognition that general operating support for the arts is especially important during a time of crisis.” — James Heimowitz, President, China Institute

Historic sites like Fraunces Tavern meaningfully help define the culture and drive the economy of New York City. We have been a vital part of Lower Manhattan for over 300 years. Thanks to the support of The Downtown Alliance, Fraunces Tavern Museum will continue educating the public on the American Revolutionary Era and Lower Manhattan’s important role in the fight for independence and the shaping of the United States. — Scott Dwyer, Director, Fraunces Tavern Museum

“Gibney thanks the Downtown Alliance for recognizing this critical moment and responding with urgency and meaningful action. The performing arts are an indispensable part of Lower Manhattan, and Gibney is grateful to be part of this community.” — Gina Gibney, Founder, Artistic Director and CEO, Gibney Dance

“We are extremely grateful for the Downtown Alliance’s support during this challenging time. As the Museum continues its crucial mission to educate the public about the dangers of intolerance and hatred—with an emphasis on virtual work given the circumstances—this grant will allow us to further expand upon the unprecedented number of people we are currently reaching, in New York and around the world, through our online educational and public programming. We’re thrilled to be included among our downtown colleague organizations in this announcement, and look forward to being an integral part of the area’s economic recovery.”​ — Jack Kliger, President and CEO, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

“COVID has been devastating to the arts. The Downtown Alliance relief helps Poets House enormously as we regroup to secure and care for our world-class library collections, re-organize and restructure operations, and assess how we can reopen the library in a new way as a place of inspiration and learning in the post-pandemic world. We are so grateful for this saving support.” — Lee Briccetti, Executive Director, Poets House

“As we look forward to reopening our gallery to the public in the new year, The Skyscraper Museum is buoyed by the support of the Alliance and its commitment to lower Manhattan’s history and culture.” — Carol Willis, Founder and Director, Skyscraper Museum

“We are grateful to The Alliance for Downtown New York for once again supporting the South Street Seaport Museum in trying times. This grant will help to keep our virtual efforts moving forward in the near-future, as we plan for the days when we can reopen again in person.” — Captain Jonathan Boulware, President and CEO, South Street Seaport Museum

“The Downtown Alliance has long been a trusted partner of the Foundation. The Arts + Culture Grants are indicative of the Alliance’s commitment to Lower Manhattan. We are grateful to receive this grant, which supports our efforts to adapt the Foundation’s offerings in response to the current crisis.” — Richard Flood, VP Advancement, Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation