The Theatre Development Fund has announced a multi-year partnership with community centers across New York City to build audiences in neighborhoods where adult residents rarely see live arts performances.
Billed as Create New York, the program works as a three-year cycle in which 15 individuals from a specific community center have the opportunity to select and attend four performing arts events per year.
The program culminates in a community-based project inspired by the theatrical programming the participants attended that will directly benefit members of their own community.
For the inaugural cycle, TDF partnered with The Dream Center in Harlem. The show’s selected by the participants were Hip Hop Nutcracker; Kinky Boots; White Rabbit, Red Rabbit; and Skeleton Crew.
The group’s final project will be presented in September.
“We are very excited by this pilot year of Create New York,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director, in a statement. “The Dream Center has been the perfect partner to launch the program with, exploring ways to make theatre and dance more accessible to New Yorkers throughout the city. We hope that through their experience attending performances as a group and engaging in conversations around the performances, we will increase sustained participation in theatre and dance.”
Plans are currently underway to find participants for a second group at The Dream Center and start a new partnership with another community-based organization in The Bronx.