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New York Mayor’s Office, Teamsters Team Up for Community Grants

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 have partnered to award three “Made in NY” grants to support community-based organizations with media, film or arts programs in high-need communities.

The grants, funded by the Teamsters at $50,000 apiece, are aimed at bolstering the city’s next generation of creative talent in order to keep the engine of the New York City entertainment industry going into the future.  “When we think long term, we want to ensure that New York City maintains and continues to grow as the thriving creative community that it is,” said film czar Cynthia Lopez. “Supporting these three organizations is a way to support the development of film, theater and television.”

Brooklyn-based human rights organization El Puente, Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park (pictured above) and arts education initiative Urban Arts Partnership will each receive a grant, to be doled out in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

The three organizations will receive ceremonial checks at the start of the Tribeca Film Festival’s annual Family Festival Street Fair April 25. The real coin will go out to the organizations within the week, allowing the grant recipients to use the money for this year’s activities.

El Puente will use the funds to support its Williamsburg Leadership Center, while Socrates will funnel the money into a variety of activities including its 17th Annual Outdoor Cinema Series. Urban Arts Partnership, founded by Rosie Perez, will use the funding for its Academy and Alumni Scholars Programs.

The new grants haven’t been established as annual awards, although Lopez said this inaugural round may lead to future grants further down the line.

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment encompasses the Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, the city film commission whose post-9/11 turnaround is largely credited with the resurgence of the local entertainment industry. According to a Boston Consulting Group economic study, the New York entertainment industry employs around 130,000 New Yorkers behind the scenes and contributes some $7.1 billion to the local economy.

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