June 30, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
The City’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget will have particular impact on cultural programming within Long Island City.
The City Council approved the $78.5 billion budget on Friday.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City and chairs the Council’s Cultural Affairs Committee, allocated about $100,000 to support local arts groups, such as Flux Factory, the Chain Theatre, the Bangladeshi Institute for the Performing Arts, The Chocolate Factory and Sculpture Center.
Specific allocations to cultural institutions include $1.2 million to MoMA PS1 for expanded exhibition and program spaces.
Nearby in Astoria but also in Van Bramer’s district, the Noguchi Museum received $650,000 for infrastructure updates, with support from Borough President Melinda Katz. The Museum of the Moving Image received $575,000 to finish its Jim Henson Exhibit.
This exhibit will include puppets on display, Henson’s sketches and storyboards, and is coming this year, according to the museum’s website.
The new Hunters Point Community Library received $3 million toward its long-stalled construction. The $30 million library, located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, broke ground in May after years of delays.
The Hunters Point Community Library is expected to open in 2017, according to Van Bramer’s office.
City-wide, libraries received a $39 million boost to allow for six-day service at every branch.
Long Island City’s students and seniors can also expect some funding in FY 2016.
Twenty-six schools within Van Bramer’s district, which also includes Sunnyside, Woodside and parts of Astoria, will see modernization and tech upgrades thanks to $1.29 million in funding, according to the Councilman’s office. These upgrades will range from new laptops, to SMART Boards, to software, among others.
At the Jacob Riis Settlement House’s senior center in Queensbridge, $65,000 is slated to fund a dedicated elderly transport van. Senior programming at Queensbridge as well as at the Big Six, New York Irish Center and other local centers got support as well.
Furthermore, Van Bramer has allocated money once again to the Doe Fund, where workers are paid to sweep the streets and empty trash in sections of Hunters Point and Dutch Kills.
Van Bramer also secured $500,000 for bike safety improvements on Vernon Boulevard, including improved crossing timing and signaling along the bikeway.
Van Bramer is bringing home the bacon.