July 10, 2013 By Christian Murray
The Long Island City arts community received a big injection of city funds as a result of the New York City council budget that was passed late last month.
MoMA PS1 was allocated $3 million, with the express purpose of purchasing a small apartment building that is located on the block where the museum now sits.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is the chair of the city council’s Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee, said the new building will increase the amount of gallery space MoMA PS1 can use. He said the museum is debating whether it will relocate its offices from the main building and put them in there.
“MOMA PS1 is great for Long Island City,” Van Bramer said. “The number of people who go to Long Island City because of it is enormous. And many of those people then go to Vernon Blvd and elsewhere to go to restaurants and stores.”
Meanwhile, the Chocolate Factory Theater, which supports new and experimental productions and provides free art space to performers, received $1.7 million in funds to repair and eventually own the 5-49 49th Avenue property which it now rents.
“The Chocolate Factory doesn’t own its space and we are hopeful that they will be able to purchase that building…and if they can’t, the money could be used for a new permanent home,” Van Bramer said.
In addition, $600,000 was allocated to the Noguchi Museum for a new generator since the old one was damaged during Superstorm Sandy. The museum displays the work of the late Isamu Noguch (1904-1988), which includes sculptures, drawings and models.
Similarly, more than $300,000 was allocated towards the SculptureCenter, a not-for-profit arts institution located at 44-19 Purves Street in LIC, which has been undergoing a significant amount of renovation.