A collaborative effort between the New York City Council, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), and the NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA), recently allocated over $1 million dollars to create arts partnerships to over 100 senior centers across the city– making it the largest community-based creative aging program in the U.S. This new program, entitled “SU-CASA,” will partner artists and arts organizations, and place them in residence at a senior center for six months to develop a creative arts engagement program for older adults in all five boroughs.
Taking the idea of the Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) program, currently funded by DCA, which provides an array of arts and cultural programs for students in after school activities, and expanding the Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide (SPARC) program which successfully ran from 2012-2015, as a community engagement program that placed artists-in-residence at senior centers with a public program component such as exhibitions, performances, and readings. The SU-CASA program will allow for further arts-based activities for more seniors that will provide meaningful experiences while being sensitive to their needs.
Individual artists and cultural institutions will be eligible to apply for a stipend of up to $10,000 which will cover compensation costs for the artists, administrative fees, and supplies. In addition to this, all participating artists and arts organizations will have access to free supplies through Materials for the Arts— New York City’s creative reuse facility, managed by DCA and located in Long Island City, Queens. This is a funding increase from previous years with the hope to expand arts and cultural programming.
The deadline to apply is Monday, November 30, 2015 at 11:59pm. There is still some time left to apply! Arts organizations are encouraged to apply directly through DCA, while individual artists are to apply through their local arts council in their respective boroughs in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens. Decisions will be made by the end of December 2015, with the residencies taking place between January and June 2016.
This is a win for the arts in New York City and it is my hope to see this program continue to expand, and see many other new initiatives with further financial government support! With New York being the cultural capital of the world, it is vital that people of all walks of life have access to the arts and provide more support and opportunities for artists. Seniors represent the fastest growing population across the country and it is important to provide vital services such as the arts, for this group.
For more information, please visit www.nyc.gov/culture
I am encouraged to see a shift in support towards the arts occur. I would love to hear what other initiatives here in New York or in your city that support the arts!