HURLEYVILLE – The Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre (HPAC), a rural multi-arts venue in the Sullivan County Catskills, announced that it has been awarded the highly competitive Artist Employment Program (AEP) grant from Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) in the amount of $407,800 over two years. Funds will be used to establish the Black Library, a library and community art space in the Village of Monticello celebrating Black history and culture. The project was initiated by local artists and photographers Douglas Shindler and Michael Davis.
The Black Library will carry a diverse collection of books by Black authors, exhibit visual art by Black artists, offer educational workshops for children and adults, and host talks and community discussions. Welcoming local residents and visitors of all backgrounds, the project will promote greater understanding of Black history and culture, advocate for racial justice in Sullivan County and beyond, and act as an incubator for the next generation of local artists.
“This award is truly amazing and an opportunity for us to create an important space for education, dialogue, and creativity that can make a positive impact on our community,” says artist Douglas Shindler, who along with collaborator Michael Davis is already hard at work building out a two-year plan for the project and seeking a permanent space for the Black Library in Monticello. Shindler and Davis are launching a book donation drive this month, and a public discussion and Q&A about the project is scheduled for July 21st from 4-7pm at Gallery 222 in Hurleyville, NY.
Designed to su’pport employment opportunities for artists, the AEP grant program is funding 98 collaborations involving a dynamic group of 300 artists employed by community-based organizations, municipalities, and tribal governments across New York State. CRNY has awarded a total of $49.9M in funding to support artists’ salaries and benefits, with an additional $11.7M in funding provided to the organizations holding employment.
Artist Employment Program recipients were selected through a two-stage process by a group of twenty external peer reviewers alongside CRNY staff. From an initial pool of over 2,700 written applications, 167 were shortlisted for interviews with reviewers. To view the list of 98 Artist Employment Program participants, visit https://www.creativesrebuildny.org/participants/.
For more information about Creatives Rebuild New York’s Artist Employment Program, please visit www.creativesrebuildny.org.