HURLEYVILLE – The Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) is excited to announce the signing of a lease with the Sullivan County Land Bank for the historic Key Bank Building at 418 Broadway in Monticello. The building will soon be transformed into The Black Library, a vibrant community space celebrating and educating on Black history and culture. The space is expected to open to the public in two months.
HPAC’s Co-Executive Directors, Tal Beery and Ellyane Hutchinson, expressed their enthusiasm for this significant milestone. Beery stated, “This is a big moment. The Black Library will serve as a vital resource for our diverse community, offering a platform for education, dialogue, and artistic expression.” Hutchinson added, “By repurposing this historic building, we’re not only preserving a piece of Monticello’s heritage but also creating a space for the next generation of artists to thrive.”
Douglas Shindler and Michael Davis, Co-Program Directors of The Black Library, also shared their excitement. Shindler said, “The Black Library will be a beacon of knowledge, creativity, and inspiration, bringing greater understanding and appreciation of Black history and culture in Sullivan County and beyond.” Davis commented, “We’re looking forward to collaborating with local residents and artists and creating a dynamic and inclusive space.”
Before opening to the public, Shindler and Davis will make necessary improvements to the interior, including painting, hanging shelves, and updating the bathrooms. To keep the community informed and engaged, they will host open monthly meetings where anyone can learn more about the project and discover ways to get involved. The next monthly meeting will take place on March 28 at 5:30 pm at Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library at 479 Broadway, Monticello, NY 12701.
Janet Carrus, President of the Board of HPAC, acknowledged the impact of this development on the community. “The establishment of The Black Library in this historic building demonstrates our commitment to expanding cultural opportunities and dialogue in the region. We’re incredibly grateful for the support from Creatives Rebuild New York in making this vision a reality,” Carrus said. “We are also deeply grateful to the board of directors of the Sullivan County Land Bank who have done incredible things for our community, including showing visionary support for this important project,” Carrus continued.
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.