ACROSS FIVE BOROUGHS, LOCAL ARTISTS TO CELEBRATE NYC RESILIENCE WITH MURALS, DANCE, PHOTOGRAPHY, AND MUSIC
NEW YORK, September 21, 2021 – The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) today announced a citywide, community-based arts program and video “Together, We Are New York” to celebrate the City’s resilience as it emerges from the pandemic. Starting on October 2, local artists will unveil original multi-disciplinary pieces in all five boroughs, focusing on neighborhoods that were deeply impacted by Covid. The artists and projects were selected for each neighborhood by local community-based organizations and stakeholders.
“Our communities and our fellow New Yorkers have been heroic, resilient, and inspiring through this unprecedented time,” said Steven Rubenstein, Chair of ABNY and President of the strategic communications firm RUBENSTEIN, one of the project’s sponsors. “As New York comes together and looks to the future, we are proud to partner with and support local artists as they create work to capture this moment and the spirit of their communities.”
“New Yorkers are proud of where they come from, especially their neighborhoods,” said Melva M. Miller, CEO of ABNY. “We talked to over one hundred New Yorkers about their communities and cannot wait to show the world what local artists had to say about the greatest City in the world. We are grateful to all our partners who worked with us to launch Together, We Are New York.”
The Together, We are New York projects are:
The Bronx: Kingsbridge Heights Community Center will host a mural and photography project by photographer Ana Rodriguez and muralist Jose Serrano.
Brooklyn: The Renegade Performance Group selected a contemporary dance piece at Weeksville Heritage Center created by choreographer André M. Zachery, DJ Sabine Blaizin, vocalist and percussionist Okai, and singer/songwriter Kendra Foster.
Manhattan: Along East 125th Street, Uptown Grand Central will work with artists Menaceresa, Andre Trenier, Kristy McCarthy, Kron and Lostbreed Culture to create murals on storefront security gates.
Queens: The Louis Armstrong House Museum’s garden will host a new art installation by Maria de los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez along with a original music composition by Edmar Castañeda.
Staten Island: The Sundog Theatre helped select artists Lina Montoya and Jodi Dareal to create a mural on the wall in Skyline Playground in New Brighton.
Together, We are New York is a partnership between ABNY, local artists, community-based organizations, neighborhood stakeholders, and the project’s principal sponsors Amazon, Resorts World New York City and RUBENSTEIN, designed to display civic pride and honor the cultural diversity of New York City and its neighborhoods by placing an art installation in each borough.
“New York has always been synonymous with the arts, and the launch of Together, We are New York is a reminder that will not change,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s New York Head of External Affairs. “In all of the communities we operate in, we strive not just to be a good employer, but also a good neighbor. In partnership with ABNY, supporting these amazing art installations is just one of many ways we are committed to giving back in every borough – and supporting New York’s rich arts community.”
“It is an honor to collaborate with organizations throughout New York to celebrate the resiliency, the diversity, and the pride that make this city so special. This program is a great way to share the power of art with New Yorkers and spark feelings of warmth, joy, and healing during a difficult but hopeful time for our city. These artists have truly captured the meaning of Together, We are New York,” said Robert DeSalvio, President, Genting Americas East.
“In celebration of the citywide Together, We Are New York campaign, Kingsbridge Heights Community Center is proud to join the community art project. As part of our artwork, we will fuse the vision of two long-time community members who give a special gaze to corners, faces, and nuances that often go overlooked. Beauty from within. We love how they show and celebrate all of us. We cannot wait to flex the pride of the Bronx,” said Margaret Della, Executive Director of the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center.
“A community is constructed and held together by the interactions of the individuals that comprise its ranks. In building this project – Respiration – I am grateful and excited to have been able to call upon so many outstanding colleagues, collaborators, and friends that contribute their thoughts, perspectives, and creative talents to something that ultimately is geared to inspire and energize the public in the midst of difficult circumstances. The issues that confront us and have been illuminated by this global pandemic have indeed been a weight on every single person in Brooklyn. But block by block, the thread that keeps us flowing is a quote from one of the borough's legends that says: ‘Spread love it's the Brooklyn way,’” said André Zachery, Artistic Director of the Renegade Performance Group.
"We're so grateful to be a part of a project that is celebrating our community in such specific and tangible ways," said Carey King, Director of Uptown Grand Central. "125th Street has a strong history of street art, so we're honored to be working with five amazing street artists who are painting portraits of unsung community heroes on our small businesses' storefront gates. As our city recovers, the project is creating an open-air art gallery that both showcases New Yorkers' resiliency and adds color and vibrancy to our corridor."
"The Together, We are New York campaign is helping us work hand in hand with the community to create a lasting piece of art that embodies the resilient spirit and warm collaboration found in Corona, Queens. Bringing world class artists Edmar Castañeda and Maria de los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez to create this installation will be a stunning reminder of what it means to be a New Yorker,” said Jake Goldbas, Artistic Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
“The challenges that come from the Coronavirus, immigration status, the fight for Black lives, Anti-Asian hate, and economic uncertainty are a part of life in our community. So too is the presence of joy, music, hard work, and family. With the Association for a Better New York, the Louis Armstrong House Museum is proud to engage in conversations and support artwork that remembers and honors all that it means to be a New Yorker,” added Regina Bain, Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
"Sundog Theatre is honored to be involved in this process with ABNY and our focus group, which is made up of an eclectic group of community leaders and members. While devising a theme for our 100-foot mural, our focus group brought out important and striking qualities of the New York community. These include working in unity through hard times, contributions of the arts, the importance of family, resiliency, tenacity, and following dreams. This project helped us express our pride in being New Yorkers," said Susan Fenley, Executive Director of the Sundog Theatre in Staten Island.
About: The Association for a Better New York (ABNY)
For 50 years, ABNY has worked as a catalyst to bring business, political, labor, and nonprofit leaders together to address problems facing the economic and social well-being of the city. Under the leadership of Chair Steven Rubenstein and Chief Executive Officer Melva M. Miller, the organization continues to carry out its mission by providing forums and programs that work to build a better New York.