QUEENS — Jamaica's arts scene will soon get a boost, thanks to grants received by three local groups for their arts programming from the New York Community Trust, one of the largest community foundations in the country.
Among the three grant recipients is the Black Spectrum Theater Company, which was awarded $150,000.
Founded in 1970, the 325-seat theater operates in Roy Wilkins Park and draws about 20,000 spectators a year.
Carl Clay, the founder of the theater, said the group will use the grant to improve a number of its current programs, including its performing arts after-school program, its anti-violence initiative, as well as its mobile theater, summer theater camp and its "Jazz on the Lawn" concert series.
The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, a nonprofit that has worked for decades to bring new investment to the neighborhood, also received $150,000 to “build creative coalitions and raise the visibility of cultural activity in four poorer neighborhoods: in Jamaica, Queens; the South Bronx; east Brooklyn; and upper Manhattan,” the Trust said in a statement. Details about the grant were not immediately available.
The Trust also awarded $88,000 to Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
Brown is an award-winning choreographer, who blends elements of hip hop, ballet and tap dance in her works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Urban Bush Women, and her own Jamaica-based dance group. The grant, according to the Trust, will support the group's artistic expansion and will help secure its nonprofit status.
“A key component of The Trust's arts grant-making strategy is to strengthen and expand the programming of small arts groups citywide,” Trust officials said in the statement.