New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Announce $457,600 in Grants for 138 Queens-Based Artists, Artist Collectives, and Small Nonprofits Through the Queens Arts Fund (QAF)

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Announce $457,600 in Grants for 138 Queens-Based Artists, Artist Collectives, and Small Nonprofits Through the Queens Arts Fund (QAF)
Image Detail: Honglei Li (QAF New Work '24), "The 7 Train," 2024, oil on canvas, Photo Credit: Lily Honglei Art Studio

2024 Grant Program Funded by DCLA and Administered by NYFA

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), in partnership with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), has announced the 138 recipients of the 2024 Queens Arts Fund (QAF). 

The awarded projects will be supported by $457,600 in total funding, and span creative disciplines including music/sound, poetry, book arts, performance art, film, social practice, painting, photography, and sculpture. The projects will create moments of joy, community, and celebration, while also exploring topics ranging from cultural and gender identity to grief, gentrification, social activism, community-building, health and wellness, and climate awareness and resiliency. The QAF represents a significant investment in the cultural community that is so essential to the economic and social vibrancy of communities across Queens and all of New York City. Together, the projects present a multi-faceted reflection of Queens—one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the world—and the remarkable creative community that calls the borough home.

Click here for a full list of 2024 recipients and panelists.

Afro-Andean Funk performing in Quechua during a live concert at Bryant Park, New York. In the photo, the band's leaders, Araceli Poma, Peruvian singer, and Matt Geraghty, bassist and producer, are pictured. Araceli is wearing traditional Peruvian attire.
Image: Afro-Andean Funk (QAF New Work ’24)’s Araceli Poma and Matt Geraghty, “Mavy Roots,” concert at Bryant Park

“Queens is one of the most diverse communities in the world, and the creative ecosystem that thrives here reflects that diversity in the incredible range of work and programming they create,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “Culture is a central part of who we are as New Yorkers, and contributes to a stronger economy and healthier communities. That’s why we’re proud to partner with NYFA to invest this funding in more than 130 artists, collectives, and small nonprofits working in every corner of Queens. I can’t wait to see the incredible public programs they offer for residents.”

NYFA Chief Executive Officer Michael Royce added: “We’re thrilled to announce this year’s Queens Arts Fund recipients, who continue to amaze us with the creativity that they bring to the borough of Queens and to New York City at large. We are grateful to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs for supporting this program, and look forward to the work of these talented artists, organizations, and collaboratives reaching and enriching communities across Queens.”

In the application and review process, inclusivity and representation that reflects the diversity of Queens communities was a strong consideration for staff and panelists. Nearly 80% of the panelists who chose to self-identify identified as People of Color and over 70% identified as women or gender non-conforming/nonbinary. NYFA also ensured that language access was a considered part of the application process, making materials available in Spanish and Chinese, alongside English.

A young woman faces left with her eyes closed. Behind her is the East River and the skyline of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Though it's a cloudy day, birds can be seen flying behind her.
Image Detail: Corrie Aune (QAF New Work ’24), “The Story of this Place: Dipali,” 2023, digital photography, Image Credit: Corrie Aune

The annual City-funded program, administered by NYFA, offers project grants to Queens-based artists, artist collectives, and small non-profit organizations of all artistic disciplines to support the local production of artwork and cultural programs that highlight, engage, and bolster the borough of Queens. Key to the program is that all recipients must have a public component—held in-person, virtually, or combination of both—in Queens within the 2024 calendar year to provide Queens community members with the opportunity to experience dynamic, easily accessible arts and cultural events. Follow the hashtag #QAF2024 for details on upcoming events.

The Department of Cultural Affairs invests in the city’s artists and small organizations in all five boroughs in partnership with local regrant partners in each borough. These investments—which have been sustained at robust levels despite the fiscal challenges facing the city—support hundreds of creatives across the city, who in turn engage New Yorkers with the sort of vibrant arts programming that makes New York City such a dynamic place to live, work, and play. 

2024 QAF projects include:

  • Concetta Abbate’s (QAF New Work ’24) “Ridgewood-Glendale Soundwalk,” which will take participants through a musical exploration of Queens, with interactive mapping and a culminating performance in Highland Park, spotlighting shifting soundscapes & local infrastructure needs. This project not only celebrates the richness of the community’s cultural tapestry but also sheds light on areas requiring improvement, such as disability accessibility and pedestrian safety infrastructure.
  • The Dream Unfinished’s (QAF Arts Access ’24) “VITALS,” a free outdoor health festival with live music, now entering its fourth year at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. Combining live classical music by The TDU String Quartet with an array of local health resources, VITALS offers a uniquely entertaining and informative platform for promoting wellness in the Jamaica community. All works performed will be by composers of Color.
  • Woomin Kim’s (QAF New Work ’24) “The Warehouse,” an exhibition that includes a series of textile collages she made that describes the landscape of the warehouse at the Material for the Arts, a city organization that collects and redistributes donated materials to teachers, artists, students and more for creative use. The works were made while Woomin Kim participated in the MFTA’s artist in residence program. The exhibition included workshops that were open to the public.
In a textile collage, Various items such as ribbons, shoes, gloves, ornaments are in yellow and blue bins. The grant reimburses the labor and material cost that was put in to make this exhibition and workshop happen and help my studio practice more sustainable.
Image Detail: Woomin Kim (QAF New Work ’24), “The Warehouse: Bins,” fabric and embellishments, 2023, 79x82in, Photo Courtesy of the Artist
  • David Manrique’s (QAF New Work ’24) Made by Us photo series, which will showcase a group of BIPOC and immigrant food makers across Queens who are using food to represent their culture and bring prosperity to their communities. The project will engage the community through an in-person content creation workshop and exhibition of the work that will take place during the summer at the gardens of the Louis Armstrong House Museum.
  • Senior Theater Acting Repertory’s (QAF Arts Access ’24) “Bringing Live Theater and Songs to Queens,” which will bring live, in-person shows to mostly senior audiences, performed by seniors ranging in age from 60-90. Their audiences are primarily housed in assisted living, rehab facilities, and the VA hospital and are also clients of senior centers and NYC public libraries. 

Upcoming Queens Arts Fund events, exhibitions, and film screenings include:

  • Saturday, May 18 | Rachel Brown’s (QAF New Work ’24) documentary film Resistance is Fertile: The Story of the 45th Street Green Space,” will screen on Saturday, May 18 (rain date: Sunday, May 19) at 41-12 45th Street as part of “SEEDS,” an outdoor screening event presented during LIC Arts Open (8:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET). The film follows the resistance, transition, and solutions of the 45th Street Green Space, a volunteer-run compost and garden project on private land in Sunnyside, Queens.
  • Sunday, May 19 | michael rendino’s (QAF New Work ’24) “The Forest Fairy” is a musical comedy about a saucy fairy who transports three downtrodden commuters to the bucolic wonderland of Forest Park Queens. The musical will be performed at Celebration Hall at The Center at Maple Grove Cemetery (127-15 Kew Gardens Road) on Sunday, May 19 at 3:00 PM ET. For tickets and reservations, call (347) 342-6511.
A diverse group of youth ages 15-25 are in a room with windows in the background, filming. There is a light and a bounce and a number of students with scripts and sound equipment, standing around the 2 actors in the scene.
Image Detail: Astoria Film Festival Media Production Lab (Queens Arts Fund Arts Access ’24) filming the Group Film at Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, Photo Courtesy Astoria Film Festival
  • Saturday, June 1 | Astoria Film Festival’s (QAF Arts Access ’24) Astoria Film Festival Media Production Lab aims to promote greater diversity in the media industry by empowering the next generation of production professionals, while also creating more diverse media projects. AFF’s “YOUTH FESTIVAL 2024” will take place on Saturday, June 1 from 9:00 AM-9:00 PM ET at the Zukor Theater at Kaufman Astoria Studios at 35 Avenue and 35 Street; the Media Lab Session is from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET. There will also be a “Media Career Professionals Panel” for the lab students to attend after their screening, to hear about more industry careers and meet and network with more industry professionals.
  • Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 | Adult Film and Ryan Czerwonko, Meg Case, Brad Porter, and Mia Vallet’s (QAF New Work ’24) “Sea Gull” is a multidisciplinary project interweaving a year-long exploratory rehearsal of Chekhov’s play with documentary filmmaking to investigate the boundaries between process, identity, and art. On Saturday, June 1 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET at The Woods at 1826 Palmetto Street, artistic director Czerwonko will lead a workshop with eight actors across four of Chekhov’s plays; audiences can watch for free or make a donation of their choosing. A special ‘pay-what-you-can’ performance will be held on Sunday, June 2 from 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM ET at Stone Circle Theatre (59-14 70th Avenue)—a world premiere translation by John Christopher Jones directed by Czerwonko.
  • Wednesday, June 5 | No, YOU Tell It! (QAF Arts Access ’24) will present “No, YOU Tell It! True-Life Tales with a Twist,” an event where storytellers work together to develop true tales on the page, then swap stories to embody their partner’s culture, identity, and life experience on stage. In 2024, No, YOU Tell It! is producing two shows where the storytellers’ true tales are inspired by Queens’ history from the Greater Astoria Historical Society (GAHS) archives. The first, on June 5 at 7:00 PM ET at Grove 34 (3183 34th Street), will feature four storytellers trading true tales inspired by the music and history of Astoria native Tony Bennett.
There are ten people around a festive colorful Kumina table that has colorful candles, a basket with fruit offerings, a bright colored croton plant among fine crystals and glasswares. Around the table are five female dancers and five male musicians, two of which are seated on top of their Kumina Drums. Everyone looks festive and bright.
Image Description: Asoso International Ensemble (QAF New Work ’24) 2023, Photo Courtesy of Asoso International Ensemble

Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell said: “Art is a universal medium that not only bridges divides and mends wounds but celebrates the beautiful diversity of our communities. With that in mind, this significant funding extends beyond merely supporting artists and organizations—it embodies a dedication to leveraging the arts’ transformative power to uplift and enrich Queens. I am eagerly looking forward to the exceptional work that will certainly arise from it.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said “I’m thrilled to see so many Queens artists, from photographers to performers and beyond, receive grants through the 2024 Queens Arts Fund. Queens is an unmatched hub of arts and culture, and this funding is a critical way of elevating the incredible work of the many brilliant artists chosen from across Queens, especially those from historically marginalized communities. Congratulations to all our recipients!”

Said Speaker Adrienne Adams: “Arts and culture enrich our diverse communities by providing platforms for creativity and self-expression. Queens is home to talented local artists, artist collectives, and cultural organizations that produce thought-provoking, impactful works of art that tell the stories of our neighborhoods. The Council is proud to support our vibrant arts and cultural sector that bolsters our local economy and supports the well-being of all New Yorkers. I appreciate the New York Foundation for the Arts’ efforts to prioritize inclusivity for Queens’ diverse communities in its support of our borough’s local art.”

Said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries: “New York City’s vibrant culture supports a unique arts scene that sustains a strong local economy. We are home to iconic institutions and creative spaces dedicated to raising consciousness and advancing meaningful expression and engagement. City investment is critical to ensuring that arts and culture organizations in Queens continue to contribute to sustaining our city by attracting visitors from all over the world while serving and uplifting our communities across the boroughs.

Javier Arau, longtime Jackson Heights resident and 2024 Summer Sundays coordinator
Image Detail: Jackson Heights Beautification Group (QAF New Work ’24), “Summer Sundays in the Park,” selfie by Javier Arau, 2024 Summer Sundays coordinator, 2023

QAF offers Arts Access Grants of $1,000 to $5,000 to Queens-based small-budget 501c3 nonprofit organizations or unincorporated artist collectives. These grants support community-based organizations and collectives in their efforts to produce public arts and cultural programs in the Queens communities and neighborhoods where they are located and operate. 

QAF also offers New Work Grants of $3,000 to Queens-based individual artists, unincorporated artist collectives, or collaborations between multiple artists of all disciplines to support the creation of new work. “New Work” is defined as work that has not been produced or presented to an audience before.

DCLA logo in black
Amy Aronoff
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