Announc­ing the Gov­er­nors Island Res­i­den­cy Initiative

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, Low­er Man­hat­tan Cul­tur­al Coun­cil and 18cultural orga­ni­za­tions with space on Gov­er­nors Island are join­ing forces to host free res­i­den­cy pro­grams for artists and cul­tur­al prac­ti­tion­ers that have been affect­ed by the COVID-19 cri­sis, help­ing to com­bat the dev­as­tat­ing impact of the pan­dem­ic on the NYC cul­tur­al landscape. 

The Gov­er­nors Island Res­i­den­cy Ini­tia­tive will repo­si­tion indoor spaces that were used in years past for exhi­bi­tions and pub­lic pro­gram­ming as res­i­den­cies or work­spaces for artists and oth­er mem­bers of the City’s cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty from August to Octo­ber this year. Open to artists, writ­ers, cul­tur­al work­ers and cre­ative prac­ti­tion­ers liv­ing and work­ing across the five bor­oughs, the Ini­tia­tive will pro­vide free, tem­po­rary space to work in LMCC’s Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island and more than 20 his­toric hous­es in the Island’s Nolan Park and Colonels Row dis­tricts, over­seen by a diverse group of cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al non­prof­its. After post­pon­ing all indoor pub­lic pro­grams, orga­ni­za­tions are piv­ot­ing their spaces to par­tic­i­pate in the Ini­tia­tive and accom­mo­date artists in need. Artists can apply now to LMC­C’s Open Call for res­i­den­cy proposals.

New York City’s cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty is under­go­ing an unprece­dent­ed lev­el of dis­rup­tion, with many expe­ri­enc­ing either a loss of income or unem­ploy­ment due to the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. Artists and oth­er cul­tur­al work­ers in New York and else­where may not be able to access or afford ded­i­cat­ed space to work, think, research, write, plan, rehearse and oth­er­wise fur­ther their cre­ative practices. 

Right now, cre­ative solu­tions are need­ed to help the artis­tic com­mu­ni­ty get back to work after months of dis­rup­tion and shut­down,” said Clare New­man, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island. By part­ner­ing with the Island’s vibrant com­mu­ni­ty of cul­tur­al orga­ni­za­tions and LMCC, we can make bet­ter use of avail­able space on the Island, while help­ing to sup­port the artists that have played such an impor­tant role in shap­ing our his­to­ry, val­ues and iden­ti­ty. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing an excit­ing group of artists and cre­atives for the rest of the sum­mer and fall.” 

All par­tic­i­pat­ing orga­ni­za­tions will man­age their own selec­tion process­es and over­see their own, inde­pen­dent res­i­den­cy pro­grams in their spaces, includ­ing LMCC, which will launch an open call appli­ca­tion process on Thurs­day, July 23 through LMCC​.net.

LMCC, the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, and the Island’s com­mu­ni­ty of cul­tur­al orga­ni­za­tions are unique­ly posi­tioned to share space, resources and pro­gram­mat­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties for valu­able cul­tur­al work­ers,” said Lili Chopra, LMCC’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Artis­tic Pro­grams. We are unit­ed in part­ner­ship to cre­ate an ini­tia­tive that serves artists in our five bor­oughs in a just, equi­table and sus­tain­able way.” 

LMCC is com­mit­ted to alle­vi­at­ing the unprece­dent­ed lev­el of dis­rup­tion to artists’ prac­tices, loss of income and employ­ment, by pro­vid­ing them space and sup­port dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic,” com­ment­ed Diego S. Segali­ni, LMCC’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Finance & Admin­is­tra­tion.

Gov­er­nors Island is a tru­ly mag­i­cal place that pro­vides the space and time for artis­tic pro­duc­tion and research not pos­si­ble in oth­er parts of the City,” said Mered­ith John­son, VP of Arts and Cul­ture at The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island, The cul­tur­al orga­ni­za­tions that call the Island home shape the cul­tur­al land­scape of New York in myr­i­ad ways, and as we face one of our most uncer­tain moments in recent his­to­ry we are grate­ful to have such a ded­i­cat­ed group of part­ners to mobi­lize efforts and pool our resources in sup­port of the City’s cul­tur­al future.” 

Once artists are in their spaces, LMCC, the Trust, and par­tic­i­pat­ing orga­ni­za­tions will come togeth­er to share resources and orga­nize vir­tu­al gath­er­ings for artists work­ing on the Island. 

As a diverse set of insti­tu­tions — span­ning the arts, sci­ences, cul­ture and the envi­ron­ment — orga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Gov­er­nors Island Res­i­den­cy Ini­tia­tive are guid­ed by a shared set of val­ues and pri­or­i­ties that will inform their indi­vid­ual approach­es tooutreach and the selec­tion of res­i­den­cy participants: 

  • Serv­ing artists and cul­tur­al work­ers in need of work­space in the wake of COVID-19
  • Ensur­ing that artists and cul­tur­al prac­ti­tion­ers of diverse racial iden­ti­ties, gen­der expres­sions and sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tions from across NYC have access to this oppor­tu­ni­ty and are being rep­re­sent­ed in the Initiative; 
  • Seek­ing out artists and cul­tur­al work­ers whose prac­tices give back to, or aim to make pos­i­tive change with­in, the NYC cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty and/​or the City at large; 
  • Seek­ing out artists and cul­tur­al work­ers whose prac­tices address impor­tant socio-polit­i­cal issues, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to pub­lic health, gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion, immi­gra­tion, racial equi­ty, cli­mate change and envi­ron­men­tal justice; 
  • Seek­ing out artists and cul­tur­al work­ers whose prac­tices will ben­e­fit from work­ing on Gov­er­nors Island as a pub­lic space serv­ing diverse audiences. 

Par­tic­i­pat­ing orga­ni­za­tions include: 

  • 4heads
  • Amer­i­can Indi­an Com­mu­ni­ty House 
  • Art­Crawl Harlem 
  • Beam Cen­ter
  • BronxArt­Space
  • Cli­mate Museum 
  • Endan­gered Lan­guage Alliance 
  • Har­vest­works
  • LMCC
  • NARS Foun­da­tion
  • New Art Deal­ers Alliance 
  • NY Vir­tu­al Vol­cano Observatory 
  • NYC Audubon
  • Pratt Insti­tute School of Architecture 
  • Shan­dak­en Projects 
  • Swale
  • Tri­an­gle Arts Association 
  • West Harlem Art Fund 
  • Works on Water 

The Trust for Gov­er­nors Island over­sees a vibrant arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram, invit­ing a range of orga­ni­za­tions to present exhi­bi­tions and pro­grams in the Island’s his­toric hous­es each sea­son while pre­sent­ing impact­ful pub­lic art projects to diverse audi­ences. Artist res­i­den­cies and stu­dio pro­grams have been part of the Island’s cul­tur­al fab­ric since it first opened to the pub­lic in 2005. Cur­rent and past on-Island res­i­den­cies include those by LMCC, Shan­dak­en Projects, 4heads, Tri­an­gle Arts Asso­ci­a­tion, MoCA­DA, Pio­neer Works, Syra­cuse Uni­ver­si­ty, SVA, Works on Water and more. In 2019, LMCC opened its Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island, the first per­ma­nent home for artists and audi­ences on Gov­er­nors Island that serves as a gath­er­ing place and incu­ba­tor for new works.