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Development

Posted on: August 20, 2019

New Rochelle Launches Artist Certification Program to Boost Artist Housing in the City's Downtown

In yet another move to support New Rochelle’s burgeoning arts community, the City has launched an artist certification program to connect artists to new live/work housing opportunities in its downtown Arts & Cultural District.

As part of the City’s broader program to advance arts and culture initiatives within the downtown, the City’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) provides additional incentives to new development projects that incorporate live/work artist housing. The new certification program, managed by the City’s Municipal Art Commission, establishes a process to determine the eligibility of an individual to reside in designated live/work artist housing. Artists who choose to be certified by the City of New Rochelle will be given preference for designated artist live/work opportunities as they arise in the downtown, often at more affordable rates.

“Connecting artists with the many live/work housing opportunities set to come online over the next few years is critical to supporting our vibrant arts community,” said New Rochelle’s Commissioner of Development Luiz Aragon. “This new certification program is the tool by which we ensure this happens.”

As defined by the City of New Rochelle zoning code, an artist is “an individual who practices one of the fine, design, graphic, musical, culinary, literary, technological or performing arts; or an individual whose profession relies on the application of the above-mentioned skills to produce a unique creative product; e.g. an architect, craftsperson, chef, photographer, teacher of art/music/dance, or other qualified individual, as certified by the Municipal Art Commission.”

“This is a great initiative, which will help us attract young people to our community and also give much-needed assistance to our existing artists,” noted New Rochelle Council Member Ivar Hyden, Vice Chair of the IDA.

To apply, individuals must complete an application form and submit an artist resume, three letters of recommendation, and at least three representative examples of artwork. There is no fee for applying to become a certified artist and no criteria beyond demonstrating standing as an artist as defined by the City’s zoning code.

The new certification program is the latest in a long series of initiatives aimed at bolstering New Rochelle’s arts community. In 2017, the City established a special downtown Arts & Cultural District to help existing arts organizations, cultural groups, and artists thrive, connect, and grow, while promoting economic activity and attracting visitors and businesses.

The City also retained Street Arts for Mankind to curate a downtown mural program and partnered with the Venezuelan American Endowment for the Arts to operate a downtown Black Box Theater and Cultural Center.

Last month, the City, in partnership with RXR Realty, awarded one artist 12 months free-rent in a studio apartment in RXR’s 360 Huguenot, a 28-story, 280-unit mixed-use building in New Rochelle’s downtown.

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