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Artnet News, 06/30/14
Bronx River Art Center Gets $10 Million Boost

By Eileen Kinsella | web link

Rendering of the Bronx River Arts Center renovation, scheduled for completion by fall 2016.
Photo: Courtesy Bronx River Arts Center

According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Bronx River Arts Center (BRAC) is getting a much-welcomed, $10 million, city-funded renovation following passage of a new budget last week.

It will include a brand new exterior design, new classrooms, studio spaces, a computer lab, and a ground floor art gallery. Completion is expected by fall 2016.

The new budget passed by the City Council last week included $23 million in funds for expanded arts instruction, Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Fordham) confirmed. The Center, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1987, and offers studio space and art classes for teens and adults. Since 2010, when the aging, century-old building was closed, programs have been conducted at alternate sites in the neighborhood.

Last week, BRAC executive director Gail Nathan took part in a groundbreaking ceremony with recently appointed cultural affairs commissioner, and former Queens Museum director Tom Finkelpearl. Said Nathan: “It is important to have a place for the community to come to for safe, creative experiences that they can grow with."

Finkelpearl added: "The arts really need to touch every community. [They] are not just for well-heeled communities. That is the message of (the project). The users of the BRAC are going to be the people of the neighborhood."

Christine DeFazio, a teacher at the South Bronx Academy for Applied Media said the renovation would give residents more affordable access to arts programming. “I think this is going to create a community for parents to come see art, and bring our students," she said.

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DIRECTIONS TO CENTER:  By Train: Take #2 or #5 to West Farms Square/East Tremont. Walk one block east to Bronx Street. By Bus: Take #'s B9, 21, 36, 40, 42, or Q44 to East Tremont and Boston Road. By Car: Take Bruckner Expressway to Sheridan Expressway, and exit at East Tremont Ave. Turn left at the traffic light one block down onto East Tremont. Turn left after one block onto Bronx St. (Cross Bronx Expressway) towards Rosedale Ave, then exit. Turn left onto Rosedale Ave, then take a left onto Tremont Ave. Drive four blocks to West Farms Square.