Supporting the arts: 18 cultural organizations receive funding to continue enriching Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Borough President Vito Fossella announced Thursday morning at Historic Richmond Town that he has awarded funds to more than a dozen Staten Island cultural organizations, so that they can enhance their programs and services in arts education and entertainment.

“All of you have a very significant role individually, but more importantly, collectively, to make Staten Island a great place to live,” Fossella said.

The Borough President’s Office awarded a total of $161,786 in discretionary funds to the 18 cultural organizations.

“Thank you for your support of Staten Island artists, which are truly amazing,” said Jessica Baker, president and CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Livingston.

With the funding, Staten Island can continue to enhance its offerings in music, song, theater, and visual and digital art. Funds will go towards things like lighting, sound board, perimeter cleaning, electrical repairs and new boiler rooms.

“This year, so many parents came up to me in June after the Minty ceremonies and said ‘this here saved my kid’s life. Being back on stage. Being with people who feel like they don’t belong in a lot of other places, but feel like they belong on stage,’” recalled Michael Pinto, executive director and founder of the Minty Organization of Performing Arts. “So never doubt for a second what we’re doing and how it impacts students’ lives.”

In addition to the Minty Organization, Snug Harbor and Historic Richmond Town, the cultural organizations that were recognized and received funding include: the Alice Austen House; the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum; Illuminart Productions; the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art; the Noble Maritime Collection; the Richmond County Orchestra; the Staten Island Ballet; the Staten Island Children’s Museum; the St. George Theatre; the Staten Island Museum; the Staten Island Zoo; the Sundog Theater, and the Travis Fourth of July Celebration Committee.

“Especially after COVID, with people being disenfranchised and non-attached to each other, the arts bring people together,” said Susan Fenley, executive director at Sundog Theatre. “They also teach career skills. I was telling Mr. Fossella that the arts are like a $22 billion industry just in New York City alone, so we’re teaching career skills to the little ones.”

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