Opening of a cultural center in Chelsea, aimed at helping artists in the event of a pandemic

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The pandemic has disrupted the lives of dozens of artists across New York City, leaving it with great difficulty to find stable work.

Now, a performing arts space in Manhattan is hoping to help.

Chelsea Factory, a 14,000-square-foot cultural center on the West Side of Manhattan, announced Tuesday that it will provide performance and rehearsal space for artists trying to pursue ambitious projects in the altered coronavirus landscape. The center, supported by philanthropists and property managers, will operate as a “pop-up initiative” for five years and offer residencies to artists in music, dance, theater and film.

James H. Herbert II, a banking executive behind the project, said the center’s goal was “to accelerate post-pandemic recovery” for artists.

“Artists and partners can pursue ambitious ideas with financial and creative freedom,” said Herbert, founder, president and co-CEO of First Republic Bank, in a statement.

The first cohort of Chelsea Factory resident artists was chosen by the centre’s staff with input from the artistic communities. It includes, among others, choreographers Hope Boykin and Andrea Miller; composer Troy Anthony; and filmmaker Luis G. Santos. They will each receive a stipend of $ 10,000 and receive studio space as well as production support for the projects.

The center also plans collaborations with local organizations such as the Joyce Theater and the National Black Theater, dedicated to dance.

Donald Borror, chief executive of the center, said the center hoped to help artists “finish this piece that was never finished” because of the pandemic.

“We just see the ability to really move people forward in their careers,” he said in an interview.

Lauren Kiel, executive director of the center, said her five-year schedule would allow her to be flexible.

“Bringing these resources to the scene right now in such an agile manner is a unique offering that can respond quickly to whatever will happen as the art sector goes through these coming years which are quite uneven, unpredictable and unprecedented.” , she said.

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