Creatives Rebuild New York funds 9 full-time teaching artists at Campos Plaza Cornerstone

Every year, hundreds of children and young adults participate in after-school and summer camp programming at our Campos Plaza Community Center – one of University Settlement’s three Cornerstones community spaces embedded within New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) facilities.

Cornerstone @ Campos Plaza Community Center Director Jon Soto shares:

“As a Cornerstone, our foundation is community engagement. We’ve had the ambition to meaningfully expand how our programs reach everyone in our neighborhood, but funding that vision has been a challenge. We’ve lacked high quality specialists in many activities, due to constraints in our programmatic budgets. So when we heard about Creatives Rebuild New York’s Artist Employment Program – which pays artists a full-time living wage of $65,000 for two years, plus benefits – we jumped at the opportunity.

Working in partnership with Creative Muse, an organization with deep ties to professional and teaching artists, our team at Campos applied for and received a grant that is bringing 9 full-time artists to our Cornerstone!

Over the summer, we conducted a listening tour to better understand the kinds of enrichment the community desires, and classes began this fall.

For artists, employment models like this can be game-changing – they have the opportunity to focus on their artistic practice, follow their creative passion, and connect with communities, without having to choose between work that pays and work that is creative.

And for our community, this sort of investment feels unprecedented. We’re able to realize our ambitions in a really grand way, and we’re being really intentional about how we implement it so that everyone in our community benefits.

We hope that our neighbors will come to feel like they can stop by Campos any time and find an opportunity to create.

A few weeks ago, we hosted a Creative Arts Fair for our neighbors to connect with our new teaching artists, and NBC 4 New York stopped by to cover it – check out their piece to see our work in action!”

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