University Settlement Supported by The William Talbott Hillman Foundation for The Performance Project

University Settlement will receive a $15,000 contribution from the William Talbott Hillman Foundation in support of The Performance Project at University Settlement’s Artists-in-Residence program. Artists-in-Residence are selected for their demonstrated ability to create high-quality work and for their experiential understanding of what it means to create while embedded within the rich complexity of a truly diverse community. Artists-in-Residence work with University Settlement communities, who are often underrepresented in New York City’s cultural sector, to create new performance art that uplifts their voices and advances social justice. Prior work from Artists-in-Residence include: 

  • 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence duo The Square’s “A Sample of Immigrant Life” performance, hosted through Zoom, exploring immigrant experiences in the Lower East Side.
  • 2018/19 Artists-in-Residence trio Creative Traffic Flow’s “DUETS OF DIFFERENCE” which brought together members from University Settlement community programs including older adults from the Meltzer Center, young adults with special needs from the EXCEL Program, English Language Learners from the Adult Literacy Program, and homeless LGBTQ youth from University Settlement partner organization, The Door. 
  • 2016/17 Artist-in-Residence Stefanie Batten Bland/Company SBB’s Bienvenue欢迎WelcomeBienvenidoأهلا بك, created in workshop with University Settlement’s Early Childhood program and exploring the idea of who is welcomed into communities. 

“The William Talbott Hillman Foundation’s generous support of our Artist-in-Residence program means that we will be able to engage even more artists and communities in this deeply meaningful work,” said Baba Israel, who directs The Performance Project. “This funding comes at a crucial time when artists and our communities have been hit hard by the pandemic, and will allow us to support creative projects developed by our Artists-in-Residence that help us to reflect, heal, and work towards a more just society.” With this grant, we will be able to host more community-led performances that bring neighbors together for artmaking. 


Founded in 1986, the William Talbott Hillman Foundation is involved principally in supporting the visual and performing arts, as well as arts education in Pittsburgh and New York City. With its affiliate organization, the Affirmation Arts Fund of The William Talbott Hillman Foundation in support of robust arts education programs, the Foundation has maintained a focus on raising the status of the artist within society and of art as a vocation. 

University Settlement partners with 40,000 New Yorkers on the Lower East Side and in Brooklyn every year to build on their strengths as they achieve healthy, stable, and remarkable lives. For 135 years, we’ve collaborated with our communities to pioneer highly effective programs that fight poverty and systemic inequality. Established in 1886 as the first Settlement House in the United States, we bring the values of that movement into the 21st century by meeting New Yorkers where they live, listening to their perspectives, recognizing their excellence, understanding them as complete individuals, and creating space for them to organize. Joining together with our neighbors to advocate for justice and equality, we help build community strength. 

Since 2007, The Performance Project has been offering local young artists and professional emerging artists opportunities to connect, create and publicly present new work. We support artists who are interested in how live art can heal, empower and activate. 

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