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Funds keep flowing to E. Fourth Arts Block

The Villager

Volume 77, Number 12 | August 22 – 28, 2007

The Cooper Square Committee has been awarded a $125,000 New York Main Street grant to help preserve cultural buildings on E. Fourth St. The grant award was announced Aug. 7 by the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

The grant, for the Cooper Square Committee’s East Fourth Street Cultural District Program, will provide $50,000 for facade renovations, $50,000 for interior building renovations and $25,000 for streetscape improvements on E. Fourth St. between Bowery and Second Ave.

“The East Fourth Street Cultural District Program that the grant will help fund represents one of the final elements of the Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area,” said Steve Herrick, Cooper Square Committee executive director.

The effort began in 2000, when the committee began by organizing the diverse theaters, dance companies and visual arts groups on E. Fourth St. in order to purchase six city-owned cultural buildings so they could be renovated and preserved permanently for cultural and community uses. Out of these efforts came Fourth Arts Block (FAB), a nonprofit association comprised of 13 cultural and community groups, including C.S.C., which facilitated the purchase of the buildings from the city with the agreement that they would have specific cultural and community uses and be owned by nonprofit groups in perpetuity.

Currently, more than $15 million in public funds has been allocated to meet these buildings’ capital needs. Phase-one renovations for each of the buildings are scheduled to begin by early 2008.