The Rockefeller Foundation Awards $150,000 to Hostos Community College Center for the Arts & Culture

Grant Earmarked for Afro-Caribbean Music

The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded the Hostos Community College Center for the Arts & Culture a grant of $150,000 to fund two rotating biennials of Afro-Caribbean music: BomPlenazo, which focuses on the bomba and plena traditions of Puerto Rico, and Quijombo, which focuses on the Congo, Salve, and Guloya traditions of the Dominican Republic.

We are very grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for providing this much-needed funding, which will helps the Hostos Center carry on its tradition of providing outstanding cultural events for residents of the South Bronx and surrounding neighborhoods,” said Dr. Felix V. Matos-Rodriguez, president of the college. “Quijombo and BomPlenazo are extremely popular as they affirm the cultural heritage of our community.”

According to Wallace Edgecombe, who has been the Hostos Center’s director since its inception in 1982, it has always been an important agent for cultural affirmation, serving as venue for performances, festivals, residencies and  commissions, and featuring a who’s-who of Latino artists: “In the worlds of music and dance, these have included Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Fernandito Villalona, Ballet Hispanico, Pepatián, Rubén Blades, Marco Antonio Muñiz, Marc Anthony, Susana Baca, and Orquesta Aragón. In the world of visual arts: Antonio Martorell, Myrna Baez, Pepón Osorio, and Tony Capellán. In the world of theater: Pablo Cabrera and Angel Morales.  They have been representative of Latino diasporas and immigrations over the past sixty years: Puerto Rican, Dominican, Central and South American, and more recently Mexican.”

Following is a press release issued by the Rockefeller Foundation announcing the funding awarded to 18 New York City artists and organizations, including the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture

 Press Releases

The Rockefeller Foundation Gives More Than $3 Million to Support New York City Artists

Theme of Sustainability among 2010 NYC Cultural Innovation Fund Competition Winners

October 06, 2010 / Press Releases

 New York, NY, October 6, 2010—Today Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin announced the 18 winners of the Foundation’s 2010 New York City Cultural Innovation Fund competition – and with it more than $3 million in grants to support local New York City art and artists.  Each of these 18 New York City-based organizations will receive a two-year grant of up to $250,000, underscoring the Foundation’s commitment to artistic expression and innovation, and bolstering the vital economic engine that the creative sector brings to New York.  Many of this year’s winners–selected from more than 400 diverse projects–focus on addressing issues of sustainability in the urban environment.

 According to a study from the Alliance for the Arts in May 2010, the state of the economy continues to have a significant impact in the creative sector in New York City.  The study shows that 61 percent of arts organizations were planning to reduce their budgets this year, and 42 percent were anticipating the need to cancel or postpone programs.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is thrilled to continue our tradition of supporting art and creativity right here in our home town of New York City through the Cultural Innovation Fund,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation.  “As the creative sector continues to struggle in today’s economy, it is critical that our city’s artists have the resources they need to continue to create innovative thought provoking work that challenges all of us to question and learn new things.”

One strong theme of this year’s winners was unique links between the environment and the creative sector.  With diverse approaches ranging from an interactive drama in which the audience works on green retrofits in the theater to an online atlas that traces New York City’s environmental transformation or the presentation of public waterfront works of visual art and music focused on environmental themes, many of the projects connect art with sustainability in bold new ways.

Started in 2007, the New York City Cultural Innovation Fund awards two-year grants, ranging from $50,000 to $250,000, for groundbreaking initiatives that enrich the City’s cultural life and help to ensure the continued economic strength and diversity of the City’s creative sector. 

Two prominent leaders from the fields of innovation and the arts served as advisors to the Fund: David Thorpe, Director of Innovation, Institute for State effectiveness and Andrew Zolli, Founder, Z + Partners and Curator, annual Pop!Tech Conference.

The New York City Cultural Innovation Fund builds on the Rockefeller Foundation’s tradition of support for the arts.  The Foundation supports artists in a variety of fields through its investments in national arts organizations including Creative Capital, United States Artists, and Renew Media.  Historically, the Foundation provided major funding for the establishment of several of New York City’s landmark cultural institutions, including Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

The Rockefeller Foundation fosters innovative solutions to many of the world’s most pressing challenges, affirming its mission, since 1913, to “promote the well-being” of humanity. Today, the Foundation works to ensure that more people can tap into the benefits of globalization while strengthening resilience to risks. Foundation initiatives include efforts to mobilize an agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa, bolster economic security for American workers, inform equitable, sustainable transportation policies in the United States, ensure access to affordable and high-quality health systems in developing countries, support strategies and services that help vulnerable communities cope with the impacts of climate disruptions, and promote environments in which creativity can flourish.

For more information about the Rockefeller Foundation, or to learn more about applying for an award from the 2011 New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, please visit


Recipients of the 2010 Rockefeller Foundation

New York City Cultural Innovation Fund Awards

3-Legged Dog, to develop a cooperative financial support structure with a set of international secondary markets for multimedia performing arts

Bowery Arts & Science, in partnership with City Lore, to host a series of poetry readings and project the works of culturally diverse poets onto walls and buildings in city neighborhoods

CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities, in partnership with Artist as Citizen, for an online atlas that traces and anticipates the city’s environmental transformation

Creative Time, for Artists on the News, which uses major media partnerships to feature artists in dialogues on the most pressing socio-political issues of the day

Dance Theatre of Harlem, for an in-person and online program linking dancers and choreographers with non-dancers to expand audiences and collaborate on new works

Demos, for The Institute for Culture in the Service of Community Sustainability, to support cultural and civic activism and cultural policy formulation by conducting research on the roles of arts and culture in urban economies

EmcArts, to formalize a peer-to-peer learning community to help arts organizations practice innovation and develop new strategies for addressing current and future challenges

Exit Art, to develop New York’s first theater focused on micro-financed national and international digital cinema from under-represented countries and premieres of rare and youth-produced films

The Foundry Theatre, for a series of collaborations between artists and community-based social justice organizations that will create and perform six new theatrical works that re-imagine New York City

Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, for a series in which young masters of Afro-Caribbean music blur national distinctions by combining elements of jazz, hip-hop, rock and reggaeton

International WOW Company, for a teaching/interactive drama in which the audience conducts green retrofits on the theater over the course of the play’s run

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, in partnership with the Brooklyn Arts Council, to further develop a tourism initiative to brand Brooklyn as a destination for a unique and authentic African Diaspora experience

New York Foundation for the Arts, in partnership with Cambodian Living Arts, to stage the first multi-disciplinary festival of Cambodian arts in the United States

New York Hall of Science, for a project in which artists work with the Queens community to create art that explores the connections among immigration, urbanization, cultural vitality and sustainability

Park Avenue Armory, to inaugurate the drill hall as New York City’s first grand-scale, non-proscenium dance space to create bold new works without typical constraints

Pratt Center for Community Development, in partnership with Pratt Institute’s Initiative for Art, Community and Social Change, to develop visual and performance art to complement sustainable practices in urban communities

Queens Museum of Art, to launch Studio Corona, a residency embedding artists in the most ethnically diverse community in the United States and, in partnership with Queens College, CUNY, to develop a Masters of Fine Art in Social Practice

Randall’s Island Sports Foundation, in partnership with the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Made Event, to present public waterfront works of visual art and music focused on environmental themes


For media inquiries, please contact:
Laura Gordon: 212-852-8216 or 646-915-2613

Media Contact at Hostos Community College

Néstor Montilla

Communications & College Relations Manager

 Division of Institutional Development

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College

of The City University of New York

120 East 149th Street, Rm. 214 E Bronx, NY 10451

Tel. (718) 518-4355

Fax #: (718) 518-4240