When we first heard that the Bronx River Arts Center, one of the Bronx’ most important cultural organizations had not been able to get back into their own renovated building after seven years, we couldn’t believe it.
So on November 15, 2017 we produced this exclusive video to see if they could get some results. Not only was it one of our best stories of the year, it was maybe our most important.
In this special edition of thisistheBronX at NOON host Gary Axelbank exclusively reveals that for the last seven years the Bronx River Arts Center (BRAC) has been running its award winning arts and education programs in temporary spaces and, incredibly, they are still not able to get occupancy into their own gorgeous West Farms facility.
In this video expose, you can see some of the extension centers where they’ve had to run their programs and Executive Director Gail Nathan gives Gary an exclusive tour inside the completely renovated four-story BRAC building, even though, incredibly, it’s still off limits to the public.
At the moment, the gallery spaces, creative studios, classrooms, and even the green rooftop that is just right for receptions, fundraising, and events are closed, awaiting final work and approvals from the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).
At the end of the video there’s a chance meetup with a Bronx mother asking when the building will open. Gail’s response tells the whole story.
Ultimately this is about City neglect in the face of overwhelming demand for increased creative programs in a dense, diverse, vulnerable community that is in the geographic center, the virtual heart of the Bronx.