by Madelyn Torres and Gary Axelbank
June 10, 2018
In support of Bronx Commons, their innovative affordable housing project that’s currently under development which will include a significantly upgraded Bronx Music Heritage Center and numerous other cultural opportuniities, WHEDco has put out the Morrisania Arts & Culture Survey to give direction to planners when it comes to cultural activites in the area south and east of Crotona Park.
In partnership with DreamYard and the Department of Cultural Affairs the survey will attempt to determine how and where Bronx residents who either live, work, or go to school in zip codes 10456, 10451, and 10459 are currently engaging with arts and culture in their communities and what they’d like to see in the future. WHEDco is concerned that the 58,000 residents of the area are largely underserved by the arts and they want to do something about it.
This is on the heels of a Community Needs Assessment where WHEDco’s findings showed that “people did talk about wanting to have more opportunity to access the arts, more community centers, and more cultural and and entertainment initiatives”, said WHEDco Vice President of Community Development Kerry A. McLean. “The arts and culture are a critical component of thriving communities”.
Music is also a core component, as McLean believes there are many as yet unknown artists who can be a part of building the economy through promotional opportunities and increased exposure.
Unlike in so many other cases where Bronx residents have been overlooked in the development of their own communities, McLean insists that Bronx Commons is going to be different. She says that input from Bronx community members is pivotal to ensuring the best outcome.
“We really have an opportunity here to roll out the voices of the community through this assessment process,” said Ms. McLean.
WHEDco is strongly encouraging Bronx residents who have a connection with any of those zip codes to participate. Anyone who is 18 and over can take the survey either in print or online, and it’s availble in both Spanish and English.
The deadline to submit the survey is June 30, 2018.