Friday, 01 June 2012 03:22
The New York Community Trust has awarded the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) a $50,000 leading grant for the planning and predevelopment of the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC), a music performance, rehearsal, studio, and cultural space that will serve as the hub for the preservation, dissemination, and celebration of the influential musical forms—including Latin Jazz and Hip Hop—that emerged from or have strong roots in the Bronx. Located in the Melrose Commons neighborhood of the South Bronx, the BMHC will be part of a mixed-use campus called Bronx Commons that will include:
- LEED-Gold affordable housing for nearly 300 low-income and formerly homeless families and elder Bronx musicians;
- A rooftop farm, 12,000-square-foot public plaza, and 60,000-square-foot public park with recreational fields and a track;
- The WHEDco-Bard Academy, a grades 6-12 school developed in partnership with Bard College Masters of Arts in Teaching Program that will provide over 500 youth from the surrounding area youth with a curriculum that draws on Venezuela’s universal music program, El Sistema; and
- Rehearsal, exhibition, and music performance space for musicians throughout the community.
The New York Community Trust’s support will help the BMHC plan and develop physical and virtual archives of Bronx music and memorabilia, engage Bronx musicians in the planning and programming of the Bronx Music Heritage Center facility and the Bronx Music Heritage Center Laboratory, and host the BMHC Living Legends Performance Series to honor professional Bronx musicians who have had a broad impact music originating in the Bronx. Currently, Hip Hop group Circa ‘95 is in residency at the BMHC Lab (See here for more information about BMHC Lab events). The BMHC will honor Community Legend Marcos Napa, Afro-Peruvian Percussionist, at a free music event at PS 63 in the Bronx on June 1st from 4:00-6:00 pm.