LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island Opens to the Public
Sep 20, 2019 10:45 am
September 19, 2019. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and the Trust for Governors Island celebrated today the public opening of LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island. The first year-round tenant dedicated to arts and culture on Governors Island, LMCC’s Arts Center is a new home for artists and audiences and will host a diverse range of free arts, cultural and educational programming, including a year-round artist residency program. Beginning today, the Arts Center will be open Thursday-Sunday through the remainder of Governors Island’s public season.
Conceived as an incubator for creative exploration and a gathering space to engage in dialogue, LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island features over 40,000 square feet of space dedicated to public performances, exhibitions and artist residencies, visual and performing arts studios and the Island’s first indoor cafe. Beginning today, the Arts Center will also host a year-round artist residency program, providing studio space for up to 20 individual artists, ensembles and choreographers. Cultural programming will take place throughout Governors Island’s public season, which currently runs between May 1 and October 31. LMCC’s inaugural season program will host works and artists that investigate issues of ecology, sustainability and history, including site-specific exhibitions by Yto Barrada with guest artist Bettina and Michael Wang, as well as The Take Care Series featuring artists and collectives Olafur Elliason, Jesse Paris Smith, Tattfoo Tan, House of Trees and Jérôme Bel.
Located in an 1870s former ordnance warehouse within the Governors Island Historic District, LMCC partnered with the Trust for Governors Island on an interior and exterior renovation to reimagine the building for the 21st century. The interior renovation, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Adamson Associates Architects and engineered by BuroHappold Engineering, features open plan artist studios, two floors of galleries, performance and rehearsal spaces and a café, and successfully reveals the stunning structure of the waterfront historic building, while keeping its spaces flexible for a variety of uses.
Representatives from LMCC, The Trust for Governors Island, the City of New York, elected officials and cultural leaders joined a ribbon cutting ceremony on Governors Island on September 19 to mark the official opening of the Arts Center. LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island will be open to the public Thursday-Sunday from 12PM-5PM for the remainder of Governors Island’s public season. The Arts Center will continue its operations year-round, as an artist residency program.
“We’re excited to welcome the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) to their new home on Governors Island,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been.” As the island’s first permanent cultural tenant, LMCC will provide a vibrant space for art creation and enjoyment for Governors Island visitors. Moreover, the center will have an outsized role in giving artists and audiences from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to participate in the City’s thriving arts scene.”
“LMCC is a cultural anchor of New York City and Lower Manhattan, uniting cultural and institutional partners with its visionary leadership in the arts,” said Timur Galen, Chair of the Board of LMCC. “In partnership with the Trust for Governors Island, LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island will enable LMCC to continue its work with artists and the creation of exceptional artistic programming for broad audiences for the long term.”
“Arts, culture and creativity have made Governors Island the special place it is today, and with LMCC’s Arts Center, they now have a permanent home,” said Alicia Glen, former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development and Chair of the Trust for Governors Island. “The opening of LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island is a testament to our commitment to making New York City an affordable place for artists to work while realizing our vision to unlock the potential of Governors Island as a place for New Yorkers to learn, work and create.”
“We are thrilled to expand upon the decades-long work of LMCC to connect artists and communities through our model of service and sharing of the creative process, said Lili Chopra, LMCC’s Executive Director of Artistic Programs. “The deep roots of LMCC’s presence in Manhattan’s arts and cultural landscape are now prominently visible through LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island. Through the inaugural exhibitions of Yto Barrada and Bettina, Michael Wang, and the Take Care series, as well as work that will be developed by the inaugural family of artists-in-residence, we invite the public into LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island to reflect on the world we inhabit. How can we better care for ourselves, those around us and the planet as a whole?”
“For over 45 years, LMCC has championed artists and their visions in transforming urban spaces,” said Diego S. Segalini, LMCC’s Executive Director of Finance & Administration. “LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island is a gift to all New Yorkers in a time of intense economic inequity and ecological crisis. The Arts Center will be a space of conversation and thought. It reflects the mission and values of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council to serve and connect artists and communities on a human and personal scale, completely aligned with Governors Island’s commitment to the City, water and the environment.”
“The opening of LMCC’s Arts Center is an exciting milestone in the transformation of Governors Island as a hub of creativity and a year-round part of New York City’s cultural life,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “The Trust was thrilled to partner with LMCC on this project in creating a vibrant new home for artists, free cultural programs and community engagement. As our first permanent cultural tenant on Governors Island, LMCC’s Arts Center is a model for how the historic district can be reimagined for the 21st century.”
“LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island will further cement the status of Governors Island as a truly indispensable resource for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The new center will not only serve as a vibrant space for visitors to experience art but will also provide a diverse array of artists with an opportunity to showcase their work and participate in New York’s art scene. I am proud to have worked with LMCC and the Trust for Governors Island to bring this center to the island, and I look forward to partnering with the Trust as they bring more opportunities for enrichment to New Yorkers.”
“Governors Island just keeps getting more exciting for New Yorkers, and that couldn’t be more true with its new addition, LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m happy to welcome LMCC to its new home, and look forward to watching it flourish into a dazzling part of the arts-and-culture scene of this City.”
“The opening of LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island is an important milestone in the continued transformation of Governors Island from a sleepy little island into a place where New Yorkers can go to experience and enjoy our history, spectacular views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, partake in recreational activities and after today enjoy a permanent arts complex in a former munitions warehouse,” said US Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Active in Lower Manhattan since 1973, I am proud to be a supporter of LMCC and congratulate them on the opening of this new home for artistic expression that will help transform Governors Island into a cultural destination and a year-round hub of creativity and innovation.”
“For decades, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council has played an important role in fostering and sustaining New York City artists,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “By establishing Governors Island’s first year-round, permanent home for artists and audiences, LMCC will continue to support our city’s cultural diversity. Congratulations to LMCC executive directors Lili Chopra and Diego Segalini for reaching this great milestone and to the artists who will have their work on display during the Arts Center’s inaugural year.”
“LMCC’s new Arts Center at Governors Island will provide a great opportunity for artists to showcase their work, allowing the community to engage with themes of ecology, sustainability, and resilience through a number of creative outlets and events,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “In a time where the dangers of climate change are increasingly dire, we need more discussion of our relationship with nature and the environment. The exhibits and workshops at the Arts Center will help facilitate these discussions between artists and the public with issues relevant to Governors Island and New York City at large.”
“Governors Island is a gem that has already become a unique hub for NYC residents and visitors, attracting over 800,000 people last year alone for its exciting attractions, stellar views, and vibrant cultural programming,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “The opening of LMCC’s new Arts Center offers a spectacular new venue for creativity and dialogue, and adds to our city’s supply of free and affordable studio space. It permanently cements a home for artists in this remarkable place making it a year-round cultural destination for all New Yorkers.”
“The addition of LMCC to Governors Island is exciting and yet a natural combination whose sum will be greater than the parts,” said Anthony Notaro, Jr., Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1. “It will benefit Lower Manhattan and the City at large. We welcome this and look forward to wonderful things to come.”
“The opening of the LMCC Arts Center is a giant step forward in achieving our organization’s founding vision of Governors Island as a place for public enrichment and enjoyment.” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “LMCC’s programs are breathing new life into a historic building, offering New Yorkers a chance to discover new perspectives on arts and culture in their city, and fostering a year-round community that will help shape the Island’s future. We look forward to working closely with the Trust and LMCC to continue enhancing the visitor experience on Governors Island.”
Since 1973, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) has served tens of thousands of artists and arts groups in New York City with critical financial support, training, networking and long-term studio residency programs. As a champion of independent artists and a vital cultural force in city arts, LMCC connects audiences with public presentations of artists’ work (including its flagship River To River Festival), creating innumerable cultural experiences and programs across Manhattan, free of charge and welcome to all.
Beginning September 19, LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island is open to the public Thursday-Sunday from 12PM-5PM. LMCC’s Arts Center is accessible by ferries to Governors Island operating to and from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Arts Center is a 2-minute walk from the Soissons Landing pier. For the Governors Island ferry schedule, please visit govisland.org