The Queens Council on the Arts has a new home in Astoria, where it will be strategically located near several other arts powerhouses in the borough.
“We’ve been looking for the actual space and place to move for several years, and Astoria just seems to be one of those neighborhoods that’s very vibrant and accessible,” said Lynn Lobell, the council’s managing director.
The new site, at 37-11 35th Ave., is in a former garage owned by Kaufman Astoria Studios, a historic movie and television production center.
Lobell said the new building will enable the council to provide many of its services and programs in one location, when previously it would rent out various spaces across the borough or work out of its less accessible locations in Woodhaven and Forest Park.
“We now have a place we can call our own,” Lobell said, adding that the QCP will still travel around the borough to offer programs, although not as much as it had in the past.
The council moved to its new building Monday across the street from the Museum of the Moving Image and close to the Astoria Performing Arts Center, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and a neighborhood over from MoMA PS1 in Long Island City.
“It’s kind of a cultural hub that’s been created,” Lobell said, saying she hopes from the new location the council will become a community center for the borough’s artists.
The Queens Council for the Arts, established in 1966, promotes cultural growth and arts development in the borough through grant-funding, skills-building programs and networking opportunities.
The new 1,600-square-foot office was designed by Long Island City architect Jonathan Miller and features a large common space that will be used for workshops, presentations or other arts projects, a multimedia room for panel meetings and discussions and the center’s administrative offices.
Lobell said the council is holding an open house to present the new location to the community alongside its annual Queens Art Express Weekend June 22.
She said the weekend will be structured a bit differently from the way it had been in the past. She said instead of holding a festival of arts activities along the No. 7 train, the event this year will feature four or five artists who have gone through a QCP program and delve into their creative process through videos, interviews and photos.
Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cn
©2013 Community News Group
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