Bronx Council on the Arts

The Bronx Council on the Arts (established 1962), is an art based culture agency that has grown to become the official cultural agency of the Bronx, New York City.[3] It provides a “lifeline” to more than 4,800 artists and over 250 arts and community-based organizations.

Bronx Council on the Arts
Bronx Council on the Arts logo.jpg
PredecessorBronx Committee on the Arts
Established1962; 58 years ago (1962)
Legal status501(c)(3)
HeadquartersWestchester Square, Bronx, New York[1]
Region served
The Bronx
Servicesarts and cultural services
Charles Rice-Gonzalez
Sheila McDaniel
Shereen Margolis
Executive Director
Viviana Bianchi
1.6 Million
Staff (2014)


The Bronx Council on the Arts was founded in the early 1960s when community leaders: Jerry Klot, Reverend William Kaladjian and others came together to provide summer arts & culture activities in the Bronx. In 1969 the Bronx Council on the arts merged with the Bronx Committee on the Arts and worked to improve access to the arts around the Bronx by introducing various programs around the Borough including the Bronx regrets program and the opening of the Bronx Museum of the Arts.[4]

As the Bronx Council on the Arts continued to grow they offered their programs at various galleries and venues located throughout the Bronx but lacked a central space. That changed in 2011 when Chase donated the former Washington Mutual Branch located at 2700 East Tremont Avenue to be used as their headquarters. Due to lack of funds, the group was unable to develop and utilize the space. In 2015 with support from Councilman James Vacca and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr and other donors, they were was able to obtain the funds needed to renovate the building and utilize it as their central office[5] and moved in during 2019.[citation needed]


The Bronx Council on the Arts runs several programs including:

  • Bronx Recognizes Its Own Award (BRIO), established 1989[6][7] to support Bronx based artists and performers. The number of recipients and amount each grantee received has varied over the years and recipients are expected to do community service for a local arts organization as part of the award.[8][9]
  • Bronx Writers Center - creative writing and professional development workshops. The Bronx Memoir Project is one of its projects.
  • Longwood Art Gallery - hosted by Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture in the Hostos Community College campus.
  • The Bronx Cultural Trolley Arts and Culture Tour.


In 2011 the Bronx Council on the Arts created the APPLAUSE award to recognize artists and leaders from the Bronx. The first recipients included Eva Bornstein, executive director of Lehman Center for the Performing Arts; Madaha Kinsey-Lamb, founder and executive director of Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center; Holly Block, executive director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Gail Nathan, executive director of the Bronx River Art Center; and Rosalba Rolón, artistic director of Pregones Theater.[3]

Bronx Writers CenterEdit

In 1996, the Bronx Council on the Arts created the Bronx Writers Center as a means of fostering community and empowering writers. The program has grown into a yearly series of workshops located at various cultural venues across the Bronx and functions as not just a place for emerging writers to cultivate their skill but a place for writers to find creative mentors, network and work on professional development. Through collaboration with PEN American Center and the Bronx Museum of the Arts participants have the opportunity to participate in PEN World Voices literary festival. In 2013, Charlie Vazquez led a weekly writing workshop at the Bronx Writing Center. One participant was Nahshon Dion Anderson, who workshopped the first chapter of her nonfiction manuscript Shooting Range that won a 2014 BRIO award.[10]


  1. ^ "Bronx Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Department of Design and Construction, and Local Officials Break Ground on BCA@2700". The Office of The Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Bronx-Council-on-the-Arts-Inc". Retrieved 20 November 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Samuels, Tanyanika. "Bronx Council on the Arts celebrates 50 years". NY Daily News. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  4. ^ LLC, - Applied Dynamic Solutions. "history - Bronx Council On The Arts". Archived from the original on 2017-12-02. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  5. ^ Williams, Jaime (2015-08-25). "More Funding ends BCA Headquarters Delay" (PDF). Bronx Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2017-12-02.
  6. ^ Adam Wisnieski "Bronx Recognizes its Own musicians, writers and artists," The Riverdale Press June 15, 2011,48753 Archived 2011-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Damon Beres "New leader of Bronx Council on the Arts showcases creative side of boro," Daily News July 13th 2009
  8. ^ Raynor, Vivien (1990-04-08). "ART; Painter Organizes A Landscape Show". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  9. ^ "Bronx Recognizes its Own musicians, writers and artists". The Riverdale Press. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  10. ^ LLC, - Applied Dynamic Solutions. "Bronx Writers Center". Archived from the original on 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2017-12-02.

External linksEdit