New Program Creates Art Studios in Queens Hotels

A new program by the Queens Council on the Arts is bringing artists into hotels. NY1's Thabie Sibanda filed the following report on how this new residency program addresses a growing need in the arts community.

Erin Treacy has been pursuing her passion to create art for most of her life. But affordable studio space for local artists to create their work is getting harder to come by.

"Prices, you know, they always keep soaring,” said Treacy. “After you get priced out of one place you move to the next."

That's where the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) comes in. They've just launched a new three-month long residency program that gives local artists studio space in two Queens hotels. The Paper Factory Hotel is hosting Treacy.

"When I built it, this was my vision for artists, musicians, community and that's why it was like a perfect match,” said owner Gal Sela.

"To have financial support is great. To be able to have ‘spatial’ support in New York City is even better. So that was the main draw," said Treacy.

The Z NYC Hotel is hosting Jennifer Williams, the other artist in the program. Williams say it's nice to have a residency program specifically for local artists.

"It gives me an opportunity to do something in a type of space that wouldn't be available to me otherwise," said Williams. "A lot of residences in New York aren't for people from New York. They are here to kind of pull people in from other places.”

QCA’s Grants and Resource Director Lynn Lobell says not only does the council hear artists are being priced out but as neighborhoods are gentrified, their studio spaces are being demolished to make way for big, new developments.

"This is not alleviating the problem at all,” said Lobell. “But we thought that this would bring to light that there's an issue and we hope that the developers somewhere along the way will hear our call and maybe start thinking in terms of our creative workers."

The public will be invited into the artist's hotel studios to experience the creative process at various times during the residency. Lobell says the goal is to be able to fund more studios like this across the borough.

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