FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2014
Town Receives $25k Grant from Bank of America for Expanding New Cassel Revitalization
MEDIA CONTACTS: Ryan Mulholland, Sam Marksheid and Rebecca Cheng | (516) 869-7794
New Cassel, NY –The Town of North Hempstead, through the Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDCLI), was presented with a $25,000 grant from Bank of America during a January 27th ceremony at the “Yes We Can” Community Center. The grant was awarded through Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation, to be used to advance the ongoing Prospect Avenue Revitalization Project.
“I thank Bank of America for recognizing New Cassel as a growing community worthy of this generous grant donation,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “The New Cassel revitalization has made sure wonderful progress in recent years through the recent addition of a supermarket, pharmacy, affordable housing and the state-of-the art “Yes We Can” Community center. I believe this grant will certainly help us add to that list.”
The funding will be used for three major projects, many incorporating the proliferation of art through the ArtsBuild New Cassel program.
The first project is the creation of the Prospect Avenue Business Association, which will facilitate access to regional entrepreneurial resources and develop a five-year plan to attract new businesses, market and promote the corridor. Secondly, a façade improvement program will be developed to continue to transform Prospect Avenue into an attractive and aesthetically pleasing streetscape. Lastly, working with business owners, the ongoing ‘Arts in Storefronts’ program will be enhanced in order to turn vacant storefronts into vibrant art exhibits.
The New Cassel Revitalization began with visioning meetings more than ten years ago and started to come to fruition under the leadership of Councilwoman Viviana Russell.
“The revitalization of New Cassel has taken many shapes over the years, including the introduction of art to Prospect Avenue which is already enhancing the culture of our neighborhood,” said Councilwoman Russell. "This funding will allow us to continue to make art an economic driver for our community.”
Vanessa Greene, who directs the ArtsBuild New Cassel program and will be the impetus behind the ‘Arts in Storefronts program’, was excited about the grant. ArtsBuild New Cassel has already added a new level of culture to Prospect Avenue.
“We are proud to receive this grant as this was an extremely competitive nationwide process,” Greene said. “This award speaks volumes about our vision here in New Cassel and the work our team has done and will continue to do. Bank of America has been a great partner and we hope this is the start of an ongoing relationship to advance economic development.”
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is divided into several different categories, including ‘Revitalizing Communities’ which is designed to drive economic development through support of organizations and initiatives that contribute to the vitality and livability of communities.
Bank of America Long Island President Bob Isaksen and Market Manager Lorraine Aycock were on hand for the check presentation. Isaksen said of the grant, “This exciting project with the Town of North Hempstead will help strengthen the New Cassel economy through art, creating new opportunities for local families and businesses alike.”
CDCLI has been a partner of North Hempstead’s for a number of projects in recent years, including most recently the opening of the Cathedral Place Apartment Complex on Prospect Avenue.
“CDCLI is pleased to serve as the fiscal agent for ArtsBuild, and is grateful to the Bank of America for its support of the continuing effort to revitalize New Cassel. We view this project as an integral extension of our work in the community, which most recently resulted in the completion of Cathedral Place”, said Marianne Garvin, President and CEO of CDCLI. “These enhancement projects are important to continue fostering sustainability in New Cassel, and CDCLI is proud to partner with ArtsBuild to help accomplish this work.”
From left, Tony Jean, ArtsBuild New Cassel Artist-in-Residence; Corinne Hammons, Executive VP of CDCLI; Lorraine Aycock, Marketing Manager, Bank of America; Bob Isaksen, Long Island President, Bank of America; Judi Bosworth, North Hempstead Town Supervisor; Viviana Russell, North Hempstead Town Councilwoman; Vanessa Greene, ArtsBuild New Cassel; Neal Stone, North Hempstead Planning Department; April Brown-Lake, “Yes We Can” Community Center Director; Napoleon Revels-Bey, ArtsBuild Artist