The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) has awarded a $25,000 grant to East End Arts & Humanities Council, Inc. (EEA) to support its ongoing efforts to attract visitors to downtown Riverhead’s emerging “Arts District.” This award recognizes EEA’s role as a vital economic driver as it cultivates a destination atmosphere with its gallery programming, public exhibitions, and community events.
The LICF funding helps underwrite the cost of publicly showcasing artworks in Riverhead. EEA operates two distinguished art galleries downtown — the EEA Art Gallery at 133 East Main Street, Riverhead and the 11 West Gallery at 11 West Main Street. An easy five minute walk apart, the spaces create a pleasurable pedestrian experience as gallery-goers pass numerous downtown venues and businesses. The pair of galleries present numerous exhibitions throughout the year, allowing EEA to regularly offer opening receptions, facilitate artist talks, and promote other art-centric opportunities in the downtown area.
“Most people think of an arts district as a desirable place to have interesting experiences,” states Wendy Weiss, EEA Creative Director, “This Main Street has all the ingredients of a great arts district — history, architecture, diversity, small business, public art, music, theater. It simply needs cultivation. Thanks to the support of LICF, East End Arts is in a better position to do just that.”
The grant also supports EEA’s curation of rotating exhibitions at several of Riverhead’s popular public spaces, including the East End Food Market, The Dimon Estate, Riverhead Town Hall and Tax Office, the shared storefront of the Riverhead BID and Chamber of Commerce, Riverview Lofts, and G2D’s window box gallery (coming soon). These satellite galleries showcase artwork of local EEA members and present new art on view every one to six months, depending on the venue. Collaborative efforts with downtown Riverhead businesses and organizations to bring further public engagement through the arts are in the works for the coming year.
“Place-based arts and cultural practices help grow social cohesion to encourage community well-being,” says David Okorn, Executive Director of LICF. “We are proud to support the East End Arts in its creative placemaking to draw people to downtown Riverhead and help create economic activity in this vibrant arts District.”
For more information on East End Arts programs visit eastendarts.org.
One fine body…