At a news conference today at the Museum of the City of New York, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Mathew M. Wambua announced The Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation (AFHDC) and Monadnock Development have been chosen to construct an innovative, space-efficient building of micro-units in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood.
We asked Rebecca Sauer, Project Analyst for the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation to tell us more about the project. You can also read the press release by visiting our website.
New York City is changing. As it strives to nurture and retain the creative and talented individuals that make the city thrive, its housing stock must evolve as well. The Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation (AFHDC) is honored to have been selected, in partnership with Monadnock Development Inc., to develop a residence in Kips Bay that uses modular technology and intelligent design solutions to showcase the “micro-living” concept. The project, dubbed My Micro NY, will cater to New York City’s expanding population of one- and two-person households.
Last July, under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Mathew Wambua, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced the adAPT competition as an outgrowth of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council’s (CHPC) Making Room project. By studying the changing city, CHPC discovered a mismatch in demographics and housing stock. There are 1.8 million one- and two-person households and only 1 million studios and one-bedroom apartments to choose from. Affordability is also a major concern, preventing smaller households from accessing appropriate living environments. In order to encourage future development of these apartment types, the adAPT competition asked developers to propose concepts for a site in Kips Bay (at First Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets), allowing smaller units than regulations currently allow, and maximizing livability at the micro scale. Thirty-three development teams entered the competition, and other cities are following suit: in November, San Francisco legislators approved the construction of 220-square-foot apartments, and cities like Boston are launching projects to develop “micro-units” as well.
New Yorkers want and need quality, safe, affordable housing as a base from which they can pursue their dreams and build the lives and careers they envision for themselves. We know this to be true throughout the performing arts and entertainment community that The Actors Fund has served over the last 130 years. Whether they have been working on Broadway for decades, or have just arrived in the city, these individuals are often worried about the stability and affordability of their living situation.
“We formed the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation as a subsidiary in 2009 for this exact purpose—to be active in creating new housing solutions that will benefit the performing arts and entertainment community,” said Joseph P. Benincasa, President of The Actors Fund. “The fact that My Micro NY has application for other communities and cities is a tremendous opportunity.”
“We are proud to be a member of the development team selected by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to be at the vanguard of implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s vision to provide a new and innovative option for attractive affordable housing that responds to the changing demographics and preferences of New York City’s residents,” said Scott Weiner, President of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation.
The groundwork for our team’s proposal lies within The Actors Fund’s experience co-developing and co-operating The Schermerhorn residence in downtown Brooklyn, which also contains very small units. Lots of natural light, well-programmed community spaces and cultural facilities are the key to enhancing the residents’ experience in the building. My Micro NY, designed by renowned firm nARCHITECTS, will be a tall and slender building with open floor plans that makes use of every inch — and features Juliet balconies. Each unit will be constructed by the Capsys Corporation at their Brooklyn Navy Yard plant, then transported to the site and erected by Monadnock. The Actors Fund will play a leading role in programming the building’s common spaces and creating opportunities for residents to participate in a creative community.
By employing a modular construction method, this project will be completed in a short timeline. Please check our website (www.actorsfund.org) for news and updates.
Read the press release.
Learn more about the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation.
On December 13, The Actors Fund threw a very special thank-you celebration for our In The Spotlight (ITS) members at Los Angeles’s Geffen Playhouse. ITS members were treated to a buffet-style dinner and then stayed to watch A Coney Island Christmas, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Marguiles, directed by Bart Delorenzo, and based on the Grace Paley short story “The Loudest Voice.”
Our supporters had such a wonderful time, we thought we’d share some of the photos from the party! We’d also like to extend a special thank-you to everyone at The Geffen for welcoming our donors and for their continued partnership, as well as Regina Miller, The Geffen’s Chief Development Officer.
Happy Holidays to our generous donors and everyone in our community!
Our lives are enriched every day through the exciting and important work of professionals in performing arts and entertainment (like the artists who appear each season at The Geffen). But very few of them have full time employment or the supports – such as health insurance – that so many of us count on.
With the help of generous members and donors like our In the Spotlight members, The Actors Fund can help our community in times of need or crisis – and you can enjoy terrific membership benefits.
Play a leading role by joining In The Spotlight, The Actors Fund Premiere Giving Society!
On October 31, Brian Stokes Mitchell (our fabulously talented, Tony Award-winning Chairman of the Board) takes the Alice Tully Hall stage for a gala evening to benefit The Actors Fund and Lincoln Center. Stokes will host this very special evening, which features cocktails and dinner, as well as his performance of songs from his brand-new album of classics, Simply Broadway, which will have just hit the shelves the day before (it’s currently available for preorder on iTunes and CDBaby). Check out the video below, in which Stokes shares a little more about the recording.
This performance kicks off Stokes’ five-city charitable concert tour, for which he has selected five non-profit venues across the country where he’ll perform in concert, and at least 50% of the proceeds will be shared between The Actors Fund and each theatre. Each show is designed to promote cooperation and giving, and emphasizes the importance of the arts in the lives of people everywhere. Stokes intends for this series to encourage people in all occupations and professions to partner in this manner to help sustain the national philanthropic spirit.
A longtime champion of promoting a better community through the arts, Stokes received the 2012 Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award from Americans for the Arts on October 15. Congrats, Stokes!
Tickets for the October 31 Lincoln Center are $250 for the cocktail hour plus performance, and $125 for the performance only (just use code AF50). For tickets and more information, please visit the Alice Tully Hall Box Office at Broadway at 65th Street, call CenterCharge at 212.721.6500 or visit lincolncenter.org. Dates and locations for the remainder of Stokes’ benefit tour will be announced shortly! To stay up-to-date on all things Stokes, follow him on Twitter, and like him on Facebook!
Everyone in The Actors Fund family is still riding high from Monday night’s incredibly wonderful Gala, during which we honored David Steiner and Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara with our Medal of Honor, and Harry Belafonte with The Lee Strasberg Artistic Achievement Award. We’ll be posting video highlights of the evening soon, so keep an eye out for updates!
We are incredibly grateful to the many, many people who contributed to the evening’s success: Angela Lansbury, for opening the evening; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Douglas Steiner for honoring Medal of Honor awardee David Steiner; the Tony nominated star of End of the Rainbow Michael Cumpsty for making a special appeal for donations with some help from his co-star and co-nominee Tracie Bennett; Annette Bening for her amazing Actors Fund PSA; comic treasures Julie Halston, Charles Busch, Jason Alexander, Phyllis Newman & Lewis J. Stadlen, Ben Stiller, and Oscar winner Christopher Plummer for their hilarious and thoughtful tributes to Stiller & Meara; and Carmen deLavallade, Marge Champion, Tyne Daly, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Drum Circle and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA, and The Honorable David Dinkins for their moving tributes to Harry Belafonte. Extra-special thanks go to our producers Abby Schroeder and Michael Kerker for putting on such a wonderfully moving and entertaining show!
And finally, we thank our honorees for their dedication to the entertainment industry, their commitment of social justice, and their support of The Actors Fund. We’ll also be posting their not-to-be-missed acceptance speeches, but in the meantime, here’s a bit of Stiller & Meara on Friday’s Morning Joe – we’re grateful they took some time to speak out for The Fund!
Last Thursday, Actors Fund Western Region Director Keith McNutt and Director of Social Services Tina Hookom were guests on Samm Brown’s For The Record, KPFK 90.7 FM’s weekly radio show that delves into various behind-the-scenes entertainment industry issues. Keith and Tina’s one-hour live chat with Samm included a discussion of the Actors Fund’s fascinating history, what makes our work possible, a bit on who we help and how we help them, the realities of working in the entertainment industry, and an overview of The Fund’s programs and services. They took some interesting listener calls throughout the broadcast, too.
If you’d like to check out the archived show, go to http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=fortherecord, scroll to the April 5th program, and click the “play” link to download and listen in your music player.