Baxter St at CCNY Receives $1 M. Grant from Mellon Foundation

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York has been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, marking a transformative moment for the institution, which will use the money to grow its photography-focused programming.

Jil Weinstock, executive director of Baxter St, told ARTnews that the “support from the Mellon Foundation is truly a game-changer for Baxter St. It will enable us to enhance our programming, deepen our community relationships, and continue our mission of fostering creativity and inclusivity in lens-based arts.”

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The grant, distributed over three years, is designed to support capacity building and staff retention efforts at Baxter St. It will allow the organization to implement a one-time staff adjustment in salaries and hire a community outreach coordinator to strengthen ties with diverse communities in Chinatown, where the organization is based, and with lens-based artists more broadly.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to expand our impact and engage with a broader audience,” Weinstock said. “With increased staffing and resources, we’ll be able to double our exhibition program and create a dynamic community space at our Project Space.”

The Project Space at Baxter St serves as a site for exhibitions, workshops, and community gatherings. With the Mellon Foundation’s support, Baxter St plans to offer more opportunities for emerging artists, foster dialogues on contemporary social issues, and collaborate with community members and other nonprofit art organizations on events and exhibitions in their Project Space.

In addition to expanding its programming, Baxter St intends to celebrate its 140th anniversary and its 10th anniversary at its current location with a series of community-engaged events, including a free-admission block party on May 11. These initiatives, Weinstock said, will honor Baxter St’s rich legacy and pave the way for its continued growth and impact in the years to come.

“Our relocation to Baxter St ten years ago marked not only a change in location, but a transformative moment,” the organization’s president, Michi Jigarjian, told ARTnews. “The legacy we’ve built since then is a testament to the resilience and vision of our community. The generous support of the Mellon Foundation grant will be instrumental in shaping our legacy, allowing us to amplify diverse voices and perspectives.”

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