Edward Grimes- Carrion:
I began my work at GSCA in 2013, and have loved every minute here. Serving this organization, and the south end of Albany has been a true honor and privilege. GSCA is in the strongest position it has occupied in years. Programming has both improved and expanded. Organizational infrastructure is compliant, transparent, and encompassing of the growing needs of GSCA, and this region’s evolving creative economy.
Fundraising has been focused and consistent, and despite the multi-year downturn in philanthropic giving, GSCA has successfully run its operations. In regards to our home at 68 Grand Street, renovations have moved forward into phase 2, causing our famed Grand Street performance space to become solely a construction site. While our home is in this state, and to improve organization, access to the community and efficiency, GSCA’s Offices will be housed at 148 Central Ave.
None of this would have been possible without your support as a community. Retooled, reinvigorated, and reborn your Grand Street Community Arts is better. I am proud to have had a hand in that as Executive Director, but now it’s time to move on, and I leave GSCA in the exceptional hands of artist, filmmaker, and former GSCA board member Paul Rivers Bailey.
Paul Rivers Bailey:
As I take on the role of Executive Director for GSCA beginning April 1st 2015, I find myself in a better position than where the organization’s former executive director was two years ago. I would like to thank Ed Grimes for the work that he and the staff have done in getting us into this position. We have growing programs and partnerships that are developing into new opportunities for our entire community. I am very excited about the future of the organization and the projects we have planned.
In the face of the downturn in philanthropic giving we also will be developing and implementing new business models that will be part of a lager strategic plan. I look forward to announcing more as things become solidified. First, we recently just announced our multi-year partnership with Albany Housing Authority, and our program YO! Youth Organics. With their help and along with our other donors, we will continue our youth driven gardening program at Hawk Garden, and add artistic programming at the new AHA! Stage at YO! Gardens. At this site we anticipate a variety of shows and programs to engage the community and get them interested in urban agriculture and nutrition.
We are also on the cusp of raising the antennae for a Low Power FM community radio station that will give you a voice in Albany. WCAA will be a home for Community, Arts, and Activism. We are in the throes of fundraising, and we appreciate all of the community support as we push towards this goal.
Last, but certainly not least, is our largely successful program Youth FX. They recently just held the World Premiere screening of their 8th season of films, and will be expanding into a full year program. We have also begun the work of creating a department that will offer the community professional media services by giving the community the opportunity to work with these amazing young filmmakers and musicians. This year youth FX, produced its first music EP which was unveiled at their recent screening. We hope to develop a more comprehensive music program within the Youth FX brand.
There are great things happening at Grand Street Community Arts.
We will continue to pay close attention to the infrastructure of the organization so we can continue to grow in our ability to support the community through our programs. A great deal of care and thought has gone into this transition of leadership. We have worked for months to make sure we continue on the positive path we began two years ago, and keep the positive culture that is developing. Ed, Alexis Bhagat, the board and myself have spent countless hours so that the transition is easy and keeps our organization consistent.
In closing, I am looking forward to meeting many people in the community and wish to continue to develop relationships with those that I have met. Here is a little of my background and what I will bring to this role. I have ten years of programming artistic events, six years experience creating and delivering classes and workshops, and many years with organizational management, but mostly my commitment to service through the arts is what I will bring to our organization. I myself am a working artist, and will bring my experience with creating art to our programs, along with a wealth of relationships with other artists and administrators nationally that can add to our existing programming. I would like to also extend an open hand to all of our partners and I look forward to the positive work we will do together in the future.