Queens Theatre in the Park Celebrates Completion of Multi-Million Dollar Expansion
Queens Theatre in the Park (QTP), an iconic structure from the 1964 World's Fair, celebrated the completion of a $27 million renovation and expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on Thursday, September 23, 2010, attended by dozens of the borough's elected officials and invited guests.
QTP recently completed a $27 million physical transformation of the Theatre with funding provided by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and The Council of the City of New York. This major capitalinvestment has added a 75-seat cabaret performance space with a full service cafe and kitchen facility; created a dramatic new 3,000 square foot lobby/reception area; provided new visitor amenities and improved the facility's accessibility.
"The Queens Theatre in the Park is one of the pearls in the unique necklace of performing arts centers and cultural institutions found here in Queens. The Theatre also has a unique challenge - to satisfy the entertainment needs of the most diverse audience in America. That's why as your Borough President, I was proud to allocate approximately half the funding needed for this renovation and expansion. It would not have happened, however, without the support of Mayor Bloomberg, our City Council and the generous support of private individuals and partners, like the Bank of America and many more. Their generosity and support have helped to make this former World's Fair site, which provides world-class entertainment, ready for the world of tomorrow's theatergoers," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
"On behalf of the Members of the City Council, I am pleased to note our active participation in securing much needed funding to improve and beautify Queens Theatre in the Park. The Theatre is one of our City's premiere showplaces for arts and culture. Knowing that over 100,000 adults and children visit the Theatre each year, the Council responded to the Theatre's urgent request to improve public amenities at its venue. The new lobby and reception area are a beautiful gateway to the performances taking place inside the Theatre's three performance spaces. The new cabaret will serve as a catalyst for the Theatre to engage more contemporary and emerging artists and provide these artists with an important showcase for their work," said NYC Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
"The expansion of Queens Theatre in the Park has created a wonderful asset for audiences and artists," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. "The illuminated lobby and flexible cabaret space are striking additions to the building and significantly expand the capacity of this wonderful organization to serve visitors from across Queens and beyond."
"Our Theatre is fortunate to have the support of Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Marshall and Speaker Quinn and the City Council. Their funding of this expansion, and the commitment of additional funds to renovate our main theatre will further secure the Theatre's place as a premier destination for the performing arts in Queens," said Theatre Board President Frances A. Resheske.
In addition, the evening recognized donors from the private sector who have contributed to NEW SPACES. NEW WORKS. NEW AUDIENCES: THE CAMPAIGN FOR QUEENS THEATRE IN THE PARK,a $2 million campaign to fund an endowment, cash reserve and artistic growth fund. The Campaign is being led by Co-Chairs Don and Rose Ciampa and former Borough President Claire Shulman.
"Our commitment to this Campaign is a commitment to Queens Theatre in the Park, and in turn, a commitment to Queens. With the funds we have raised, through the generosity of the QueensTheatre trustees, our friends, businesses and individuals, we can lay a foundation for the long term sustainability of the Theatre and its programs," said Rose and Don Ciampa, co-Chairs of the Capital Campaign.
The lead donor is Bank of America, whose $500,000 gift served as a catalyst to launch the Campaign which has secured $1.9 million toward the $2 million goal. "Bank of America's generous gift will help define the future direction of the Theatre in the years to come," said the Theatre's Executive Director Jeffrey Rosenstock. "As a result of their support," Rosenstock added, "Bank of America will be recognized as the lead corporate partner of the new cabaret, which is the artistic cornerstone of this Campaign and the venue in which we hope to break down cultural silos and create a singular multi-cultural audience embracing audiences from every corner of our Borough."
"The arts are a powerful economic engine, and the expansion of Queens Theatre in the Park will pay dividends for the borough and New York City as a whole," said Jeff Barker, New York City market president, Bank of America. "The biggest beneficiaries, however, are residents and visitors who now have additional opportunities to visit one of the area's premier performing arts venues."
Queens Theatre in the Park is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Flushing, NY.
By Subway: Take the 7 train to Mets-Willets Point stop. Exit and turn left after passing through turnstile, walk downstairs on the parking lot side and follow the theatre shuttle signs. Take free trolley to the Theatre. Trolley runs for one hour before and after all performances.
By Car: Take the Grand Central Parkway to exit 9E (from Manhattan) or 9P (from Long Island) and follow the signs for the Theatre. Free parking in adjacent lot.
About Queens Theatre in the Park
Queens Theatre in the Park is committed to presenting performing arts that provide audiences with the highest quality work. QTP also produces new plays, with a concentration on up-and-coming directors and playwrights. QTP has broadened the experience of its core audience to include works by under-recognized artists from around the world and works that tap into the diverse communities of Queens.
Queens Theatre in the Park is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the New York State Pavilion designed for the 1964 World's Fair by Philip Johnson. The Pavilion was converted to a theatre in 1972 and was operated by various organizations until 1985. QTP was officially established in 1989 with the full support of the community and the Queens Borough President. After a $4 million renovation that brought full ADA compliance, the Theatre officially opened to the public in 1993 in a facility that allows it to stage productions equal to those of any Off-Broadway house in Manhattan in its 464-seat main stage theatre and its 99-seat Studio Theatre. What was then a small cabaret-style theater with an operating budget of under $500,000 has transformed itself into a major performing arts center with exhibition galleries with an operating budget of $3.5 million in FY10.
QTP became an independent nonprofit in 1997. It is a member of the Cultural Institutions Group receiving support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The Theatre presents and produces 300 performances annually. QTP serves 100,000 people each year who reflect the rich demographics of its community population. Currently 75% of the Theatre's constituency is from Queens. In addition to its own season, QTP frequently provides its space for use by community arts organizations and local promoters.
For more information, visit www.queenstheatre.org.