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Billy Porter Hosts A.R.T./New York Theatres Ribbon Cutting Today

The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, New York City's leading service and advocacy organization for nonprofit theatre, welcomes Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter as host of the official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the A.R.T./NEW YORK THEATRES today, January 18, 2017 beginning at 10:30am and located at 502 West 53rd Street.

Designed by award-winning architect Toshiko Mori, the new state-of-the-Art Theatres will provide affordable performance space for New York City's smaller-budget nonprofit theatre companies.

As previously announced, the 21 companies selected for the inaugural 2017-18 season include: Amas Musical Theatre, Broken Box Mime Theater, Buran Theatre, The Civilians, Dramatic Question Theatre, Houses on the Moon Theater Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Movement Theatre Company, NAATCO, New Georges, New York City Children's Theater, New York Neo-Futurists, One Year Lease Theater Company, Pioneers Go East Collective, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Play Company, Project Y Theatre Company, Prospect Theater Company, Target Margin Theater, Theater Breaking Through Barriers and Transport Group Theatre Company.

Billy Porter is the 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award winner for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Lola in the Best Musical Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. His one-man show Ghetto Superstar (2005 GLAAD Media Award nomination, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Performer of the Year 2003-2004) debuted at The Public Theater in conjunction with City Theatre of Pittsburgh. He was recently seen on Broadway in Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. His directing credits include The Colored Museum at the Huntington; Company; HAM: A Musical Memoir with Sam Harris; The Wiz; Being Alive: The Soul of Sondheim; Twilight In Manchego; Once on This Island (NAACP Theatre Award winner for Best Direction); The Soul of Richard Rodgers; Five Guys Named Moe; Altar Boyz; Rent (Associate Director, Off Broadway revival); Patina Miller Live at The Delfonte Room (London); and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Music of Stevie Wonder (starring Chaka Khan). His Broadway album, Billy's Back on Broadway (Concord Records) was released in April of 2014. His new album, Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers will be released in April of 2017. As a playwright, he was represented Off-Broadway last fall with the premiere of While I Yet Live starring S. Epatha Merkerson (Primary Stages). A Pittsburgh native, he received his BFA in drama from Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a graduate of UCLA's professional program in screenwriting.

The A.R.T./NEW YORK THEATRES are a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York and provide state-of-the-art, accessible venues at subsidized rental rates, plus free access to top-line technical equipment, so that the city's small and emerging theatre companies can continue to experiment, grow, and produce new works.

Seating capacity is up to 87 seats in the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre and up to 149 seats in the Mezzanine Theatre, and audience seating can be arranged in various configurations to allow for creativity in scenic design and audience environment. The entire facility is LEED Silver and ADA-accessible. Unlike 80 other small performance spaces that have been closed by their landlords over the past 15 years, the A.R.T./NEW YORK THEATRES are protected by City covenants and will be reserved for nonprofit theatre use under the terms of its lease.

Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York is the leading service and advocacy organization for New York City's 375+ nonprofit theatres, with a mission to assist member theatres in managing their companies effectively so that they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. We accomplish this through a comprehensive roster of real estate, financial, educational, and community-building programs, as well as research, advocacy, and field-wide initiatives that seek to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the industry. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, an Innovative Theatre Award, a New York City Mayor's Award for Arts & Culture, and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. For more information, visit www.art-newyork.org.

Construction for the A.R.T./NEW YORK THEATRES is fully funded by the City of New York ($16.672 million), with an additional $400k leadership investment from New York State. The project is part of the NYC Department of Design and Construction's Design Excellence Program, and supported by the City of New York, Bill de Blasio, Mayor; the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl and the New York City Department of Design and Construction, Dr. Feniosky Pena-Mora, Commissioner. State support was provided by the New York State Assembly: Carl Heastie, Speaker; and Linda Rosenthal, Member.

Leadership support for the Rental Subsidy Fund has been provided by Jeffrey and Paula Gural, the Ford Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation and dozens of generous foundations and individuals.



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