Harlem School of the Arts Embarks On $9.5 Million Renovation Funded By The Herb Albert Foundation

Copyright Imrey Studio LLC on Behalf of the Harlem School of the Arts

(New York) – The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) at the Herb Alpert Center has begun construction on The Renaissance Project, the most substantial renovation of the building, undertaken by the organization since its construction 40-years-ago. Located at 645 Saint Nicholas Avenue, the school has been providing children with access to arts programs in all four disciplines music, dance, theater, and art & design for 55 years, and has added programs for adults.

Funded by the Herb Alpert Foundation, the $9.5-million renovation project promises a world-class facility to deepen artistic interaction and optimize the spaces for a wide range of events, exhibitions, and performances. The project includes both structural and acoustical upgrades.

Copyright Imrey Studio LLC on Behalf of the Harlem School of the Arts

Herb Alpert says “The new design is going to change the place. After forty-years we wanted to update its architecture, adding an acoustical design that’s worthy of the school’s great history.”

“This is an exciting time for HSA, the community, and the arts in Harlem,” said Eric Pryor, President of HSA.

A Partnership Strengthens the Future of HSA

Over the past nine years, the Herb Alpert Foundation’s financial support to HSA has totaled $17-million. Through the original 2010 gift from the Foundation, HSA was able to overcome a financial crisis that almost closed the school permanently.

Copyright Imrey Studio LLC on Behalf of the Harlem School of the Arts

“It’s been almost a decade since Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall Alpert, first reached out to help HSA. That grand gesture of concern and their commitment to keeping the arts alive for the children and families in Harlem launched a deep relationship between the foundation and the leadership of the school,” says Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation.

“Over these years, we have provided HSA support in many ways beyond financial…from governance participation to outreach, communications and forging new partnerships. Along the way, we have felt great pride watching the organization’s growth and the impact it has had on the local communities it serves.”

Copyright Imrey Studio LLC on Behalf of the Harlem School of the Arts

The renovation, led by Imrey Studio LLC, replaces a section of the building’s 1970 brick exterior with a swath of clear glass, to bring HSA’s spaces in to view. The design reinforces Dorothy Maynor’s vision to make art accessible to everyone.

“This new transparency will increase the school’s connection to Harlem’s vibrant cultural community,” says Celia Imrey, principal designer and director of Imrey Studio LLC, whose design team includes Architect Eric K. Daniels, Associate Professor and former chair of the Interior Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.

The project will transform the 3,700-square foot, double-height lobby into a light-filled multi-functional environment. The Walters-Storyk Design Group will provide the new atrium with finely tuned acoustics.

“We were very pleased to have Herb Alpert reach out to us for this project,” says John Storyk. “Herb’s appreciation for the importance of acoustical design is based on his vast experience as an incomparable musician and recording executive.”

Charles Hamilton, Jr., Chair of the HSA Board remarked, “I am always delighted when I enter HSA and feel the energy and excitement throughout the building. It’s like a beehive of activity. I’m looking forward to the completion of the extraordinary Renaissance Project, which will entice the community to come in and be a part of the wonderful artistic programming inside.”

On Friday, September 20, HSA plans a groundbreaking event with members of HSA’s executive team, the board of directors, students and parents, alumni, regional and community representatives, and VIP guests.

The event begins at 9:00 AM with remarks by key individuals, a public unveiling of architectural renderings to be followed by a reception.

About Harlem School of the Arts at The Herb Alpert Center

New York City’s premier community arts institution, the Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center stands uniquely apart as the sole provider of arts education in four disciplines: music, dance, theatre, and art & design, all within our award-winning 37,000 square foot facility.

The School’s reputation for artistic rigor and excellence attracts students of diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds from the five New York City boroughs as well as Westchester County and the tristate area, which includes Connecticut and New Jersey. HSA’s alumni and faculty are counted among the most talented leaders in the arts.

For over 50-years HSA has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of people through world-class training in the arts. HSA offers its students the freedom to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves in an environment that teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives, empowering them to become the creative thinkers and innovative leaders of tomorrow.

To learn more about the Harlem School of the Arts, please visit: HSAnyc.org

About the Herb Alpert Foundation

The Herb Alpert Foundation envisions a world in which all young people are blessed with opportunities that allow them to reach their potential and lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Over the past few years, the Foundation has focused on core areas, such as “The Arts,” a broad category that includes arts education, a focus on jazz, and support to professionals. This also includes programs that seek to use the arts to help meet the needs of underserved youth and to help build competencies that will enable them to become successful adults. The other core area is “Compassion and Well-Being,” which celebrates the positive aspects of human psychology and seeks to bring more empathy and compassionate behavior into our society.

Please note: the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Press Release Via: Harlem School of the Arts


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