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“I am touched that someone would leave money in her will to support artists. Thank you, Lila!”
– Kimmi Caban


LILA ACHESON WALLACE created a fund in The New York Community Trust to support the arts. Her generosity allowed us to provide crucial early funding to create live-work spaces for more than 100 artists. The Trust also gave money to Spaceworks NYC to renovate underused buildings, such as abandoned barracks on Governors Island, into inexpensive studios for artists.

Artists’ Paradise in Harlem

A Trust grant helps transform abandoned school

 

By KIMMI CABAN

"All of us in East Harlem wondered what would happen to the big shuttered school on East 99th Street. I grew up in the Washington Houses next door, and walked by the vacant building every day on my way to high school.

Finally, construction started. I’m a multimedia artist, model, and curator, so when I heard the school was being converted into affordable live-work spaces for artists, I called every day. My persistence paid off, and I moved in this year.

PS109 now houses several gallery, rehearsal, and performance spaces that welcome the community. It’s a total dream that I can wake up and do what I love. Not only that, it’s a community of artists who cook, collaborate, and hang out together—we make each other’s work and lives richer."

-- KIMMI CABAN, 28, is a multimedia artist and resident of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. Photo by Daniel Racz. 

Next Story: Love for a Borough, Forever

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