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Cinema Seats

About us

Grand Street Community Arts was established in 2003 by concerned neighbors in the Mansion Neighborhood to create a common forum for meeting, discussing, and fostering a shared sense of community. For the past 18 years, we have operated in the former St. Anthony’s Church—a stunning Italian Renaissance Revival building once the heart of a vibrant Italian community displaced by the Empire State Plaza. Today, our organization has transformed this historic treasure into a dynamic center within one of the most economically and racially diverse neighborhoods in the city.

Our organization has been a hub for various artistic and community-driven programs. We have hosted Vestuary Operatics, a successful one-weekend-only art exhibition featuring 19 local artists and performances by renowned musicians such as Kimya Dawson (of "Juno" fame) and the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Star Band. We've collaborated with the Albany Free School for plays and musicals and organized the Boarded UP Exhibits, showcasing local artists' work on our building’s basement windows.

Grand Street Community Arts has pioneered several impactful programs:
- Youth Organics! (YO!): Founded by four college students, this program introduces local children to organic gardening.
- Vacant Lots Project: In collaboration with the City of Albany, this initiative transforms vacant lots into gardens, playgrounds, and community event spaces (now part of AVillage).
- Youth FX: An award-winning digital filmmaking program that began in 2008, allowing Albany’s youth to tell their stories through film, and has since evolved into its own organization.

We have invested considerable effort into improving our facilities and supporting our community’s aspirations. From clearing out debris and replacing floors to fixing windows and installing a heating system, we've dedicated ourselves to creating a welcoming space. Our efforts have been bolstered by donations and grants from the band Pearl, the New York State Dormitory Authority, The Community Foundation, Troy Savings Bank, the Lincoln Fund, the Albany Housing Authority, the Troy Architectural Project, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Collaborations with the Empowered Construction Workers Association, Local 102, have also brought much-needed attention to our sanctuary.

At Grand Street Community Arts, we offer a range of programs for youth and adults in various artistic disciplines.

 

Our offerings include:

- Visual Arts: Workshops and exhibitions featuring local and visiting artists.
- Performing Arts: Music, theater, and dance performances, including community theater productions.
- Digital Arts: Filmmaking and digital media projects, including Youth FX.
- Community Arts: Gardening, mural projects, and neighborhood beautification initiatives.

We are committed to enlightening, empowering, and engaging our diverse community through the arts, fostering a vibrant and inclusive environment for all.

our team:

TaSean_Headshot_3_color.jpg
Ta-Sean C. Murdock

President & Executive Director 

Sumiko Murdock

our board:

Anthony Judd Jr.

Vice President

Shavina Richarson

Board Member

Mica Lesly

Board Member 

Ellen Becker

Treasurer

Mary Baker

Board Member

Larry Becker

Secretary

Kirk Danials

Board Member

Kymma K. Soundz

Board Member 

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