Artists, HPAC, win racial justice grant

Posted 7/6/22

HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) has  been awarded the highly competitive Artist Employment Program (AEP) grant from Creatives  Rebuild New York (CRNY).

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Artists, HPAC, win racial justice grant


HURLEYVILLE, NY — The Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) has  been awarded the highly competitive Artist Employment Program (AEP) grant from Creatives  Rebuild New York (CRNY).

The grant totals $407,800 and will be allocated over two years. 

Funds will be used to  establish The Black Library, a library and community art space in the Village of Monticello, that will celebrate Black history and culture.

A public  discussion and Q&A session about the project is scheduled for Thursday, July 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Gallery 222.

The Black Library project was initiated by Monticello-native artists  Douglas Shindler and Michael Davis. 

It will carry a diverse collection of books by Black authors, exhibit visual art by  Black artists, offer educational workshops for children and adults, and host talks and  community discussions.

Intended for local residents and visitors of all backgrounds, the project  will promote greater understanding of Black history and culture, advocate for racial justice in  Sullivan County and beyond, and act as an incubator for the next generation of local artists. 

“This award is truly amazing and an opportunity for us to create an important space for  education, dialogue and creativity that can make a positive impact on our community,” said Shindler. He and Davis are already at work building out a two-year plan for the project and seeking a permanent space for the library  in Monticello. 

Shindler and Davis are launching a book donation drive this month. 

Designed to support employment opportunities for artists, the AEP grant program is funding 98  collaborations that involve a group of 300 artists employed by community-based organizations, municipalities and tribal governments across New York State. 

CRNY has awarded  a total of $49.9 million to support artists’ salaries and benefits, with an additional $11.7 million in funding provided to the organizations holding employment. 

AEP recipients were selected through a two-stage process by a group of 20 external peer reviewers, plus CRNY staff. From an initial pool of over 2,700 written  applications, 167 were shortlisted for interviews with reviewers. 

Book donations can be dropped off until Friday, September 30 at Ethelbert B. Crawford Library, 479 Broadway in Monticello. 

“Douglas Shindler and Michael Davis have worked closely with HPAC over the last few years in a  number of capacities as presenting artists and as service employees, and we could not be  happier to support them through this project,” says HPAC executive director Erin Dudley. 

Douglas Shindler (he/him) is a Monticello-based painter and photographer whose  work addresses themes of violence, street life, sport and community. 

Michael Davis (he/him) is a Guyanese-American photographer, also based in Monticello, whose  photographs capture moments of aggression, honesty, vulnerability and strength. 

For more information about Creatives Rebuild New York’s artist employment program, visit 

For more information about the Black Library, visit

grant, artists, community, growth


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