Agency makes 2nd payment to Arts District

The Redevelopment Agency last month authorized the second of three $100,000 payments to the Arts District to cover start-up costs of the Hamilton Stage for Performing Arts.

The Arts District and the Redevelopment Agency entered into a shared services agreement in January, with the agency agreeing to provide $300,000 in increments of $100,000 per year, based on the availability of funding.

The Arts District has “used and intends to continue to use the funding for costs associated with support, encouragement and promotion of the arts in Rahway and associated economic development,” including the start-up operation and management of the Hamilton Stage, a 200-seat black box studio being constructed on Hamilton Street (Tax Block 167, Lots 38, 39, 42, 44 and 45), according to the resolution adopted by the Redevelopment Agency at its Sept. 7 meeting.

As of last month, about $30,000 remains from the first $100,000 payment, according to Arts District Executive Director James Kennedy. Funding has been used primarily for the development of the three-year launch plan and projected budgets for the Hamilton Stage, he said, adding that they’re now moving into grant development, fundraising strategy, lease agreements, booking and implementation.

This month, a contract was entered into with Front of House Services, a Madison-based consultant that will see the project through the opening (expected next spring) and operating the first two years, Kennedy said.

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A friend passed along this story from The Atlantic, “Descendants of the High Line,” spotlighting four efforts around the country inspired by New York City’s wildly popular High Line, including the closest to home, Jersey City’s The Embankment.

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