The Jamaica Arts Center for the Performing and Visual Arts

The Jamaica Arts Center for the Performing and Visual Arts, Inc. was founded in 1962 by the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation for the purpose of providing arts education and cultural programs to the Southeastern Queens community. For its first six years, the Jamaica Arts Center was a project of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. It was incorporated as a separate entity in 1978, and its first staff were CETA workers and members of a local artist's collective. Housed in a neo-Renaissance structure built in 1898, JAC is now a New York City landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

JAC serves an area with 600,000 residents from all cultural backgrounds. Now in its third decade as a multi-cultural center, it offers exhibitions, performances, workshops and classes in performing and visual arts disciplines. Programs focus on understanding and appreciating cultural differences through the arts. Schools, artists, children, senior citizens, young adults and residents partake in JAC programs during the week and on Saturdays. Through a series of arts-related workshops, JAC brings its talents to residents of temporary shelters to tackle problems related to HIV risk reduction, literacy, truancy and overall self-esteem. Artist-in-Residence program and 13 member Artist Co-op allows local artists to devote time to nurture their craft. Children's Theater Series with performances rooted in specific cultures that emphasize positive social values and creative thinking are held year-round.

FACILITIES Five story landmark building
Workshop studios for painting, drawing, maskmaking, ceramics, silkscreen and photography
Two dance studios
Three art galleries
75 seat black box theater

Two multi-purpose spaces--used for community meetings, performances, receptions.
Jamaica Arts Center
161-04 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, New York 11432
(718)658-7400

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