QCA Moves West
By MEGAN MONTALVO
After a much anticipated wait, the Queens Council on the Arts will finally be getting a place of their own in the western region of the Borough.
Early last month, QCA Managing Director Lynn Lobell revealed that the 47-year-old organization expects to occupy its new location at 37-11 35th Ave. in Astoria by sometime in February.
Although the space, which is part of the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex, is near completion, Lobell is now saying that it may not be until early March that Council members will be able to make the move.
“We had initially hoped that by this month, we would be able to move in,” she said earlier this week. “But, after facing a few issues, it may not be until early March.”
Despite facing some delays, Lobell said that the QCA staff members cannot wait until they christen their new facility.
Currently, their offices are headquartered at One Forest Park in Woodhaven – the site that the group has occupied for nearly two decades.
“Where we are now is essentially in the middle of Forest Park,” Lobell said. “Sometimes, the location can be difficult for the public to get to. Considering that our new offices will be central to transit, in the middle of Astoria, we hope to get a lot more foot traffic.”
In addition to providing workshop seating for up to 45 people, the Council’s new location will also allow artists of all mediums to display their work within their walls.
Among other benefits, the space will also serve as a one-stop-shop for many of their programs, such as the High School to Art School Program.
“It’s a big deal for us,” said Won Cha, administrator to the High School to Art School program. “The space is fairly big and can accommodate a good amount of people. I feel that our new location will help us make our mission more reachable.”
Throughout their yearly events, Lobell and Cha said that Council members had typically traveled to various areas of the Borough, such as Jamaica and the Rockaways, to conduct a number of outreach initiatives.
While both administrators continue to look forward to the continuation of these initiatives, Cha said he hopes to make more of an impact in their new neighborhood.
“I think our move has a lot to do with the community there. Astoria seems to be thriving artistically,” Cha said. “Not only does it have a broad range of different cultures, but it’s also where a lot of the Council members live. It’s a move that’s been more than 10 years in the making, and we can’t wait.”
Though an official move in date has yet to be confirmed, Lobell said that she hopes to make an announcement within the coming weeks. For information on QCA’s latest updates, visit www.queenscouncilarts.org.
Reach Reporter Megan Montalvo at (718) 357-7400 Ext. 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.