New York, NY, January 11, 2022: Hester Street has been approved for a $40,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support Justicia y Resiliencia: A Community-Led Roadmap for Ownership, Resilience, and A Just Recovery in Puerto Rico. This project, in partnership with the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (El MAC), will support research, workshops, and a convening that will engage local community groups as cultural leaders in diverse Puerto Rican neighborhoods. Hester Street’s project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Hester Street that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “Hester Street, together with El MAC in Puerto Rico, is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

Building on existing partnerships with the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico and San Juan’s Center for Habitat Reconstruction, the project team will select as many as three neighborhood groups to engage in participatory design activities that will identify core cultural assets and needs in their respective communities. The team also will research and graphically illustrate local models of property ownership and the physical and social resources needed to ensure cultural resiliency. The project will culminate in a convening to share best practices and lay the groundwork for a citywide network that supports cultural infrastructure.

“At Hester Street we believe that the people shape their city; we believe that communities know what they need to grow, thrive and shine,” stated Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, Interim Executive Director of Hester Street. “We are thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts has recommended Hester Street for an award through the Grants for the Arts program. Arts are essential to community building and place making and we so look forward to continuing our partnership with El MAC and their community partners to create a resilient, scalable network of cultural hubs across Puerto Rico.”

Marianne Ramírez-Aponte, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico remarked, “We are grateful for the opportunity to give continuity to the partnership between Hester Street and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico. It has strengthened the work we carry out in underrepresented communities that traditionally lack access to the arts through our MAC in the Barrio program. By fostering collaborative, multidisciplinary artistic processes grounded directly in the communities’ experiences, the projects created under this program demonstrate how art can constitute a mechanism of fundamental support for the processes of social justice.”

For more information, please contact: Vanessa Monique Smith, Director of Programs, at

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

About Hester Street: Hester Street (HST) devotes urban planning, design and development expertise to support community-led change. We create and facilitate deeply democratic planning and policy making to advance racial and economic justice and to radically re-create cities shaped by low-income communities of color.