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Avenue Blackbox Theatre gets funding boost to advance jobs and capital improvements

Avenue Blackbox Theatre on Joseph Avenue in Rochester.
Avenue Blackbox Theatre
Avenue Blackbox Theatre on Joseph Avenue in Rochester.

A cultural space on the northeast side of Rochester is getting a substantial boost in funding. Officials with Avenue Blackbox Theatre as well as state and local government and business leaders announced on Monday that the theater has secured $190,000 for renovations and other activities.

Reenah Golden is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of that venue on Joseph Avenue which started up four years ago. She said that the small, Black-led theater has become a beacon of sorts for that community.

“Neighbors come in, stop over and they’re truly excited about us bringing a light to Joseph Avenue to say that Joseph Avenue matters; jobs on Joseph Avenue matter; arts and creativity and vitality on Joseph Avenue and in the 14621 neighborhood, really does matter,” said Golden.

The new funding comes from a variety of sources, including $100,000 from New York state, announced by State Senator Samra Brouk, as well as funding from ESL Charitable Foundation and Two Point Capital Management.

The money will be used for technology upgrades, and Golden said that will help create new job opportunities at Avenue Blackbox Theatre.

“Having folks, here in this space, really seeing the impact that we can have when the larger community invests in grassroots, Black-led, Black and brown-led organizations that are on the ground doing the work, we see immediate impact, immediate difference.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.