The historic Billie Holiday Theater, founded in 1972 by the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, is about to get $1.4 million to renovate and expand its structure, reports the NYC Department of Design and Construction.?
The update will mean modern design and conveniences for patrons such as ADA accessibility, visibility and acoustics. Seating capacity will be enhanced as will new lighting, and new state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment will mean a more theatrical experience for audiences.? The stage is even being extended by more than two feet to provide additional performance space.
?The Billie Holiday Theatre has been a platform that has presented world-class theater for the community of Brooklyn and beyond for 45 years” said Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Director, Billie Holiday Theatre. “Working with the DDC team, a team that has brought extraordinary enthusiasm and expertise to this project, has been deeply gratifying.? The renovation of this historic destination, a destination formerly led by theater pioneer Marjorie Moon for 42-years, gives us a new opportunity to build on that legacy and also present dance and music concerts, large talks, and film screenings right here in the epicenter of Black culture in the U.S.” ?
Located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, the theater hosts performances as well as local events, serving approximately 15,000 people annually. Eponymously named for the famous American jazz singer, its stage has featured prominent African American and Caribbean actors and entertainers including Smokey Robinson and Samuel L. Jackson.
?The Billie Holiday Theatre has provided opportunities for community engagement and personal growth for over 45 years, and we are proud to work with our partners at Cultural Affairs to fully modernize the theatre,? said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Pe?a-Mora. ?Our aim is to deliver to the community a theatre they can take pride in for generations to come.?