Lin-Manuel Miranda helps People's Theatre Project break ground in Inwood

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Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Lin-Manuel Miranda helps People's Theatre Project break ground
Darla Miles has more on the Latina-led performing arts center.

INWOOD, Manhattan (WABC) -- A brand-new theater in Upper Manhattan has a simple goal: to share the voice of New Yorkers from all walks of life through the stage.

The People's Theatre Project, an immigrant and Latina-led performing arts center, has been around for 15 years -- but without a permanent location. The productions have been housed at different venues across the city.

Construction is already underway but a ceremonial groundbreaking was held Wednesday on a building that will become the project's permanent home. It will be known as The People's Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante.

The People's Theatre Project has been the springboard for many award-winning Latino performers --most notably Lin-Manuel Miranda, who pledged $1 million to help build the performing arts center.

He was among the elected officials and city leaders at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday morning.

"This is a joyous day, this a real dream come true for the many artists who grew up in Washington Heights and Inwood and now will get to make theater in the actual neighborhood where they live," Miranda said.

The theater is located near the intersection of West 206th Street and Tenth Avenue in Inwood.

The project is historic as it was founded by a Dominican immigrant who had a vision to combine social justice with the arts.

"This project is historic in so many ways, our uptown community has always been full of immigrants, full of artists, individuals and organizations that have needed a cultural space to call their own for decades," said Executive Artistic Director Mino Lora.

The theater will be 19,000 square feet and there will also be space for community arts programs.

"We think about the performances that soon will unfold here, they'll stimulate our minds, they'll lighten our hearts, they'll bring us joy in so many different ways," said Gov. Kathy Hochul.

In all, it will be a $37 million project. The Centro Cultural Inmigrante will open in 2026.

"You get to work with people from different backgrounds, different cultures, different points of view, it's beautiful," said Iranian immigrant Vida Tayevati. "It's just going to be for us, as a home, we need a home. As artists, here, so we can come together, work together. It's just going to be amazing for us. For all of us."

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