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The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute Expands Impact in East Harlem with New Arts and Culture Center

Today, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) announced the signing of a 49-year lease at the organization’s newest location, where they will continue to foster space for cultural equity and racial and social justice in New York City’s arts and culture community. Located at One East Harlem, 201 East 125th Street, the new cultural center will expand CCCADI’s footprint and provide a space where African descendants with diverse cultural expressions and contributions can gather to exchange, search, and affirm their roots.

“We are proud to introduce this new CCCADI site that will provide artists, cultural workers, adolescents, and community members with a space to create, exchange, collaborate, and engage in arts, culture, and media activities that will give voice and visibility to the often-unrecognized contributors and builders of this neighborhood. As we continue to work toward equity and justice, expanding CCCADI’s presence in an ever-changing Harlem furthers our commitment to serving as an anchor for, and reflection of, the people of Harlem, particularly African descendants, and the promise that states that we are here and here to stay,” said Melody Capote, executive director of CCCADI. “We want to express our sincere gratitude to Council Member Diana Ayala and Community Board 11 for their support in bringing this vision to fruition.”

Located just one block away from CCCADI’s existing East Harlem location at the landmark Firehouse on East 125th Street, both locations will provide a space for New Yorkers to explore and celebrate African Diasporic arts and traditions. Specifically, the new, 5,000 square foot location will be a community-use space serving CCCADI’s community of artists, cultural workers, and alumni of the Institute for Racial and Social Justice in Arts and Culture. The project also includes a build-out of the space to create a presentation space for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the rich culture of the African Diaspora.

Denham Wolf Real Estate Services (Denham Wolf), a trusted real estate advisor serving the nonprofit community across New York City and beyond, supported CCCADI in negotiating and evaluating the viability of the lease, in addition to assembling the team – including OTJ Architects – and facilitating the build-out of the space.

“For organizations like CCCADI, with decades of historic impact in their communities, selecting a physical space that meets the needs of their organization and also embodies its vision and mission is critical,” said Ronzard Innocent, Director of Project Management at Denham Wolf. “We’ve worked closely with all project partners to ensure that One East Harlem will be a perfect fit for CCCADI’s programmatic offerings and we’re looking forward to the next stage of our partnership together.”

CCCADI and Denham Wolf first began their partnership in 2010 when CCCADI was selected by The NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Department of Housing Preservation (HPD) to redevelop and occupy former municipal firehouse, Engine Company Number 36. Denham Wolf was engaged as CCCADI’s owner’s representative for the project, working alongside NYCEDC to ensure the successful redevelopment and renovation of the building. The space was made available through initiatives and efforts by NYCEDC, Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, Manhattan Community Board 11, the East 125th Street Development Task Force and the developer/landlord (a team made up of The Richman Group, Bridges Development, Monadnock Development, Hope Community and El Barrio Operation Fightback).

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