Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) is pleased to award free residency programs for the 2020 season at LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island to 11 artists and cultural practitioners who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis, in an effort to combat the devastating impact of the pandemic on the NYC cultural landscape.

Over 280 artists applied for LMCC’s open call. The selection process was guided by values and priorities that informed a careful, equitable and inclusive approach to outreach and selection, including:

• Ensuring that artists and cultural practitioners of diverse racial identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations from across NYC have access to the opportunity and are represented;

• Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices give back to, or aim to make positive change within, the NYC cultural community and/or the City at large;

• Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices address important socio-political issues, including but not limited to public health, gender discrimination, immigration, racial equity, climate change and environmental justice;

• Seeking out artists and cultural workers whose practices will benefit from working on Governors Island as a public space serving diverse audiences.

Over half of the applicant pool identified as Brooklyn-based, while one-third came from Manhattan, eight percent from Queens and one percent from the Bronx. Artists described their needs for studio space as a result of lost income and the loss of existing studio space; cancellation of upcoming opportunities (exhibitions, residencies, studio spaces housed in other arts institutions); needing additional space due to financial impact on family members or live-in partners; requiring structure and separate space to work during quarantine; moving to smaller places due to COVID-19, hence needing additional space in which to work; shifting their artistic practice and needing workspace; and requiring space to finalize projects.

A total of 11 applicants were awarded the residency in response to COVID-19.


Sherwin Banfield, Visual Arts | Queens
Juan Hinojosa, Visual Arts | Queens
Kate Hughes, Literature/Writing | Brooklyn
Ann Kim, Visual Arts | New York
Eleanor Kipping, Multidisciplinary | Brooklyn
Daniel Kukla, Visual Arts | Brooklyn
Erica Molesworth, Visual Arts | Brooklyn
Lovie Pignata, Visual Arts | Bronx
Tony Sjoman, Visual Arts | New York
Ian Tousius, Visual Arts | Brooklyn
André Zachery, Multidisciplinary | Brooklyn

“In response to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts community in New York City and beyond, we are thrilled to offer residencies in our Arts Center at Governors Island to these eleven artists. We have always believed that art is at the center of regrowth, and we look forward to seeing this year’s residency cohort take on this unprecedented moment by facing tragedy with creation,” said Lili Chopra, LMCC’s Executive Director, Artistic Programs.

“LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island will be re-activated for emergency residencies this Fall in a safe and appropriate manner, allowing this year’s cohort access to real estate—a need that is always scarce in New York City and even scarcer since the coronavirus pandemic took hold. We are so grateful to provide this opportunity and serve this talented group of artists,” commented Diego S. Segalini, LMCC’s Executive Director, Finance & Administration.

“In light of the global health crisis, this is an opportunity to listen to the concerns and challenges that New York City’s artists and creative practitioners are facing. The palpable needs are truly sobering but LMCC has been motivated to nimbly shift our programmatic priorities to be more responsive as an organization and as stewards of the cultural field. We are very proud of our ability to provide a safe environment for these artists and are excited to welcome them to our Arts Center as part of this timely, collective cause,” said Bora Kim, LMCC’s Director of Artist Residencies.

“Being selected for LMCC’s residency is a tectonic shift spurring progress on my project work to finally feel possible in the face of COVID-induced artistic challenges including limited space, time and community. Plus, ferrying to a studio in the fall is immensely inspiring,” said Kate Hughes, poet and one of this year’s residency recipients.

“I am grateful to be awarded into LMCC’s Governors Island COVID-19 response residency program. This studio program not only offers me a physical space to exercise my creativity but it also offers me a mental space to escape the realities of our current socio-political-health entanglement. Being in the physical company of other creatives will be a reintroduction and a reminder that relationships are shared experiences and I am excited to learn from each of my fellow artists,” added Sherwin Banfield, residency cohort member and visual artist.

“A separate space to think and make is invaluable in a time like this when everything else in the world feels so unmoored,” concurred Ann Kim, another visual artist and residency cohort member. “I am looking forward to joining fellow makers on Governors Island this fall and am grateful to LMCC for this opportunity. It has given me a renewed sense of purpose and hope.”

LMCC’s Open Call for Residencies in Response to COVID-19 was organized as part of the Governors Island Residency Initiative, an Island-wide partnership between LMCC, the Trust for Governors Island and 18 other cultural organizations that repositioned indoor spaces historically used for exhibitions and public programming as residencies or workspaces for artists and other members of the City’s cultural community from August to November this year. Open to artists, writers, cultural workers and creative practitioners living and working across the five boroughs, the initiative provides free, temporary space to work in LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island and more than 20 historic houses in the Island’s Nolan Park and Colonels Row districts, overseen by a diverse group of cultural and educational nonprofits.

Artist residencies and studio programs have been part of LMCC’s work at Governors Island since it became a yearlong tenant on the Island in 2010. More recently, in 2019, LMCC opened its newly expanded and renovated Arts Center at Governors Island as the first permanent home for artists and audiences on Governors Island, a gathering place and incubator for work related to sustainability and ecology.


Founded as Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), LMCC serves, connects and makes space for artists and community.

LMCC Serves Artists through:

• Residencies that enable artists to experiment and develop their work and ideas, with professional development, financial training and networking opportunities

• Grant funding to artists that support local/neighborhood projects

• Presentation opportunities that allow artists to share their work and creative process with the public

LMCC Serves Community through:

• Free public programs in Lower Manhattan that activate neighborhoods and bring people together through performances and rich artistic experiences

• Access to artists and the artmaking process to build connections and dialogue between artists and audiences

• Grant funding for neighborhood arts and community-based organizations

Since 1973, LMCC has been the champion of independent artists in New York City and the cultural life force of Lower Manhattan.


Conceived as an incubator for creative exploration and a gathering space to engage in dialogue, LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island is the first permanent home for artists and audiences on Governors Island. The Arts Center features Artist Residency programs with studio and presenting space for artists to develop their work, and a broad range of events to convene artists and the public in an exchange of ideas and creative practices. Work developed and presented at the Arts Center explores themes of the environment, geography and history as they refer to Governors Island and New York City at large.

For more information please contact Chris Schimpf, Zoe Sonnenberg
or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.