4 Brooklyn artists have obtained grants from the Herb Alpert Awards within the Arts

NEW YORK (WABC) – Four Brooklyn artists are part of a group receiving grants from the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts.

The program, which is taking place for the 27th time, honors innovators from the fields of dance, film / video, music, theater and the visual arts.

Given the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the number of grants has doubled from five to ten this year.

For people of a certain age, the sounds of Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass are part of our childhood.

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As a young man with a horn, he sold 72 million records and made a huge second fortune by starting a record label called A&M Records with Jerry Moss.

Today he spends a lot of time giving back. He said what happened to him was “far beyond” his dreams and he “always wanted to pass it on”.

In keeping with that philosophy, Alpert received a Zoom call this week with three of the Brooklyn-based recipients of the unrestricted grants.

“I think artists are the heartbeat of our democracy, and it’s a shame we don’t encourage artists the way we used to,” he said.

Toshi Reagon, a recognized musician and theater artist, noted that the $ 75,000 she and the others will receive will help her keep her career going.

“After that year when so many of us lost,” she said. “All of our gigs have been canceled so this is helpful in digging some holes.”

Another beneficiary is the theater artist and director Kaneza Schaal, who shared her intentions.

“I want to build a house,” she said. “I want to build a creative home in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, where I live.”

She plans a home for other artists like herself and works on the cutting edge of technology.

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Another scholarship holder was filmmaker Adam Khalil.

“It was really an affirmation and an opening of opportunities to continue this practice,” he said. “It was very precarious.”

The scholarships recognize innovative work.

“I always liked the road less traveled,” said Alpert. “I think the artists who do something outside of the center are just not quite what you expect.”

When the call ended, the gratitude of these artists was evident as everyone welcomed the famous musician’s commitment.

“It shows that it is indeed possible to maintain a community of artists,” said Reagon.

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