Michael R. Bloomberg, the 108th mayor of New York City, has gifted $75 million to The Shed, a new visual and performing arts center under construction in the Hudson Yards on the far West Side, Robin Pogrebin of the New York Times reports. He previously gave $15 million in support of the project in 2012, making his total contribution to the venue $90 million.
Daniel L. Doctoroff, the Shed’s chairman and president, said that with Bloomberg’s donation, the venue has raised $421 million of its $500 million capital campaign. The construction costs of the complex were estimated to be $435 million. Doctoroff, who previously served as chief executive of Bloomberg L.P.—the mayor’s financial information company—said that the additional monies will be used for opening expenses.
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, the 200,000-square-foot venue will feature two 25,000-square-foot gallery spaces, a five-hundred-seat theater, an event and rehearsal space, and a free lab for the creation of new work. It also boasts of a moveable shell that can expand the building when needed to provide large-scale indoor and outdoor programming. The Shed broke ground at its location on West Thirtieth Street in 2015 and is expected to welcome visitors as early as 2019.
Alex Poots, the Shed’s artistic director and chief executive, previously announced the center’s inaugural programming in July 2016. The Shed’s first commissions include a large-scale work by Conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. With custom-made paving stones, he will build a twelve-foot installation featuring the phrase, “In front of itself,” for the Shed’s plaza. Poots has also initiated a three-year collaboration with Reggie Gray and the D.R.E.A.M. (Dance Rules Everything Around Me) Ring that involves a citywide residency for young artists, called FlexNYC, which explores issues of social justice.
Before Bloomberg left office in 2013, his administration helped the proposal for the Shed become a reality with a $50 million public appropriation that grew to $75 million, the city’s biggest cultural capital grant that year.
“I’ve always believed the arts have a unique ability to benefit cities by attracting creative individuals of every kind, strengthening communities, and driving economic growth,” Bloomberg said in a prepared statement. “The Shed will help New York achieve all three goals.”