PTP is working with architecture firm WORKac and theater and acoustics consultant Charcoalblue to shape the center.
“I really want to emphasize the accessibility of the space, not just in terms of ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act], but it will be a space for everyone,” said Zafiria Dimitropoulou Del Angel, Artistic Director of PTP. “We want people to know this is a place where they can showcase their art and their magic.”
Much of this design work, Del Angel said, is informed by outreach to local arts groups — from small theater troupes to large nonprofits — and community members. An example of this is the design of the center’s performance spaces: a main theater space will be built for larger shows, and a rehearsal studio is designed to be converted into a smaller performance space to accommodate more intimate works. .
Even with the city’s investment, PTP is still about $15 million short of what it needs to outfit the space. To fill this gap, the theater troupe will launch a fundraising campaign in the fall to seek corporate partners and donations. The city’s Department of Cultural Affairs will inject $75,000 to help PTP get the space up and running.
The research component of the center comes in the form of a partnership between PTP and the New York Public Library – and potentially the City University of New York – to provide research on immigrant experiences to inform its programming. For example, if a PTP year focuses on immigrants from Nicaragua, it will work with library staff to highlight its materials on that community. This could take the form of exhibitions, author series and performances, all based on research.
“The vision is to enhance the cultural experience in the space,” Lora said. “So people can go to not just feel and connect, but learn more about our country’s mosaic of immigrant populations.”