Say hello to NYC’s newest arts hub: Astoria, Queens

The Queens neighborhood, home to institutions like the Museum of the Moving Image and Kaufman-Astoria Studios, was designated an official arts district today

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image Photograph: Peter Aaron

There’s no shortage of neighborhoods teeming with amazing culture in New York City, but to date, only two areas—along 4th Street on the Lower East Side and the amorphous Fort Greene–Downtown Brooklyn hub that’s anchored by BAM—have been anointed official NYC cultural districts. That changes today: Astoria, Queens will become home to the city’s newest arts hub, the Kaufman Arts District.

Anchored by the Kaufman-Astoria Studios (hence the name), the new district will cover about 24 blocks, and will include institutions like the Museum of the Moving Image, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts and the Queens Council on the Arts. The neighborhood has a long history of arts production: Kaufman is home to series like Sesame Street and Orange is the New Black, and it recently became home to the city’s only backlot. But in recent years, as Moving Image has grown in popularity and more hotspots (like Studio Square and the Astor Room) have opened, its profile has risen.

According to the New York Times, the new designation won’t change things too much, at least not in the short term: the partners will work to promote Astoria as a destination, both for tourists and creative types. But unlike the Downtown Brooklyn arts hub, Queens won’t be getting any city funding—so don’t expect to see any glassy condos or fancy new theaters along Steinway Street. (Not yet, anyway.)

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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