Well, we didn’t exactly leave the concerns, fears and uncertainty of a world-wide pandemic behind us in 2021 as we had hoped. Variance after variance has kept us on our toes! But the resilience, nimbleness and innovation we honed in 2020 stood us in good stead as Safe Harbors re-tooled, re-focused and continued to thrive in 2021.
Furthering Safe Harbors commitment to growing our unique model of housing and downtown revitalization, we bolstered our development capacity in 2021 and responded to a City of Newburgh Request for Proposals to purchase and develop a vacant parcel north of our campus. Though we were disappointed not to be awarded the project, we are excited to have formed partnerships with a talented development team and created a dynamic, new mixed-use project which is ready to deploy as opportunities arise.
Our Ann Street Gallery received generous funding in 2021 which has enabled us to create an innovative BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Emerging Artists Fellowship, which will kick-off in 2022. The Fellowship, a first for Safe Harbors, will enable us to financially and professionally support emerging artists of color in our community as they expand their practices, develop their portfolios and build their identities as professional artists.
We installed a permanent stage on Safe Harbors Green and earmarked funding for an enhanced sound and lighting system in the Lobby at the Ritz. Whether in a COVID-friendly outdoor venue or a state-of- the-art indoor venue, the show must go on!
2021 also saw the planning stages for the re-habilitation of the Cornerstone Residence. This major capital project will include green infrastructure upgrades, enhanced high-speed internet capacity, the replacement of aging building systems and repairs to the historic structure – ensuring our 128 residents continue to enjoy a beautiful, safe and efficient home and solidifying Safe Harbors’ role as a responsive, responsible anchor organization and asset to Newburgh’s downtown revitalization.
Most importantly, in 2021, we continued to ensure COVID protocols were in place. We worked with our partners to host two immunization clinics on site and facilitated vaccines for staff and residents. We kept an emergency supply closet stocked; hosted festive holiday dinners and continued to offer programming to engage our community.
We thank you, our supporters and champions, for your support and belief in the work we do. Please stay well and stay in touch.