People’s Theatre Project Surpasses $30M Milestone in $37M Capital Campaign for a New 19,000-Square-Foot Immigrant Performing Arts Center
It’s a space by the people – and for the people – so it deserves a name that welcomes all: The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante.
Today, the People’s Theatre Project (PTP) celebrated a ceremonial groundbreaking for its first and future home, The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis A. Miranda Jr, on behalf of the Miranda Family Fund, and Dr. Steven J. Corwin, President and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian, announced transformational pledges of $1M each toward the development of Washington Heights’ and Inwood’s first flexible theatre. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul today also announced $4M in funding for the theater through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).
“The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante will be an exemplary space, developing and producing theater that is more equitable and representative of immigrants, Latine artists and our communities of color,” said Mino Lora, founding Executive Artistic Director of the People’s Theatre Project. “For the last 15 years, we have been committed to uplifting the voices of marginalized communities, and The People’s Theatre will connect, inspire, and catalyze generations of immigrants and their allies. We are extremely grateful for the catalytic support from Governor Hochul, EDC, DCLA, the Miranda Family Fund, and NewYork-Presbyterian during this exciting moment for our neighborhood and our organization, with an opportunity to build a community-rooted and anti-oppressive cultural institution in New York City from the ground up.”
“It is with tremendous pride that we break ground today on The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante, here in Northern Manhattan,” said Luis A. Miranda Jr. and Lin-Manuel Miranda of the Miranda Family Fund. “It is no secret our family loves this neighborhood. This is because Northern Manhattan is a vibrant, hardworking community of diverse creators, makers, movers and shakers – all looking to share their stories. Theater is about community, offering a space where art, culture, and identity converge. Our uptown neighborhood is more than ready to have a permanent home for its theater practitioners, to nurture and showcase countless generations of storytellers and stories to come.”
“NewYork-Presbyterian is proud to support the People’s Theatre Project, and we look forward to the future of the Centro Cultural Inmigrante,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, President and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “This will be a space where members of the community can come together to create meaningful social connections, build a sense of belonging, and help enrich the community and New York City through the arts.”
“As the largest Latine theater in New York City and the city’s first Dominican-managed cultural institution, the People’s Theatre Project’s new home will be more than a performing arts center – it will be a tribute to the diverse artists, cultures, and communities that define our great state,” Governor Hochul said. “New York has always cherished its diversity and inclusiveness, and through our support for timeless institutions like this one, we always will. I will continue working with my partners in government and the arts community to find ways to celebrate the history, creativity, and culture of all New Yorkers, and I look forward to cutting the ribbon on this beautiful space in a few short years.”
The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante – located at 407 West 206th Street – will amplify the voices of New York City’s diverse immigrant communities and cultivate work by local artists and arts organizations. When it opens in 2026, audiences will experience theatrical performances that center and explore the breadth of immigrant experiences represented in New York City, enjoy live music, and dance performances, film screenings, and other civic and community events. For children and families, the center will offer classes, festivals, and student matinees field trips. PTP also will partner with the New York Public Library (NYPL) to provide research and literary programming that will allow community members to explore the immigrant experience through scholarship and the performing arts.
The center’s 19,000-square-foot space will be in a new, mixed-income, mixed-use building, developed by a joint venture of LMXD, MSquared, and Taconic Partners. Designed by the woman- and immigrant-owned architecture firm WORKac and theater and acoustics consultant Charcoalblue, the center will have a flexible midsize theater, a smaller performance space, rehearsal studios, a soundproof practice room, and gallery space.
The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante has a total capital budget of $37 million, which includes both public and private financial support. The City has already earmarked $24.4 million to support the development of the center.
What people are saying about The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante
“Today marks a momentous occasion, as the People’s Theatre Project breaks ground on the Centro Cultural Inmigrante, a cultural institution that will serve the residents of my district and across New York City,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “The arts have the power to bring communities together, and for the last 15 years, the People’s Theatre Project has been doing just that in Washington Heights and Inwood. I am thrilled to see this development move forward and look forward to attending the ribbon cutting for this beautiful performing arts space that will showcase immigrant stories throughout our community.”
“NYCEDC celebrates the People’s Theatre Project and their new performing arts center, The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante that will undoubtedly become an emblematic space not just for the Inwood community but for New York City,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “We are proud of the $15 million commitment and years of hard work alongside the community NYCEDC has made culminating in our ‘Inwood NYC’ plan to ensure Inwood remains a neighborhood to live, work, and raise a family. The Immigrant Research and Performing Arts Center will support the work of Northern Manhattan’s rich network of artists and cultural organizations and celebrate the contributions of generations of immigrants to the history and culture of Northern Manhattan.”
“New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the world because of our rich immigrant history, abundance of culture, and the hundreds of languages immigrant New Yorkers speak,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro. “I am excited to see the vision of the immigrant community for a community space come to life with the Centro Cultural Inmigrante. I look forward to the completion of this project and seeing the space used by immigrant New Yorkers.”
“The People’s Theatre Project, led by Mino Lora and her amazing team, is the real deal, a cultural organization with deep roots in its community, and I’m so excited to be a part of creating their first permanent home in Inwood,” said New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “The People’s Theatre Project: Centro Cultural Inmigrante will be a vital hub where we can explore and celebrate the diverse immigrant experiences that have shaped and strengthened our city over generations.”
“As the chair of the New York State Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation, I am excited to help welcome this new performing arts center to Upper Manhattan, where community voices will be uplifted, not only through the arts, but through the sense of representation that will be fostered here. The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the New York artist community, serving as a place where history and culture can be shared and celebrated,” New York State Senator José M. Serrano said.
New York State Assemblymember Manny de Los Santos said, “Congratulations to the People’s Theatre Project on selecting a name that illustrates the vision of what will become a cultural gem that welcomes all: The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante. This is a product of tremendous dedication and effort by The People’s Theatre Project leadership and community members over the years. When it opens its doors, it will serve as a place for all people – a unique cultural center to house and showcase the creativity, voices and history of immigrants.”
New York State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo said, “People’s Theatre Project will operate the largest Latina-owned, immigrant-centered research and performing arts center of its kind. The new arts center will be an instrumental example of what a center serving the local community should look like, providing representation, inclusion, and amplification of immigrant voices in the arts, and economic development for the historically-immigrant neighborhood. PTP’s new center will provide a permanent, accessible, safe space for the growth and development of immigrant and BIPOC performance arts, and I can’t wait to see the mark it will make on the Washington Heights community.”
“I’m delighted to join The People’s Theatre in celebrating this milestone toward establishing their permanent home, which will anchor their work to democratize and diversify the production of and access to the arts. New York is the capital of the art world, but stories from immigrants and artists of color aren’t in the spotlight nearly enough,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “I look forward to seeing the revolutionary community hub for art, education, and advocacy that The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante will be.”
“Congratulations to the People’s Theatre Project on the groundbreaking of its new immigrant performing arts center, the Centro Cultural Inmigrante! This visionary project enriches not only New York City but also the tapestry of our diverse community, where every culture finds its stage to shine,” said Diana Ayala, Deputy Speaker of the New York City Council.
New York City Councilmember Carmen de la Rosa said, “Northern Manhattan has always had a rich culture, and we are ready to make it a beacon for the arts. This new cultural center will welcome new visitors uptown while honoring the work of the immigrants, especially those of Latinx descent, who have transformed New York. The People’s Theatre Project knows how to navigate the intersection of cultural preservation, education, and art, making them the right fit to own and operate what will be one of the city’s newest cultural attractions. We look forward to the continued investment in cultural institutions in our district that will provide our local artists the opportunities to grow and create.”
About People’s Theatre Project
Rooted in Washington Heights and Inwood, People’s Theatre Project (PTP) makes theatre with and for immigrant communities to build a more just and equitable world. Now in its 15th anniversary season, PTP is Manhattan’s largest performing arts organization north of Harlem. An immigrant- and women-of-color-led cultural organization, PTP is an advocate for immigrant New Yorkers and the arts as a partner with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, an active member of the Latinx Arts Consortium of New York (LXNY) steering committee, The New York Immigration Coalition’s (NYIC) Immigrant Leadership Council and Culture@3’s Anti Racism Working Group.
The center – which is expected to draw at least 28,000 people annually – will house PTP’s work through:
- Production, which includes the development of devised and playwright-driven original theatre, all by immigrants and artists of color;
- Education, which provides free access to high-quality arts education through the multi-year PTP Academy for Leadership, Theatre, & Activism for immigrant youth, and Partnerships with schools and libraries across the city for immigrant New Yorkers of all ages; and
- Advocacy, in which PTP staff and artists collaborate with elected officials, community leaders, and other organizations to champion immigrant rights, racial equity, LGBTQIA+ rights, and equitable arts & culture funding in New York City and beyond.
The center is a key component of NYCEDC’s ‘Inwood NYC’ neighborhood plan, which is prioritizing public investment in Inwood to allow it to remain a place where New Yorkers work, live, and raise a family. The ‘Inwood NYC Action Plan’ was the product of over three years of extensive community engagement led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). For more information about the campaign, please visit: https://peoplestheatreproject.org/capital-project/.