As we approach the end of Precipice Fund’s third grant period and get ready to announce our Round 4 grantees on December 13, we’ve been checking in with our current round of grantees to see how their projects are progressing. The update below comes from the Astoria-based project Character Plant at the beginning of summer 2016.

The gym under renovation

We are in the process of renovating a gymnasium in Astoria to create a performing arts venue and gallery and preparing our first show. Renovation issues have delayed the process by a few months. We are now planning to present our first show (“Y-Stories”) in October 2016.

Character Plant's new gas heater

Initially our main renovation priority was to paint the gym. We have shifted our attention toward a few other big-ticket items. We had to do some electrical updates and install a new gas heater but the biggest challenge so far has been replacing almost a dozen huge old rotten windows. This will keep moisture from seeping in and triple the natural light in the space. We also just finished putting in a new restroom that can be easily accessed from the gym. Painting has been pushed back due to this other work but it’s still in the pipeline.

Beyond all this renovation work we have also begun the interview process that will generate the fodder for our first show and publication. We have connected with local history buffs who are excited to help us comb through the building’s records and archives. We are also looking forward to hosting PICA for a Round-4 Precipice Fund info session later this year. Hopefully all the work we have been doing to the space will make everyone feel welcome.

Our website and mailing list are up at

Precipice Fund is administered with lead support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti, as part of the Regional Regranting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.