(Left to right) Maurine Knighton, Senior Vice-President of Program and Non-Profit Investments, UMEZ; James L. Kerr, President, Morris-Jumel Mansion’s Board of Directors; Kenneth J. Knuckles, President & CEO, UMEZ; Ken Moss, Executive Director, Morris-Jumel Mansion; and Julia Lu, Director, Cultural Industry Investment Fund Program and Nonprofit Investments, UMEZ.


New York, NYKenneth J. Knuckles, President & CEO of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corp. (UMEZ) joined by Maurine Knighton, Senior Vice-President of Program and Non-profit Investments, announced today an award of $85,555 to Morris-Jumel Mansion.


Since 1765, Morris-Jumel Mansion has served as a focal point for activity in the Washington Heights community; today, it is the oldest remaining house in Manhattan.  Originally built as a country retreat, General George Washington used it as temporary headquarters during the American Revolution.  Morris-Jumel Mansion’s chief aim is to present American life from the colonial era to the present by preserving, collecting, and interpreting history, culture, and the arts to engage and inspire diverse audiences. 


This grant, made through the UMEZ Cultural Industry Investment Fund, builds upon a prior UMEZ technical assistance award that underwrote the creation of a strategic plan.  The new grant will allow the Mansion to undertake one of the plan’s key recommendations, establishment and implementation of a revenue generation framework to build long-term institutional sustainability and capacity.  The UMEZ grant, combined with other funding, will provide support for the renovation of the Octagon Room and fully support the Mansion’s Gift Shop upgrade.  UMEZ support will also result in the creation of the Mansion’s first-ever Director of Public Affairs and Marketing position.  In addition, UMEZ funding will underwrite the Mansion’s engagement in board development activities. 


There already exist within walking distance of the Mansion a cluster of cultural institutions including the Hispanic Society, the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.  By strengthening the Mansion, it will more effectively attract increased numbers of visitors and tourists who in turn contribute to local economic activity through greater patronage of Upper Manhattan businesses and services. 


“It is vitally important that we preserve our historic treasures so that they may be available to future generations,” said Mr. Knuckles.  “Morris-Jumel Mansion is not only a window to our nation’s past, but an educational site for people of all ages.”


Ken Moss, Morris-Jumel’s Executive Director, said, “With the support of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone we will strengthen our organization and spread the word about Morris-Jumel Mansion to new audiences both within our community and beyond!”


ABOUT THE Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone  DEVELOPMENT CORP.


UMEZ seeks to revitalize distressed communities by using geographically targeted public funds and tax incentives as catalysts for private investment. In Upper Manhattan, the communities that lie within the Empowerment Zone's borders include Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood.




UMEZ’s CIIF celebrates Upper Manhattan’s rich past while creating new legacies.  The work of the CIIF is two-fold:  community building through a cultural and economic lens; and, a marketing of place that repositions Upper Manhattan as one of New York City’s primary cultural districts.  The goals of the CIIF are sustaining the local economy by promoting development, revitalization and tourism; making strategic cultural investments; and, strengthening the cultural ecosystem.


The CIIF provides support to cultural organizations that use the arts as a tool for economic development, job creation and growth of cultural tourism, within the five communities of Upper Manhattan.  Primary means of support include funding and provision of technical assistance.





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March 2014
Win8 logo
UMEZ upgrades to Microsoft Windows 8.1
Biennial Report 2011-2012
Biennial cover pg 2011-2012
Biennial Report 2011-2012
Nov 6, 2012
June 26, 2012
Career Opportunities in Healthcare Program
Jul. 25, 2012: BRISC loan recipient, Jado Wine Bar & Sushi opens in Harlem
Jul. 25, 2012: Jado Sushi

October 17, 2011
October 17, 2011
Dec. 15, 2010
Dec. 15, 2010
Dance Theatre of Harlem receives UMEZ grant
Dec. 14, 2010
Dec. 15, 2010
Verdery Roosevelt appointed Senior Vice President
November 22, 2010
November 22, 2010
Award-winning master stylist Maisha Teacher opens Bibi Salon
November 10, 2010
November 10, 2010
Harlem Vintage receives BRISC loan
November 9, 2010
November 9, 2010
Hope Community receives grant
September 27, 2010
September 27, 2010
UMEZ teams with Grameen America
July 22, 2010
Ken Grand Opening
Grand Opening of East River Plaza
April 16, 2010
April 16, 2010
Morris-Jumel Mansion receives grant
March 15, 2010
March 15, 2010
Acelero Learning, Inc. receives BRISC loan
March 5, 2010
b yet
Best Yet Market opens in Harlem
Jan. 20, 2010
Jan. 20, 2010
Gemini II Specialty Boutique receives retail incentive loan
Dec. 13, 2009
Island Salad Opening
Island Salad receives BRISC loan
Sept. 30, 2009
Sept. 30, 2009
Caribbean Cultural Center receives UMEZ grant
Aug. 18, 2009
Patane Press receives retail incentive loan
Jun. 16, 2009
Harlem Masters
Harlem Masters receives forgivable loan
Mar. 17,2009
Mar. 17,2009
Watkins Health Foods receives forgivable loan
Feb. 2, 2009
Pollen Nation
Pollen Nation receives BRISC loan
Jan. 28, 2009
Jazzmobile check
UMEZ underwrites Jazzmobile's future
Jan. 13, 2009
Island Salad Check
Island Salad receives BRISC loan
Nov. 3, 2008
Nov. 3, 2008
UMEZ provides funding for new health care careers initiative
East Harlem Cafe celebrates grand opening.
Aug. 26, 2008
Dagaz check
BRISC loan is a custom fit for Dagaz
Jun.26, 2008
Taller Boricua receives UMEZ grant
Jun. 24, 2008
Manhattan Neighborhood Network awarded UMEZ grant
Jun. 11, 2008
Jun. 11
Empowerment Zone awards $150,000 grant to Opus 118
May 30, 2008
Hope Co mmunity pic
UMEZ grant for Hope Community, Inc
Apr. 7, 2008
Apr. 15
Studio Museum receives multi-year grant
Mar. 14, 2008
Plum Pomidor Restaurant awarded BRISC loan
Mar. 13, 2008
Mar. 25
BRISC loan helps Citicare move to new location & purchase equipment
Feb.13, 2008
Alianza Dominicana breaks ground for new headquarters
Feb.12, 2008
Fishers of Men II Reels in BRISC Loan

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