New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray grabs a photo with the cast of MCC's Charm.
New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray grabs a photo with the cast of MCC's Charm.
(© Benjamin Kanter)

MCC Theatre and the Gracie Mansion Conservancy have announced a partnership to provide at-risk youth with increased access to arts and culture during MCC Theatre's upcoming 2017-18 season. First Lady Chirlane McCray and Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior adviser and director of the Mayor's Office of Strategic Partnerships, announced the initiative on September 20 at Gracie Mansion in an event featuring a performance from the cast of MCC's Charm.

The program will will provide 75 youths from across the city with tickets to attend productions in MCC's 2017-18 season, along with pre- and post-show workshops with actors, designers, and other members of MCC's creative team.

"I always say if I couldn't write poetry, or dance or express myself through the arts as a teenager, I don't know where I'd be," said McCray, who leads the NYC Unity Project. "Art is therapeutic and healing — and it belongs to everyone. The Gracie Mansion Conservancy is proud to partner with MCC Theater in its commitment to bring the arts to our city's most vulnerable youth and uplift voices that are far too often underrepresented in theater."

The cast of Charm perform at the Gracie Mansion.
The cast of Charm perform at the Gracie Mansion.
(© Benjamin Kanter)

Charm by Philip Dawkins is currently running at the Lucille Lortel Theatre through October 8 under the direction of Will Davis. The play is described as follows: "When Mama Darleena Andrews — a 67-year-old black transgender woman — takes it upon herself to teach an etiquette class at Chicago's LGBTQ community center, the idealistic teachings of Emily Post clash with the very real life challenges of identity, poverty, and prejudice faced by her students."

The Gracie Mansion Conservancy is a private not-for-profit corporation established to preserve, maintain, enhance, and enliven Gracie Mansion — one of the oldest surviving wood structures in Manhattan and home to the sitting mayors of New York City and their families since 1942, when the LaGuardias arrived as the first official residents.

For tickets to Charm, click here.