50 Years of
Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Education
“The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), founded in 1972, is a multidisciplinary arts center based in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. Our mission is devoted to offering quality visual, performing, and literary arts, and to providing accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts.”
In the last four years, JCAL has intensified its engagement of Queens, one of America’s most ethnically diverse counties—a place where 2.25 million African-American, Caribbean-American, Indo-Asian, African, Latinx, and Caucasian, Native American and Indigenous artists and audiences live, work and play. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, JCAL has implemented digital strategies and approaches to the delivery of all our programs. It is a challenging time, but our commitment to our mission, programmatically and institutionally, remain unchanged and undimmed.
JCAL’s cultural campus begins at our 45,000-square-foot headquarters, the Jamaica Arts Center (JAC). Located in a landmark building, the former Queens Register of Title and Deeds, JAC features a stunning array of art galleries, dance spaces, music studios and visual arts classrooms, plus a ceramic studio, a digital art lab and a 99-seat proscenium theater. Nearby is our state-of-the-art, multi-functional 400-seat theater, the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC). Located in a converted former First Dutch Reformed Church, the venue accommodates different configurations for performances, conferences, and events. JCAL uses its venues for the full-time development and presentation of performance work, and makes them available to other arts companies and community partners for a reduced rental fee. We are repurposing JPAC in particular for live-streaming partnerships in a pandemic and post-pandemic world.