Jamaica has nurtured a wellspring of artists over the years—from jazz luminaries and hip-hop talent like A Tribe Called Quest, to renowned author Paul Bowles. We embrace that heritage by celebrating the next generation of local talent, whether through contemporary art exhibits (like Chashama and Reconstruct Art), cutting-edge fashion shows, or concerts at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.
We are one of the few commercial corridors in the city to boast a cluster of established arts & cultural organizations, all within a 10-minute walk of one another.
Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC), located at 153rd Street and Jamaica Avenue, is a premier mid-size performance complex. Housed in a completely renovated 1858 landmark building—the former First Reformed Dutch Church of Jamaica—JPAC features a 400-seat multi-purpose performance space that offers theatre productions, music concerts, film festivals, dance performances and arts education. This venue is available for productions, special events, seminars, rehearsals and meetings.
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is a non-profit organization that offers visual, performing and literary arts, arts education and artist programs such as an in-school residency workshop, to encourage participation in the arts and contribute to the cultural enrichment of Queens and the Greater Metropolitan area. In June 2019, JCAL opened a new coworking space to provide an affordable working space for local artists, creatives and startups.
King Manor Museum, today the centerpiece of an 11-acre park in Jamaica, Queens, was the home and farm of Founding Father Rufus King from 1805 to 1827. Rufus King was an author of the U.S. Constitution, as well as one of New York’s first United States Senators and an Ambassador to Great Britain. He was also an early and outspoken opponent of slavery. King Manor later became the estate of King’s son, John Alsop King, who served as New York’s Governor. King Manor has been a museum since 1900.
Cultural Collaborative Jamaica (CCJ), unites artists, arts organizations, local businesses and educational leaders in efforts to strengthen community and economic development. Nationally recognized as a “Cultural Engine” of community development by the Center for Urban Futures, CCJ has successfully created and managed a wide range of collaborative programs that support its members and greatly impacts community knowledge of, and access to, local cultural offerings and tourism opportunities.
Afrikan Poetry Theatre is a non-profit organization that provides a range of cultural, educational, recreational, and social programs that celebrate African-based culture and heritage.
YMCA promotes positive values through programs that build spirit, mind and body. It is welcoming of all people, with a focus on youth. The YMCA offers a full-service gym and special programming for children and older adults.
Park & Public Space
King Rufus Park is an 11.5 acre park named after Founding Father Rufus King. His residence is now home to the King Manor Museum, located in the center of the park. Facilities include a playground, handball courts and bathrooms.
Thousands of higher education students study in Jamaica.
York College is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. York College offers baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and the sciences, a variety of professional programs such as accounting, business, computer studies, education, health, and social work, as well as a graduate program in occupational therapy. York College is located one block from Jamaica Avenue in the heart of Jamaica Center.
St. John’s University, founded in 1870, is a private Catholic university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in health, business, and education, as well as a graduate law degree program.