You are reading

Arts groups demand greater city funding

 Pictured from left to right: MoMA PS1's director Klaus Biesenbach; Sheila Lewandowski, owner of The Chocolate Factory Theatre in Long Island City; City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer; Charles Rice-Gonzalez of the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance; and Eric Pryor, executive director for the Center for Arts Education

Pictured from left to right: MoMA PS1’s director Klaus Biesenbach; Sheila Lewandowski, owner of The Chocolate Factory Theatre in Long Island City; City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer; Charles Rice-Gonzalez of the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance; and Eric Pryor, executive director for the Center for Arts Education

Jan. 10, 2013 By Bill Parry

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and leaders of the arts and cultural community are pushing the city to provide more funds to support New York City cultural institutions.

The city currently allocates one-quarter of one percent of its budget to non-profit cultural organizations—representing about $150 million.

To seek more funding, 245 cultural institutions across the 5 boroughs have joined together to form a group called ‘One Percent for Culture’, with the aim of garnering 1% of the city’s funds for the arts.

The group held an event at PS1 in Long Island City on Tuesday morning to express its goal—which was a press conference and pep rally rolled into one.

The leaders of One Percent for Culture said that the arts community generates nearly $7.6 billion in economic activity for the city, while drawing nearly 24 million tourists and creating 100,000 jobs.

“We are keeping the city running,” Van Bramer said. “No one should doubt the power of artists.”

Sheila Lewandowski, the director of The Chocolate Factory and a member of the group’s steering committee, added: “We need to stop apologizing for being so important to the City of New York.”

“A one percent art tax exists in cities like Austin, San Francisco and Minneapolis,” Lewandowski said, “New York City doesn’t have one. We raise the bar in so many ways: people come from all over the world send their children to college in New York. Why? Because of the arts.”

Van Bramer said, “Culture drives tourism and we need to invest in it.” He cited that cultural tourism increased 11% last year
Klaus Biesenbach, the director of PS1 and host of the event said, “Non-profit culture is essential to our city’s economy and the vibrancy of our communities.”

More than 25,000 New Yorkers have already signed petitions in support of One Percent for Culture. Van Bramer pointed to a study by Global Research in 2010 that reported that “87% of New Yorkers support increased funding for the arts,” he said, adding that “56% would support higher taxes if it went to art and culture.”

Van Bramer, who is the chairman of the Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Committee, told the group to loud applause, “I will be your cheerleader, your fighter-in-chief.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com

One Comment

Click for Comments 

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.