LIT's 2016 Activities
Politics Research and Outreach Working Group
2017 Fiscal Budget of New York City
After a period of New York City cultural budget cuts (2009-2014), and two years of a stagnant budget (2015-2016), the League, in concert with community partners like One Percent for Culture, testified before City Council asking for a $40 million budget increase. Members of PRO testified before City Council in support of the budget raise.
In the end, despite City Council recommending the $40 million increase (led by League partner Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer), the Mayor's budget only adopted a $10 million increase.
In keeping with promises made to the League at the Meet the Candidates event in 2013, League partner Councilman Ben Kallos drafted legislation that would require DCAS to create a portal to allow residents to identify city-owned property that is available for artistic use. We announced this legislation at FringeNYC, alongside IndieSpace and the Fringe.
The goal is to provide access for artists to be able to rent out city-owned property when it is unused. We will continue to push this legislation in 2017.
Representing Independent Theater in the Community
Members of LIT-PRO represented the independent theater in local community input events to make sure that city government hears from our community. These events included:
- Participatory Budgeting: $35 Million in funding is given by City Council members through a process of participatory budgeting. LIT-PRO members attended local PB meetings to make proposals to benefit the indie theater community.
- Cultural Plan Workshops: The law passed in 2015, with LIT support, requires New York City to draft a cultural plan by June 30, 2017. LIT-PRO members attended cultural planning workshops across the boroughs to make sure our voice is heard in the planning process.
Real Estate Working Group
2017 Space Grant
LIT-RE continued its quarterly subsidized space grant, providing access to a 5,000 square foot rehearsal space in Midtown West to 14 companies at significantly below market rates.
We will continue this space grant into 2017, and are on the lookout for more commercial spaces that we can use to expand the program.
2017 Charter Barter Grant
LIT-RE partnered another theater company with a charter school to continue to provide long-term rehearsal space in exchange for providing theater workshops with students.
In 2017 we will continue this program, and are on the lookout for more schools (as well as other housing, senior centers, etc.) to expand the program.