Letter to City Council in Support of Councilman Kallos’ City Spaces Legislation
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
New York City Council
Dear Speaker Mark-Viverito,
We, the undersigned independent artists, organizations, and businesses of the cultural community are writing to voice our enthusiastic support for the legislation being proposed by Councilman Benjamin Kallos to publicly list underutilized municipal arts space for arts rentals after-hours.
Throughout New York City’s five boroughs, thousands of exciting and engaging performances are created each year by diverse artists in many languages, reflecting the diversity of each district of our city. These artists develop the performances that help attract millions of tourists each year, coming to the cultural capital of the world, as well as engaging city residents in art that reflects their culture, needs, and issues of interest.
While record numbers of tourists come to New York each year, the cultural sector that they are coming to see is becoming squeezed. Each year, commercial rents in New York rise, which has led to increasing numbers of rehearsal and performance spaces closing. For most independent performance the cost of space now comprises 40-60% of the average company’s budget.
Live performance needs space to develop, and that space is becoming more expensive and scarce.
The legislation proposed by Councilman Kallos would unearth underutilized city spaces that could ease this brewing crisis, and share them with the community at an affordable cost These new resources would be broadly available, reaching many diverse artists across all of the five boroughs, and will result in increased activity and interest in these spaces, while allowing artists to create the work that benefits our city.
We thank you for your continued support of the cultural community, and look forward to continued collaboration and partnership to continue to preserve and expand New York’s vibrant artistic and creative atmosphere.