Performing Arts Platform

As a pro-performing arts elected official, I will work to:

1. Support transparent, searchable access to city and community spaces for rehearsal or performance.

Proposal: Searchable database for privately owned public spaces. [Completed]
Proposal: Searchable database of Community Facility Spaces.
Proposal: Searchable database of unused or under-utilized city-owned spaces. [See: #CitySpaces proposal co-sponsored by CMs Kallos, Van Bramer, Cumbo, and Rosenthal]

2. Create program for artists to exchange participatory workshops for rehearsal/performance space

Proposal: Exchange workshops with public school students for rehearsal/performance space within schools. [Piloted at a public school in Queens]
Proposal: Exchange workshops with seniors for rehearsal/performance space within senior/community centers.
Proposal: Exchange workshops with NYCHA residents for rehearsal/performance space.

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3. Reduce zoning and tax barriers to preserve existing performance spaces and encourage creation of new ones

Proposal: Exempt owners' property tax for square footage rented to not-for-profit arts organizations at below market rate. [Unanimously ratified by all 12 Manhattan community boards]
Proposal: Designate Cultural Zoning (similar to manufacturing zoning) that would earmark certain spaces for cultural use that cannot be converted into other uses, to preserve the character of cultural districts. 
Proposal: Rent controls or stabilization for small business, similar to residential rent control.
Proposal: Property tax reductions for developers that are purchasing assemblages in exchange for temporarily activating their space for rehearsal/performance.

4. Reduce high costs of electricity and utilities for non-profit independent theater.

Proposal: Include non-profit performance venues in the favorable electricity and utility rates enjoyed by religious institutions and the VFW.
Proposal: Enable utility companies to donate the cost of utilities to non-profit arts organizations as a tax deduction.
Proposal: Provide seed funding for an Independent Theater solar co-op.

5. Secure affordable, low-cost housing for working artists.

Proposal: Create clustered units of affordable housing with live/work space included.
Example: Westbeth Artist Housing, housing 300 artists with live/work space.
Example: PS109, 89 units of affordable live/work space in East Harlem, 50% of which must be drawn from the local community.
Proposal: Support rent control and rent stabilization protections.

6. Secure affordable, healthcare for working artists.

Proposal: Create a Single Payer health system for New York.
Proposal: Ensure any future healthcare proposals understand the fiscal need of artists.
Proposal: Support grants to current healthcare initiatives, such as the Actor's Fund.

7. Commission an economic impact study for independent theater.

8. Support cultural exchange, and multilingual arts organizations.

Proposal: Establish an International Artist Liaison to connect organizations looking to work with international artists to legal and funding resources.

9. Expand existing Department of Cultural Affairs programs to include independent theater.

Proposal: Expand the Cultural Institutions Group to include independent theater anchor venues.
Proposal: Expand the Theater Subdistrict Fund to include arts organizations with budgets below $250,000/year.

10. Recognize the history and impact of independent theater

Proposal: Designate new cultural districts.
Proposal: Install plaques at sites of historical import for Independent Theater.
Proposal: Rename streets after founders of the independent theater community.

Want to fight for this platform?

The platform above was drafted by the Politics, Research, and Outreach working group.