The following letter was passed by Community Board 4 last night, joining Community Board 3 in the fight to preserve small and mid-sized theater in NYC.
The Community Boards are great allies in this campaign, everyone should check their calendars and show up at the meetings.
Here's the letter:
Dear Governor Paterson,
Manhattan Community Board 4 overwhelmingly objects to the debilitating
(100%) 2009 second round funding cuts to the New York State Council on the
Arts (NYSCA) that occurred in the fall of 2008. As Manhattan District 4
is home to over 40% of all small to mid-sized theatres in New York
City, we ask that you restore funding to those theatres whose 2009
applications were being considered in that round of NYSCA funding. This
NYSCA cut blind sided scores of theatres in our area that were placed in
financial peril due solely to their arbitrary position in the
We further object to your proposed $7 million cut to NYSCA’s 2010 budget.
This amount represents a very small ‘savings’ for the State, but a
substantial loss for the performing arts. Given theatre’s proven ability
to leverage government contributions by a 5 to 1 ratio, this $7 million
savings could mean as much as a $35 million loss to the State in arts
With New York State’s budget currently slated to be $131.8 billion, the
restoration of NYSCA’s share represents a negligible addition to it. What
in the big picture would be considered a "rounding error" could literally
mean survival for a crucial component of the City's arts infrastructure.
Theaters provide jobs, support neighborhood economies, and enhance New
York's competitive edge. New York City's status as a culture center
attracts both the most ambitious and accomplished artists & professionals,
and as a result, the tourist and other revenue streams that follow. In
addition, small to mid-size theatres provide valuable research and
development for the entertainment industry; acting as entry points for
actors, choreographers, musicians, designers, et al. Nowhere is that more
evident than in Community District 4, which has had a major role in the
development of theatre in New York City for generations.
At the recent and unprecedented public forum for theatre professionals
(hosted by Community Boards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), the displacement of small
to mid sized theatres was of crucial concern. Restoring NYSCA funding
will have an immediate and positive impact on the stability and survival
of many of our small to mid-sized theaters and the economic resilience of
We urge you, please, to restore the NYSCA funds.
Manhattan Community Board 4