This from Crain's:
Artists in the five boroughs could gain access to new exhibition and performance space and receive entrepreneurial training as part of a series of five initiatives city officials unveiled Wednesday to bolster the cultural sector in the five boroughs.
The new programs will give visual artists a chance to display their work in various city-owned properties, including the Brooklyn Army Terminal and St. George Ferry Terminal; provide free outdoor performance space in the city's parks; train 50 out-of-work entrepreneurial professionals to apply their skill sets to the nonprofit cultural world; help artists develop business plans and provide them with low-cost studio space; and provide $25,000 grants to each of two neighborhood “arts clusters” to help organizations draw audiences.
The announcement came as Crain's held its Future of New York conference on the arts
industry, examining how dwindling attendance and donations have challenged the sector
during the financial crisis.
Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris said at the conference that in addition to the $5.8 billion in economic activity generated by the arts, another $5.4 billion comes from arts-motivated tourism. Half of the visitors to the city last year came for an arts-related activity.
“These initiatives will support our vital nonprofit cultural sector in these difficult economic times,” said Kate Levin, the city's cultural affairs commissioner, in a statement. “They will also provide new opportunities for the city's artists, whose creativity and innovation serve audiences from across
the five boroughs and around the world.”
Officials said the city's 1,400 nonprofit cultural groups employ 40,000 people and generate more than $5.8 billion in annual economic impact through direct spending.
The initiatives announced Wednesday are the latest in a series of moves by the city's Economic Development Corp. to support specific sectors of the city economy during the downturn, with many of the programs focused on entrepreneurialism. Other sectors where programs have been launched include media, fashion and financial services.