I went to a hearing on how to make New York affordable to artists two weeks ago. There weren’t a lot of answers from the city’s non-profits (and there weren’t nearly enough present), but the testimonies given offered a good sense of the problems. My report, for The L Magazine:
“How can we get more places like Flux Factory?” City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer asked Kate D. Levin. Van Bramer is one of the biggest arts advocates in the city, and Levin is the commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs; at that moment, she was also a spokesperson for the bulk of the city’s non-profit arts institutions. His question was central to a recent public hearing about how New York could be made more affordable for artists, and Levin’s reply started with the facts. “It’s a challenge to manage real estate for residents that are somewhere between a stable and transient population,” she said. Fundraising has been an issue; so too has finding the non-profit expertise needed to run these kinds of spaces. (Still, the commissioner saw progress in the philanthropic community’s understanding that the pipeline for emerging artists is important, too.)
To read the full piece click here.