Public Forum Held TODAY 

 
2/16/2009 


A COMMUNITY BOARD PUBLIC FORUM ON:

THE STATE OF SMALL TO MID-SIZED THEATERS

Developing Strategies in this time of Crisis and Opportunity

Hosted by NYC Community Boards 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH AT 6:30 P.M.

at

THE PLAYERS CLUB
16 Gramercy Park South
(Directions Below)


Participants and Guests currently include:

* Scott Stringer, Borough President of Manhattan
* Ben Cameron - Program Director for The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
* Virginia Louloudes – Executive Director ART/NY
* Tamara Greenfield – FAB Arts District
* Paul Nagle – Arts Representative for Council Member Alan Gerson
* Kevin Cunningham - 3 Legged Dog
* Judith Malina – The Living Theater
* Anthony Borelli, Director of Land Use, Manhattan Borough President's Office

Manhattan Community Boards One, Two, Three, Four and Five are coming together for an unprecedented joint Public Forum on Small to Mid-Sized Theaters, which are an important part of the sustainability and resilience of NYC small businesses and local economies.

Unfortunately, many of the smaller theaters that bring so much life to our neighborhoods have closed their doors or are in imminent danger of closing. The problem is acute.

The economic climate, along with the rising cost of real estate are making it difficult for smaller theaters to retain their spaces for performances, rehearsals and offices.  With the recent closing of the Zipper Theater in CB4, almost 30% of Midtown performance venues have been demolished in the past three years, along with 25% of West Village theaters.  At the end of the Nineties many of the Lower East Side's theaters were repurposed for bars (e.g. Pianos, Todo Con Nada) or displaced and laid vacant and demolished by speculation (e.g. Present Company, and Collective Unconscious).  The Community Boards realize that when the theaters leave, the cultural richness and attractiveness of their neighborhoods will diminish, and opportunities for local artists go away.

But with crisis, comes opportunity.

The goals of this Public Forum are (1) to clearly explain the depth and urgency of the issues facing smaller theaters; (2) to discuss potential solutions based on expert opinion from communities outside of New York where there have been successes, and from political, real estate and artistic experts in New York; and (3) to gather community support to advocate for changes that will help the theaters and ensure their survival.


Space is Limited, For further information and RSVP:  david@workshoptheater.org


DIRECTIONS TO THE PLAYERS CLUB:

East 20th Street between Park Avenue South and Third Avenue has been
renamed Gramercy Park South.

Subway: to Union Square, walk up Park Avenue South to East 20th Street and
turn right

Subway: to 23rd Street, walk down Park Avenue South to East 20th Street and
turn left

Subway: to Broadway and 23rd Street, walk on 23rd Street to Park Avenue, walk down Park Avenue to East 20th Street and turn left


Please Note:  The Players' Club (the oldest private theater club in America) has requested that attendees honor the Club’s dress code of no jeans, no sneakers -- but no one will be turned away on that basis.  Attendance Strictly Limited to 250.  



 

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