LIT Announces Political Endorsements; June 5 Press Event Set

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Ben Kallos, endorsed by LIT for District 5, City Council
Ben Kallos, endorsed by LIT for District 5, City Council
Ben Kallos, endorsed by LIT for District 5, City Council

Friends, it’s time to start showing up.

Back in March, The League of Independent Theater (LIT) had a Meet the Candidate’s Forum.

We asked candidates for citywide offices to address our Performing Arts Platform.

They did.

Now, the LIT is announcing our first round of endorsements.

If you care about the future of independent theater in New York City, I need you on East Fourth Street on Wednesday.

Here’s LIT’s press release to explain what’s going on:

THE LEAGUE OF INDEPENDENT THEATER

SET TO ANNOUNCE FIRST SLATE OF POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS

SCOTT M. STRINGER, JULIE MENIN, JIMMY VAN BRAMER

and OTHERS LEAD THE MOVEMENT TO SUPPORT

THE PERFORMING ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT SET FOR WEDNESDAY JUNE 5th, 11:30 A.M.

85 EAST 4TH STREET (BETWEEN FIRST AND SECOND AVENUES),

AT THE LEGENDERY HOME OF THE KRAINE THEATER

PLEASE JOIN STRINGER/MENIN/VAN BRAMER

AND OTHER CANDIDATES ON

THE STEPS OF THE KRAINE THEATER

AS LIT MAKES ITS FIRST POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS OF

THE 2013 NEW YORK CITY ELECTION CYCLE.

Fighting for the vibrant cultural sector of New York City means fighting for independent theater across all five boroughs. The League of Independent Theater’s mission is to support those artists and venues throughout the City, and to identify candidates in each of those communities to work on their behalf.

As the only 501(c)6 advocacy organization for the independent theater and performing arts population of New York City, the League of Independent Theater (which supports the interests of over 50,000 artists who vote regularly*) is proud to stand with and endorse Manhattan Borough President, Scott M. Stringer for Comptroller of The City of New York, Julie Menin for Manhattan Borough President, Jimmy Van Bramer for City Council, and other pro-Arts candidates including: Jenifer Rajkumar – District 1; Ben Kallos – District 5; Ken Biberaj – District 6; Melissa Mark-Viverito – District 8; Cliff Stanton – District 11 and Rory Lancman – District 24.

In the winter of 2009, an audience of over 300 independent theater artists and performing arts supporters attended a Community Board Congress forum on the perilous state of the small to midsized theater sector throughout the City where Borough President Scott M. Stringer challenged our sector to create a pro-arts platform. After years of organizational meetings, private discussions and coalition building, the League of Independent Theater unveiled this platform at our “Meet the Candidates” event on March 12, 2013 at The Players Club**. This comprehensive eight-plank platform will encourage, leverage and strengthen the independent theater sector of New York City.

Despite the many financial, logistical, and creative barriers, it is a widely documented and accepted truth that the independent theater community continues to power the City’s culture and contribute to the local economy. LIT’s goal is to seek advocates in government who understand the challenges that the independent theater community faces, and will partner on specific actions to ease those burdens. Because of Scott M. Stringer, Julie Menin, Jimmy Van Bramer, Jenifer Rajkumar, Ben Kallos, Ken Biberaj, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Cliff Stanton, and Rory Lancman’s belief in us, we believe in them and are very proud to endorse and work to galvanize the independent performing arts section (50,000+ strong) to support these candidates in their upcoming races.

*NYITF Study, 2008. www.nyitawards.com/survey/oobdemographics.pdf

**Videos of this event can be viewed at www.litny.org.

The following eight (8) points make up the League of Independent Theater’s performing arts platform.

1. Create access to low-cost and/or no-cost Community Facilities Spaces that are currently available and remain unused throughout the City through the creation of a Community Facilities Space Database.

2. Create access to empty and unused City property to be re-purposed as temporary rehearsal, office and (if appropriate), performance space.

3. Include non-profit performance venues in the favorable electricity and utility rates enjoyed by religious institutions and the VFW.

4. Implement a proposal that would reduce or eliminate property tax assessments for those non-profit organizations that have an artistic mission and/or rent performance space to similar non-profit performing arts groups with artistic missions of their own. All twelve (12) Manhattan Community Boards unanimously ratified this proposal.

5. Secure affordable permanent low-cost housing for working artists. In addition, work to provide access to affordable healthcare for these artists, depending on the status and reach of the Affordable Care Act at the time of negotiations.

6. Support the commission of an economic impact study for the independent theater territory.

7. Work with the Department of Cultural Affairs to expand the Cultural Institutions Group to include the independent theater sector’s anchor venues.

8. Install plaques at sites of historical import and rename streets after the founders of the independent and Off-Off Broadway community.

www.litny.org

  • Great article on a great group in NYC – thank you for this!