ART/NY, LIT, ITF Team on Tax-Break Plan for Pro-Arts Landlords

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Six months after all 12 Manhattan community boards approved a resolution calling on New York City and New York State to legislate a property-tax abatement for landlords who rent to nonprofit arts organizations, the idea is still gathering steam — and some heavy-hitters are now getting involved. And they need volunteers to help get it done. And you thought the holiday spirit was over! Not a chance.

Mind you, not that the process to even write such legislation was ever going to be easy, because it won’t be. Not that the idea is without its flaws or concerns, because they exist. Not that such legislation, once written and passe, will cure all ills when it comes to ensuring spaces for nonprofit performing arts groups in New York City (or, for that matter, in just Midtown, where most of the energy currently is).

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But it’s a step, and it’s an important one, and you really should offer to help if you possibly can with the following project, outlined below.

So, if you’re wondering how to begin the first workday evening of your new year and your new decade, why not head to the offices of Community Board 4 tonight — Jan. 3, 6:30pm — and I’ll now let David M. Pincus, chief of the Theater Task Force, fill in the details from here:

In further support of a property tax abatement policy for small to mid-size non-profit performing arts companies…it was determined that a clearer logistical and financial picture of this overlooked sector was needed.

The only way to get this info is to ask : )

I am happy to announce that the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, ITF (formerly New York Innovative Theater Foundation) and LIT (League of Independent Theater) — three of the most prominent and effective advocates for the independent theater movement in the city — have come to an agreement to support the preparation, conduct and analysis of a demographic study geared to determining specific information regarding the needs of our sector.

Once the information is collated and analyzed, these organizations, along with the Manhattan Community Boards, will be able to more effectively communicate the needs of the non-profit performing arts community to our electeds.

…we need to engage the services of a number of volunteers to help ART/NY, LIT, ITF and CB4’s Task Force, in order to make follow up phone calls and emails to the survey invitees.

Not only is it true that the more people we can engage to conduct follow-up calls and emails will allow us to gain as high a return rate as possible for this survey (which is vitally important for the success of this project), it will also NOT make this an unduly onerous process for any one organization involved.

All of this, and more, will be discussed at CB4’s Theater Task Force meeting scheduled for Jan. 3, 2011 at 6:30pm to which the art support organizations involved, and all other interested parties and representatives of the Manhattan Community Boards are invited to attend.

If you know of any individuals who may be interested in volunteering a few hours to make important follow-up calls to the performing arts organizations that will be reached out to, their (or your) attendance at this upcoming meeting would be gratefully appreciated.

Please RSVP (contact info below) me if you, or someone you recommend, can make this meeting on Jan. 3, 6:30pm.

CB4’s Office is located at:
330 West 42nd Street,
26th Floor
New York, New York 10036

Included in our agenda are the practicalities of getting this survey “live”; following-up, dealing with and analyzing the responses; how the Community Boards can support this effort; and how can all the interested parties take the initiative to revitalize the property tax abatement issue (and other related policy initiatives).

Happy Holidays,

David M. Pincus
Chair, Theater Task Force
Manhattan Community Board 4
david@workshoptheater.org

biffpincus@aol.com