Performing Arts & Arts Policy Town Hall Set for March 21


David Pincus, chair of the Theater Task Force at Manhattan Community Board 4 (among his many titles), will someday need to stand up and bask in the applause of the New York City arts infrastructure — not just all of the stage folk, but all the artisans and those who support them. The work he’s done on a proposal (now approved by each community board in Manhattan) to provide tax breaks to landlords who rent to nonprofit arts organizations is excellent.

Here at the CFR, we’ve supported the proposal, especially as part of a larger strategy for dealing with the real estate problem for artists in New York City. I do not believe the proposal is a magic bullet, a panacea or a cure-all — but as part of a broader set of proposals, as part of a wider and articulated arts policy for New York City, it’s a great start.

Story continues below.

Previous coverage of the proposal at the CFR can be found here, here, here and here.

And now, per an email from Pincus and others, here is a press release on an extremely important March 21 event at which the tax-abatement proposal, among other topics, will be discussed. You do not want to miss this meeting.

Here’s the press release, slightly redacted for space.

A.R.T./New York
Innovative Theater Foundation,
Institute for Culture in the Service of Community Sustainability

The League of Independent Theater

are excited to inform you about a unique collaboration with
many members of the arts & culture committees of
the Manhattan Community Boards
and their continuing initiative to support

Small-to-Mid-Sized Non-Profit Performing Arts Organizations
located in the City of New York.

On Monday, March 21, 2011 at The National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park So. @20th St.), ICSCS (The Institute for Culture in the Service of Community Sustainability) will be holding its next Table Town Hall at 6pm where this coalition will present on the many agenda items they have been pursuing. Included in this evening will also be a brief presentation by 1% for Culture. You are invited!

Please RSVP if you are going to attend this 6:00 (meet and greet) / 6:30 p.m. (event start time), March 21st Event by sending an email to:

Admission is free. Business casual attire please.

Representatives of the above-mentioned art support organizations have been working closely for over two years with members of various art & culture committees of the Manhattan Community Boards on issues that affect every neighborhood in the City of New York.

Specifically, all of these organizations support a proposal to secure a property tax abatement for NYC non-profit performing arts organizations — that have been closing at an alarming rate, Citywide, for the past five years.

Recently, A.R.T./New York, ITF, ICSCS and LIT have formed a coalition to focus their combined efforts on achieving this property tax abatement, and other art related goals that would support the non-profit arts sector, by conducting effective political advocacy at the local level.

…questions that will be asked include:

  1. What direct political action can be taken to support this sector?
  2. How do we better engage the artists and producers of this community to advocate for pragmatic political change that will allow this important NYC cultural and economic engine to operate more successfully?
  3. How do we more effectively manage the time and resources, that this effort will demand, of this artistic community?

…we are especially interested in encouraging the attendance of as many Managing/Executive Directors, Artistic Directors and Board of Director members of non-profit performing arts organizations — specifically those that pay real estate property tax for their spaces to attend this very important meeting.

In addition, we will make information available about a new program at Economic Development Corporation that could lower your electric rates.

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

For further information on this proposal, please send an email to and we will gladly answer any questions you have.

Please RSVP if you are going to attend this March 21 event (Starting at 6pm) by emailing