2013-01-16 / Front Page

One Percent for Culture: Dollars and Cents Plan to Support NYC’s Top Attraction – Culture

By Maria Lisella

Attending the One Percent for Culture event were (from left): Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director; Sheila Lewandowski, Executive Director, The Chocolate Factory; Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer; Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Executive Director, Bronx Academy for Arts & Dance (BAAD); and Eric Pryor, Executive Director, Center for Arts Education.
Attending the One Percent for Culture event were (from left): Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director; Sheila Lewandowski, Executive Director, The Chocolate Factory; Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer; Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Executive Director, Bronx Academy for Arts & Dance (BAAD); and Eric Pryor, Executive Director, Center for Arts Education.
Culture is key when tourists choose where to travel and New York City is draws more culture vultures than just about any other city in the country.
Queens Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who serves as the chair of council's cultural affairs committee, credited arts and cultural organizations as one of main draws for the record-breaking number of tourists who visited New York in 2012. Nearly 24 million people take advantage of the city's cultural offerings each year, he said, an industry that generates $7.6 billion in economic activity. Cultural tourism alone increased by 11 percent between 2010 and 2011, he said.
According to the city of Cultural Affairs, the city now allocates about $155 million of its approximately $70 billion budget to its 1,200 culture and arts organizations.
Besides strengthening the arts organizations, supporting cultural activities will benefit the city’s schoolchildren for instance as well. Councilman Van Bremer said that the support might not just arrive in money or grants but may also result in partnerships between cultural organizations and artists and the city’s schools.
“Unfortunately far too many students attend city public schools that have no relationship or partnership with our city’s cultural institutions,” Center for Arts Education Executive Director Eric Pryor said. “The One Percent Culture Campaign will help ensure that all of our city’s 1.1 million students have the opportunity for a world class art education here in the cultural capital of the world.”
So far nearly 300 non-profit cultural organizations from MOMA and its sister museum PS1 to individually-owned studios to theaters like the Chocolate Factory, the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, to writers groups like the Italian American Writers Association are urging the City of New York for NYC to take notice of their contributions and to dedicate 1% or about $700 million of its annual budget to nurture these groups.
One Percent for Culture was founded in 2010 amid large-scale city budget cuts as a way for cultural groups to band together and share resources. Its members include large institutions like MoMA and the Wildlife Conservation Society, as well as neighborhood organizations like Long Island City's Chocolate Factory Theatre and the Noguchi Museum. The Queens Tourism Council, which represents a large swathe of hoteliers, attractions and other tourism entities, supports the effort as well.
"Those of us in the arts business know that the arts make everything possible," coalition member Charles Rice-Gonzalez, executive director atthe Bronx Academy for Arts and Dance in Hunts Point , BAAD!
The press briefing took place at MOMA PS1’s newest addition: a new entrance kiosk that cost $2.3 million, $870,000 of which was allocated from
the Council Cultural Affairs Committee. For more information, visit
www.OneForCulture.org







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