Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good News: A Public Forum on the state of small theater in NYC

You read it right: Manhattan Community Boards one, two, three, four and five are holding a public forum on the state of small theatre in NYC on Tuesday, February 17th at 6:30pm at the historic Player's Club.

From the announcement:

"Manhattan Community Boards One, Two, Three, Four and Five are coming together for an unprecedented joint Public Forum on Small Theaters.

Small theaters are an important part of the sustainability and resilience of small businesses and local economies; small theaters are an economic engine because they encourage residents to spend in their own communities and draw additional audiences from around the City and beyond for early evening activities. On a macro level, small theaters serve as the Research & Development arm of the commercial entertainment industries, locating new talent and acting as incubators for bold new ideas and risk taking. Unfortunately, many of the smaller theaters that bring so much life to our neighborhoods are closing their doors or in 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 closing of the Zipper Theater last week in CB4, almost 30 percent of Midtown performance venues have been demolished recently, along with 25 percent of West Village Theaters. In the Nineties, the most of the Lower East Side's theaters were repurposed for bars (e.g. Pianos) 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.

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

If we want our voices heard on this matter, It is important to have a strong presence at this event. This is our community's opportunity to speak directly to the community boards about the issues affecting us.

Here are the details:


16 Gramercy Park South

For further information: david@workshoptheater.org


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

to Union Square, walk up Park Avenue South to East 20th Street and
turn right to 23rd Street, walk down Park Avenue South to East 20th Street and
turn left to Broadway and 23rd Street, walk on 23rd Street to Park Avenue, walk down Park Avenue to East 20th Street and turn left

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