a city must do many things well, from providing public safety, generating economic growth, improving mobility and transportation of goods, providing public education and yes supporting and sustaining the arts. and Jersey City is doing a good job of failing
the root of it may be failings in leadership, from the failed property revaluation needed to provide tax equity across the city, the failure to provide community based policing policy, to our failure to fund our schools, and to adequately support, fund and sustain the arts.
Jersey City together has been giving voice to issues here in a letter signed by more than 30 arts community leaders - http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/05/plea_to_fulop_officials_for_leadership_to_stem_vio.html
and fortunately despite the city, arts leaders doing just that here - Jersey City's arts community needs dedicated support from city The Fulop administration has identified the arts as playing an important role in the economic and cultural development of Jersey City. However, artists and arts groups have been underfunded, excluded from city planning decisions, and marginalized as real estate and the cost of living in Jersey City have skyrocketed.
Consequently, Jersey City arts groups have closed or become dormant, arts leaders have resigned or moved away, and ordinances/legislation designed to support the arts have been ignored or not enforced.
After years of dialogue with the city about the arts sector's critical need for support, and without substantive policy from the city, artists and arts groups hereby set out below the requisite policy items necessary for arts in Jersey City to become sustainable and adequately supported.
We, the undersigned, ask the following of the administration:
1. The City of Jersey City dedicates the entire 3% Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax to Arts/Culture local non-profit organizations, to be distributed by a neutral, professionally-qualified arts entity, acceptable to the arts community.
2. That all decisions involving future rezoning for "arts districts", major capital projects such as renovating the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, re-opening of the Jersey City Museum, or the like, be made with a neutral, professionally-qualified arts entity at the table representing the arts community as a full negotiating partner. It is imperative that the voices of seasoned artists, dancers, performers, and professionals from the arts field have a say in policy that will affect them, and the public, for years to come.
3. That all programs currently underway that involve the arts - including the JC Mural Arts program - be immediately halted, until a system of transparency is put into place and input from the art community is heard and incorporated. We want there to be murals and we want there to be art in JC, but we want to ensure that this is done in a productive and responsible way that reflects the very best of our city.
4. The Department of City Planning assigns a staff person charged with the responsibility and accountability for upholding all arts provisions written into city ordinances, zoning, land use plans, and building plans. This staff person will also be responsible for advocating for arts space, artist housing, and other opportunities to provide funding and resources to arts groups as building projects are presented in Jersey City.