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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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How much of an increase in municipal taxes are the pro-arts funding people willing to accept to achieve this goal?

Posted on: 5/20 17:01
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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Quote:

bodhipooh wrote:

The NYC comparisons are so tiring...

NYC has 32 times the population of JC. Any number you throw out there when comparing JC to NYC should factor that in. Not to mention that due to economy of scales, their budget and other numbers/stats are entirely different than ours.

How much does our city spend on arts or arts-related programs? Is it more than 5.5 MM? If so, we are spending more than NYC. If it is less, perhaps we don't have the economy of scales to do better.

Hey, NYC had about 350 homicides each of the past few years... but we had about 25, more than twice as many per 100,000 residents. Why is that? We should have had about 21 instead.

As the saying goes... numbers don't lie, statistics do.


If comparisons with New York City are tiresome for you - how about smaller New Jersey cities like New Brunswick who has recently announced a $215million arts center to be built in their Downtown area? - CLICK HERE FOR INFO. New Brunswick is a municipality with a $92million municipal budget (compared to Jersey City's $572million budget) - yet they are able to leverage city, county, state and other funding and partnerships to take on major capital projects for the arts.

Obviously the issues are deeper than asking city government to bankroll the arts - but where is the will to address the lack of arts funding in Jersey City?

Posted on: 5/20 13:13
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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I mentioned this on a FB thread started by one of the petition signatories. There are 2 events from the past that have to inform this discussion. The first is the Healy administration's decision to abandon the Powerhouse Arts District and allow the demolition of 111 First Street. That building was the center of the downtown arts community, and the settlement with Goldman essentially gutted the district and the arts scene down there.

Don't get me wrong, there are still lots of artists downtown and throughout the city, but that decision demolished the central facility, dispersed the community of artists, and made it clear that the city was not going to defend its zoning and planning decisions.

The second is the collapse of the Jersey City Museum. The City, largely through the advocacy of former council President Vega, funded the museum, and required developers to contribute to the museum in exchange for getting the plans and the abatement that the developers wanted. The Museum had a professional staff with arts training. In other words, it had many of the things that are being demanded now.....and it ended up not being able to sustain itself and could not even account for its inventory.

I believe funding for arts programs is reasonable, and we should be able to find some more money in a budget of over half a billion. However, there is a difference between giving an operating grant to help a group with a portion of theor budget and having a city guarantee funding for a group from soup to nuts (and I'm not saying that is what is being expected).

Posted on: 5/18 11:20
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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If these are issues that matter to you and you'd like Jersey City to support arts in terms of funding, communtiy input, planning and enforcement of arts ordinances, please sign the petition below:

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-steven- ... apper&utm_medium=copylink

Posted on: 5/18 11:13
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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Quote:

bodhipooh wrote:

The thing about hyperbole and shrill posts is that it makes it easy to dismiss what would otherwise could have been good points.

Obviously, the city contributes to the arts, but you just don't like how they go about it, or (perhaps willfully?) ignore their contributions. Yes, there is the (much maligned) mural program, as well as the various subsidies and support provided to programs like Groove on Grove, or the Riverview Jazz Festival. There is, of course, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the various programs and services they sponsor and support. There is the debacle that is the Loew's Theater, which for years got city support and is now mired in litigation. Examples of city funding of arts and arts-related programs and services abound. Heck, there are even development policies that have secured low cost housing for artists in some new buildings.

So, yes, I do think some so-called artists can be presumptuous and demanding.


Greater detail and transparency of this arts funding would be greatly appreciated. To my knowledge: Groove on Grove is funded entirely by small businesses associated with the HDSID. The Mural Project pays for supplies but not artists fees - and the funds are drawn from anti-gaffiti money from the state - not municipal funds. I don't have info on the Loew's - would love to hear their experience about funding from the city - but my guess is that it's been abysmal or non-existent.

Bottom line is that while you go about defending city policy on arts - the landscape of arts organizations is barren. We have not retained key organizations such as the Jersey City Museum, Jersey City Children's Theater, Attic Ensemble, and others. Arts leaders are giving up on Jersey City left and right. In fact - can you name one arts non-profit that has a viable operation - staffing, paid employees, reasonable donor base, etc? No - you can't because there aren't any.

That is why there needs to be leadership from city government. It also means that the community - residents and local business - needs to become more aware of what is needed to sustain arts and become more supportive.

Posted on: 5/18 10:23
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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MartinM wrote:
Quote:

bodhipooh wrote:


The NYC comparisons are so tiring...

NYC has 32 times the population of JC. Any number you throw out there when comparing JC to NYC should factor that in. Not to mention that due to economy of scales, their budget and other numbers/stats are entirely different than ours.

How much does our city spend on arts or arts-related programs? Is it more than 5.5 MM? If so, we are spending more than NYC. If it is less, perhaps we don't have the economy of scales to do better.

Hey, NYC had about 350 homicides each of the past few years... but we had about 25, more than twice as many per 100,000 residents. Why is that? We should have had about 21 instead.

As the saying goes... numbers don't lie, statistics do.


If Jersey City were giving $5.5 million to the arts - trust me - you would be seeing the biggest lovefest of artists and politicos that has ever existed since King Louis the XIV of France pronounced himself the Sun King and bankrolled spectacles of dance, music, scenery, and debauchery in his royal court. Were it so...

Reality check: I don't believe the City gives 1 penny in direct funding to the arts - unless you count the real estate marketing scheme that is the mural program...

But you're right: comparisons with NYC are so tiring... Economies of scale... We're too small to have one functioning professional arts organization. A museum is too much to ask. A professional theater group with a paid staff and actors? How presumptuous and demanding of us artists...


The thing about hyperbole and shrill posts is that it makes it easy to dismiss what would otherwise could have been good points.

Obviously, the city contributes to the arts, but you just don't like how they go about it, or (perhaps willfully?) ignore their contributions. Yes, there is the (much maligned) mural program, as well as the various subsidies and support provided to programs like Groove on Grove, or the Riverview Jazz Festival. There is, of course, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the various programs and services they sponsor and support. There is the debacle that is the Loew's Theater, which for years got city support and is now mired in litigation. Examples of city funding of arts and arts-related programs and services abound. Heck, there are even development policies that have secured low cost housing for artists in some new buildings.

So, yes, I do think some so-called artists can be presumptuous and demanding.

Posted on: 5/18 8:25
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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Quote:

bodhipooh wrote:


The NYC comparisons are so tiring...

NYC has 32 times the population of JC. Any number you throw out there when comparing JC to NYC should factor that in. Not to mention that due to economy of scales, their budget and other numbers/stats are entirely different than ours.

How much does our city spend on arts or arts-related programs? Is it more than 5.5 MM? If so, we are spending more than NYC. If it is less, perhaps we don't have the economy of scales to do better.

Hey, NYC had about 350 homicides each of the past few years... but we had about 25, more than twice as many per 100,000 residents. Why is that? We should have had about 21 instead.

As the saying goes... numbers don't lie, statistics do.


If Jersey City were giving $5.5 million to the arts - trust me - you would be seeing the biggest lovefest of artists and politicos that has ever existed since King Louis the XIV of France pronounced himself the Sun King and bankrolled spectacles of dance, music, scenery, and debauchery in his royal court. Were it so...

Reality check: I don't believe the City gives 1 penny in direct funding to the arts - unless you count the real estate marketing scheme that is the mural program...

But you're right: comparisons with NYC are so tiring... Economies of scale... We're too small to have one functioning professional arts organization. A museum is too much to ask. A professional theater group with a paid staff and actors? How presumptuous and demanding of us artists...

Posted on: 5/18 0:02
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... _airbnb_other_short-.html

The measure would expand Jersey City's 6 percent hotel tax, which currently generates approximately $7 million annually.


My understanding is that JC keeps half the 6% with the other 3% going to the county-so are we talking $3.5 million or 200K?

Posted on: 5/17 23:02
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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MartinM wrote:
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Monroe wrote:
You think Fulop is going to hand over 100% of the hotel tax to an independent person to spend as an arts advocate? What exactly are you guys smoking to think that would ever happen?


Yes - Jersey City should dedicate the 3% hotel tax to the arts - that's $209,000. Not exactly a whopping number. New York City gives $178 million annually to the arts.


The NYC comparisons are so tiring...

NYC has 32 times the population of JC. Any number you throw out there when comparing JC to NYC should factor that in. Not to mention that due to economy of scales, their budget and other numbers/stats are entirely different than ours.

How much does our city spend on arts or arts-related programs? Is it more than 5.5 MM? If so, we are spending more than NYC. If it is less, perhaps we don't have the economy of scales to do better.

Hey, NYC had about 350 homicides each of the past few years... but we had about 25, more than twice as many per 100,000 residents. Why is that? We should have had about 21 instead.

As the saying goes... numbers don't lie, statistics do.

Posted on: 5/17 22:53
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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$200,000 is certainly a reasonable request.

I don't like the idea of dedicated funds, lockboxes, or the like, though, when funding is going to operating and program support. Funding should be through the regular budget and appropriations process.

Posted on: 5/17 22:38
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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Monroe wrote:
You think Fulop is going to hand over 100% of the hotel tax to an independent person to spend as an arts advocate? What exactly are you guys smoking to think that would ever happen?


Yes - Jersey City should dedicate the 3% hotel tax to the arts - that's $209,000. Not exactly a whopping number. New York City gives $178 million annually to the arts.

Support from the city will boost credibility, allow arts non-profits to build internal operations as opposed to rely on earned income and income tied to programming, and position themselves to chase funding from larger foundation and government sources.

The arts are only sustainable when there is widespread support - including government, foundaiton and individuals. Heck?! Maybe even some JC Listers will start becoming arts patrons and audiences instead of spending all that productive time being snarky on these threads... Think of the possibilities!

Posted on: 5/17 22:24
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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You think Fulop is going to hand over 100% of the hotel tax to an independent person to spend as an arts advocate? What exactly are you guys smoking to think that would ever happen?

Posted on: 5/17 22:15
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Re: Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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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 at it.

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/2 ... adership_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.

Posted on: 5/17 22:03
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Support and Survival of the Arts in Jersey City
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I attended New Jersey City University's Arts and Culture Breakfast Symposium on last Thursday morning with a wide array of artists and arts leaders representing arts groups from all over Jersey City and representing all different media in the arts. It is encouraging that NJCU is playing the role of a facilitator of communication.

Unfortunately, I was dismayed and frustrated by the lack of awareness, inability to articulate, and tone deaf comments by the government officials in attendance. No personal offense intended - but the arts are a highly sophisticated and educated field that requires individuals who possess knowledge, contacts, and education in the areas of arts and non-profit management. Beyond the individuals on the panel with specific experience in arts management, I heard nothing but more platitudes about Jersey City's "great arts scene". One official, at a loss for describing his familiarity with Jersey City arts, spoke about his passion for karaoke. Another seemed to be swimming in gibberish, incomprehensible to anyone in the room. A third trotted out the same tried and true excuse: we are fixing everything the prior administration did wrong. (Isn't there a statute of limitation on that one?) None appeared to have a grasp of the challenges facing arts and arts groups in Jersey City nor ideas for remedying the crisis that arts in Jersey City are facing. Are these officials aware that there is not one arts organization in Jersey City with even marginally adequate funding for operations in spite of our location in the most economically active region in the state?

Last week's meeting conveyed no confidence that the city possesses the will, awareness, or expertise to address the underlying issues of: negligible arts funding, lack of professional arts performance/exhibition space, inclusion of arts in city planning decisions, enforcement of arts provisions in zoning and other ordinances. At today's panel discussion the tension in the room between the official "party line" about support for the arts - and the reality that Jersey City arts groups face in Jersey City - was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.

I hope local government will prove me wrong about their commitment to the arts. Or perhaps these pols, in their campaign year calculations, will decide that providing real policy and leadership in the arts is not as cheap and easy as highly publicized window dressing: murals, public arts events barely discernible from poltical rallies paid for by the tax payers but with the mayor's face front and center.

Posted on: 5/16 6:53
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