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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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I would love to see more gallery space, in general, downtown. It's great to see what local artists are working on but if you're not home the open studio wknds, it's almost impossible to know what our resident artists are up to.

I'd like to hear some of the artists chime in: What's holding you back from exhibiting in JC? No venues? LITM keeps showing the same artists? You don't want coffee splattered all over your work?

Maybe some of that hotel tax rev could go towards a fine art festival. They could close down Newark and all our artists could set up booths of their work. Many other cities have these events and it's a huge draw for visitors. And I for one have lots of empty wall space :)

Posted on: 2013/5/14 13:58
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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ripple wrote:
In the past couple of years downtown lost a boon to the community, the 58 gallery, mostly because the city was effectively antagonistic toward the people who ran it.

I wish someone would have asked the candidates how they would have addressed that situation, where the complaints of an overly-sensitive neighbor who can't stand a bit of extra noise and sidewalk traffic once every other month trumps the entire arts community here.


Is the gallery completely shut down? I could understand a neighbor complaining about the parties post opening - I stopped in one night around 11pm and was surprised to find that the festivities were still going strong. But couldn't there be some sort of compromise? Earlier openings? No music and lingering party afterwards? Was that even an option? Seems like a total shame that they can't show art there anymore. It was a very do-able gallery size for local artists.

Posted on: 2013/5/14 13:51
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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Folks, at this late hour it is clear; any vote for Team Healy by a thinking person (who is not beholden to Healy for a patronage job) is an irrational act.

Posted on: 2013/5/14 1:36
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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JTaylor wrote:
Some friends have asked us if we still support Daniel Levin for the Ward E City Council position, now that he has chosen to run on Mayor Healy?s ticket. The answer is an emphatic yes. In fact, before joining the ticket, Daniel asked our opinion and the opinion of other people who had supported him in the past. We encouraged him to go for it.



Why did you encourage him to endorse Healy?

Posted on: 2013/5/14 1:25
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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JTaylor wrote:



Despite the high number of artists and performers living and working in Ward E, many of downtown's best known cultural institutions have disappeared in recent years.



Levin joined the Healy team that helped make many of these institutions 'disappear.' Sorry, them are the facts.

And, if by some miracle he is elected he will be powerless to stop Boss Healy.

FYI- Charles Kessler endorsed Dan Levin. Charles created the studio tour, the arts district, and proarts.

http://onejerseycity.org/?p=1672

Levin is more than any ticket

Some friends have asked us if we still support Daniel Levin for the Ward E City Council position, now that he has chosen to run on Mayor Healy?s ticket. The answer is an emphatic yes. In fact, before joining the ticket, Daniel asked our opinion and the opinion of other people who had supported him in the past. We encouraged him to go for it.

We?ve known Daniel for many years as an activist in our neighborhood, and we?re confident he will remain an independent, strong voice for good government in Jersey City no matter who wins the mayoral election.

In issues such as the Grove Plaza, the Embankment, PAD, and the 9/11 memorial, Daniel has always stood firmly on the side of the people, and he doesn?t give up. We believe he would be an excellent addition to the City Council.

Charles and Annie Kessler
Jersey City

Posted on: 2013/5/14 1:20
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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JTaylor wrote:



Despite the high number of artists and performers living and working in Ward E, many of downtown's best known cultural institutions have disappeared in recent years.



Levin joined the Healy team that helped make many of these institutions 'disappear.' Sorry, them are the facts.

And, if by some miracle he is elected he will be powerless to stop Boss Healy.

Posted on: 2013/5/13 23:47
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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ripple wrote:
In the past couple of years downtown lost a boon to the community, the 58 gallery, mostly because the city was effectively antagonistic toward the people who ran it.

I wish someone would have asked the candidates how they would have addressed that situation, where the complaints of an overly-sensitive neighbor who can't stand a bit of extra noise and sidewalk traffic once every other month trumps the entire arts community here.


FYI - Orlando Reyes the director of 58 Gallery and gallery partner Dancing Tony endorsed Dan Levin for downtown city council.

We are writing to support Dan Levin for Ward E City Council. As supporters of Jersey City's art community, we feel that Dan has a stronger record of advocacy for the arts in Jersey City than any other candidate currently running in the 2013 municipal election.

Despite the high number of artists and performers living and working in Ward E, many of downtown's best known cultural institutions have disappeared in recent years. Dan Levin understands the need for local government to take a stronger, more forward looking role in maintaining downtown's unique cultural institutions - as well as encouraging new arts related development that will help Jersey City realize its potential to become the arts center of New Jersey.

Dan has worked tirelessly downtown for over a decade as an advocate for historic preservation, open transparent government and stable taxes, and has been a visible supporter of the arts. Dan offers an ethical, experienced, and independent voice to the Jersey City Council, please consider voting for Dan Levin this coming May 14.

Sincerely,

Orlando Reyes
Tony Susco
Greg Brickey



Posted on: 2013/5/13 23:23
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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In the past couple of years downtown lost a boon to the community, the 58 gallery, mostly because the city was effectively antagonistic toward the people who ran it.

I wish someone would have asked the candidates how they would have addressed that situation, where the complaints of an overly-sensitive neighbor who can't stand a bit of extra noise and sidewalk traffic once every other month trumps the entire arts community here.

Posted on: 2013/5/13 21:57
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Re: Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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Those are pretty good questions, but you really left out the one BIG tough question:

"After 111 First Street (the 'mecca' of the art scene in Jersey City) was demolished, and assurances were made by the city to keep affordable housing units for artists, why did Mayor Healy cave-in to the developer Lloyd Goldman and do away with artists residences?"

That would have been a tough question. There were many meetings with city officials. The art community's voice was heard loud and clear on this issue. But, the city simply ignored us.

Here is a direct quote from the top city lawyer, and Healy campaign manger, Bill Matsikoudous: ?To me, it?s a pretty black-and-white decision,? Matsikoudis said, noting that he was ?reluctant? to approve of the deal at first.


http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... officials_reluctan_1.html

The mayor has paid lip service to the art community, but has done squat to support it.

This article describes how the city did battle with the developer to stop the demolition of 111 First, but many of us believe that this "battle" was only fought in an half-hearted way (they never really intended to fight the developer -- only pay lip service).

You have a great opportunity to tell Healy and his team what you think about all this tomorrow.








Posted on: 2013/5/13 21:08
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.
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Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions
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READ THE FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/ ... ndidates-tough-questions/

Artists Ask Mayoral Candidates Tough Questions

By JCI Staff ? May 13th, 2013


Over the course of the mayoral campaign, local nonprofit arts groups Pro Arts, Art House Productions, and Nimbus Dance Works joined forces to create an arts-specific questionnaire in hopes of coming to a better understanding of how each mayoral candidate will support the thriving arts scene in Jersey City if elected.

Each candidate responded, providing an in-depth look into their views on the arts and their importance to the future of the city.

Q: Where and how do the arts fit with your vision for the future of Jersey City? What policies would you propose and enact that would provide a supportive environment for successful Jersey City artists and arts organizations.

Jerramiah Healy (incumbent): Jersey City?s arts community is unique, active and vibrant, making our city a better place to live and visit?The arts are also a vital component for maintaining the economic stability of Jersey City? I happen to be a music lover. I play the piano and guitar and most know that I love to sing, so the performing arts are near and dear to my heart?I look to Jersey City artists to help set the agenda and identify what they feel will best move our city forward in regards to the arts?That is why I have taken on the initiatives of our local groups and provided assistance to them in the form of staffing, funding, rentals, etc?.My administration?s focus is to foster an environment that encourages new art-related development, while supporting and expanding local arts initiated programs. I will continue to do that while also looking for creative methods to address the need for new venues.

Steven Fulop: Generally speaking, my approach to fostering an even stronger arts community has three components: education, incubation and implementation. We will accomplish art education in partnership with our schools; helping them to find their creative voices while they?re young will bring about a new generation of artists who consider Jersey City home?Art incubation means creating an atmosphere in Jersey City government which is supportive and helpful to aspiring artists. I will accomplish my third goal, implementation, with what I like to call the NewSpace program (which will be) a collaboration between the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, the Division of Cultural affairs, local artists, and investors.

Abdul Malik: I believe that art plays a vital role in a society and shows how vibrant and culturally diverse a society is. As mayor, I will provide needed help to the artists and different art groups both in funding as well as other support that city can provide and will encourage Department of Cultural Affairs to work with different groups in an encouraging and supportive way.

Jerry Walker: (What the Walker administration) would propose and enact to provide a supportive environment for JC artists and art organizations would be more collaboration between artists and organizations, (artist-organization coalitions) to strengthen the arts districts, (artists and organizations wherever and) whenever possible working (as) joint ventures?My administration would assist in seeking donations, grants and foundation funding for artist and arts organizations (and also) work with our colleges and universities.



Q: Jersey City has few viable art venues. Quality venues are indispensable for a thriving art scene for multiple reasons: They help to bolster an art group?s identity with a clear destination for events and practice; they help build the legitimacy of arts organizations in the eyes of funders; they create a focus and a buzz contributing to the sense that something is happening in Jersey City; and they help with artistic quality by allowing for improved production and presentation in the areas of lighting, set design/construction, exhibition space, audio/acoustics, etc. Without professional venues for exhibition and performance, the arts are severely impeded. What will you do as mayor to address this critical need?

Healy: I have an obligation to keep taxes stable, to meet housing needs of low income families, and address unemployment?Those needs must be prioritized with the needs of local nonprofits. That said, there are plenty of things my administration has been doing?new art venues can be encouraged through zoning and property use changes, such as the new Riverview Arts District? In addition to that, my administration is committed to sustaining the majestic Landmark Loew?s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square?The long-awaited restoration of the Van Wagenen House, affectionately known as the ?Apple Tree House? is near completion?Lastly, we are very excited about the new White Eagle Hall project located on Newark Avenue?Plans are to develop the property as a mixed-use arts center and performance space.

Fulop: My NewSpace program will address this need?(by first acting) as a scout, identifying properties which meet criteria such as vacancy or underutilization, size and availability. NewSpace will then hold a public forum where businesses, organizations and individuals will have the opportunity to present proposals for the property?A board made up of representatives of the artistic community, city government and neighborhoods near the property will vote on a winner?The winner will then work closely with the JCEDC to negotiate financing and help via public-private partnership. New locations should be driven by the arts community not just a select organization.

Malik: I agree that quality venues are indispensable for a thriving art scene for multiple reasons and I believe that Jersey City needs a fully equipped art gallery for artists to plan exhibitions and without patronizing by the city, it?s very difficult for the art groups to survive? Without professional venues for exhibition and performance, the arts are severely impeded. As mayor, I will do all what I can within the (city?s)resources to help art groups.

Walker: JC needs a state-of-the-art performance center and cultural museum that will provide space for local groups and artists.

Q: Toll Brothers is committed to building a 500-fixed-seat theater (a proscenium theater) in the PAD as part of a development now under construction; but the real need in Jersey City is for two or three small, flexible theaters (black box theaters, capacity 50 to 200) that would cost about the same amount of money. Two or three such spaces would create a destination, a critical mass, that would make Jersey City recognized as a major player in the art world; small theaters are inexpensive and easier to fill; black box theaters can be used for a variety of purposes such as dance, theater, music, pop music, weddings and other events, so it would be easier to support itself. Theaters of this modest size would serve local artists much more effectively?giving local artists a much needed resource for their growth and emergence. On the other hand, a 500-seat theater is expensive to rent and would only be able to show major productions that would have to compete with New York City?s theater and entertainment resources. Jersey City already has theaters with 500 seats or more which are underutilized because they don?t meet the needs of Jersey City artists: they?re too large to fill and no one wants to present (or attend) a production with an empty house. Would you as mayor change the Toll Brothers redevelopment plan to call for black box theaters?

Healy: I am committed to working with Toll Brothers to allow public input about the best use of the theater space and other areas included in the project before construction begins. I understand the pitch for black box theaters in (the PAD) and will ask Toll Brothers to take that into consideration. Though there is an approved preliminary site plan, I will request a meeting with Toll Brothers and the artist community for input on the totality of performance space included in the project.

Fulop: The development in question is symptomatic of a deeper problem with Jersey City: its relationship with developers. Unfortunately, the story of the PAD over the last decade or so is a perfect example of money and connections trumping the will of the people?I want to shift the focus of the JCEDC away from land and real-estate development towards small businesses and startups?With regards to an overall amendment requiring black box theaters, it is not clear what the legal implications (would be)?or how that would be structured. I think the city would be best served by visiting multiple redevelopment sites around the city for amendments so that the arts community will flourish not only in one small pocket of the city but rather in every corner.

Malik: I agree that Jersey City needs small theaters as small theaters are inexpensive and easier to fill; black box theaters can be used for a variety of purposes such as dance, theater, music, pop music, weddings and other events, so it would be easier (for it) to support itself. Theaters of this modest size would serve local artists much more effectively?giving local artists a much needed resource for their growth and emergence. As mayor, I will do my best to help art groups to have a small theater by lobbying to different developers and the State of New Jersey.

Walker: My administration would go back and change the 500-seat theater and require smaller venues throughout the city that will not be underutilized.

Q: The city currently owns multiple unused buildings and properties which could easily be converted for temporary use as exhibition space, studio space, and, where possible, performance space. Such use would serve artists, beautify the streetscape, and promote pedestrian foot traffic. Would you enact legislation to make such spaces available to Jersey City artists and arts groups?

Healy: At this time there are no vacant buildings that I know of which would be appropriate for an arts center or performance space. The truth of the matter is that our Business Administrator has been charged with bringing in as many dollars as possible to balance the budget and keep taxes stable for our homeowners in this financial crisis. Part of that directive was to sell off city-owned properties and get them back on the tax rolls. Our city has experienced massive cuts from the State of New Jersey and we must make up that shortfall. That having been said, if available city owned properties pass fire code inspections they could be made available to nonprofit organizations on a case-by-case basis.

Fulop: Yes. This is exactly the kind of thing NewSpace will target.

Malik: Yes, I think that city can and should help in this regards and as mayor, I will provide the needed help.

Walker: My administration will allow for city-owned property to be used as temporary-use?artistic venues. Some properties may also become permanent.

Q: The Cultural Affairs Division is a hub for arts and culture in Jersey City. Given cut-backs in funding, how can resources be prioritized to ensure that they can effectively reach out and provide support to the diverse communities that make up Jersey City? Would you personally as mayor use your office to help artists and arts groups to reach out to corporations and individuals for funding?

Healy: In the face of staffing and budget cuts, I am proud of the work that the Division of Cultural Affairs has done? Though some festival funding cuts were necessary, Cultural Affairs went out and raised corporate dollars to provide seed money to our ethnic groups. In addition, they have raised corporate dollars to fund some of our concert series and assist ProArts annually with reaching out to corporate entities for tour sponsorships?City grants writers will remain cognizant of grant funding available for the arts and go after it aggressively. I have instructed our grants writers to partner with local nonprofits in seeking funding sources for citywide arts initiatives and to offer year-round assistance to local nonprofits who are writing grants. I have also encouraged our Redevelopment Agency and Economic Development Corporation to seek corporate sponsorship to help fund future art-related development and projects.

Fulop: City Hall, as well as other relevant city departments, needs to create an environment which fosters the arts?Navigating the maze of permits and regulations is so complex and time-consuming that developers pay politically connected expediters to do it for them. Those without the resources to do so, such as artists and cultural organizations, are left to fend for themselves. In addition to streamlining the city?s various approval processes, I want my office to be a resource for help securing state and federal grant funding, as well as donations and corporate investment.

Malik: Yes, I think that city can and should help in this regards and as mayor I will provide the needed help.

Walker: Yes, the Mayor?s Office can be utilized to support various artist endeavors including (submitting) grant applications to major corporations and foundations.

Q: The City Council by an 8 to 1 vote approved a resolution in October 2006 urging the City to set aside 1 percent of the hotel tax revenues (up to $100,000) for the promotion of tourism, particularly ?Jersey City?s art community, its cultural resources, such as museums and theaters, and its historic sites and recreational opportunities, all of which should make Jersey City both a unique tourist and vacation destination?. To date this resolution has not been adopted. If elected, would your administration commit to making these monies available to Jersey City arts and cultural organizations? If so, what process/procedure would you propose to disburse these monies equitably?

Healy: The 1% for the Arts resolution has been instituted and funding has been committed to Destination Jersey City programming. I am instructing my Budget Director to meet with the Director of the Division of Cultural Affairs to identify how much funding is available this year to support art programming in conjunction with our local arts and cultural community.

Fulop: I would certainly like to commit to making these funds available to the arts and cultural communities here but it would be subject to looking at the municipal budget post May 14th. Per recent Jersey Journal articles, the administration has been using overtime and raises as part of its campaign strategy and I would be hesitant to 100 percent commit on this front ?til I saw what the final impact is of their decisions during that time?with that in mind I do think this sort of funding is crucial and would do everything to see it through.

Malik: Yes, my administration will commit to making these monies available to Jersey City arts and cultural organizations.

Walker: Under the Walker Administration the 1 percent set aside will be strictly enforced and we will review prior years? allocation and wherever possible reallocate funds for the 1 percent set aside for arts. With regard to funding, my administration will use equal distribution of funds. For groups and or artist that demonstrate the need for additional funding, my administration will assist them in obtaining additional funds.

Posted on: 2013/5/13 18:55
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