You are reading

Council Member Van Bramer Wants to Make “Open Culture” Program Permanent

A February Open Culture performance in Brooklyn (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Sept. 14, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer wants to make a pandemic-era program that allows performers to host ticketed events on city streets a permanent fixture in the city.

Van Bramer introduced a bill last week to make the temporary “Open Culture” permit program permanent and year-round. The Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations will be hearing the bill today.

The council member first introduced the program — modeled after the city’s “Open Restaurants” outdoor dining plan — last year when traditional performance venues were forced to close their doors due to the pandemic.

The program — which allows eligible artists to perform ticketed concerts, plays, comedy and other events on city streets and at various public spaces — began in March and is set to expire at the end of next month.

Van Bramer’s bill would extend the program to be year-round and permanent.

The bill also aims to increase the number of streets and outdoor venues where artists are permitted to hold events. The program, in its current form, has a finite list of streets and public spaces—as determined by the Department of Transportation (DOT)–where artists are allowed to perform.

“By making the Open Culture program a permanent fixture in New York City, we will not only provide an additional lifeline for our artists, performers and vital cultural organizations, it will also create an exciting new norm for diverse performances throughout the city,” Van Bramer said.

The legislation would also create a new annual reporting requirement to evaluate the benefits and challenges of the Open Culture program.

The program, Van Bramer said, has become a vital tool for cultural institutions, performance venues, and artists to share their work with the public and earn revenue. About 220 permits have been granted to artists and arts organizations since the program’s inception.

Artists who perform on streets are able to charge patrons for tickets to watch their acts.

“The Open Culture Program has been a much-needed lifeline, not just for the smallest performing arts organizations and the independent artists of this city, but for the communities they serve who find a safe respite, an opportunity for joy and a space for connection through the live arts of the Open Culture Program,” Aimee Todoroff, Managing Director, The League of Independent Theater said.

“It is imperative that the Open Culture Program is made permanent, is expanded, and is supported by robust city funding and outreach.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Op-ed: Congestion pricing would do much more harm than good for New Yorkers

Jun. 11, 2024 By Assemblymember David I. Weprin

Like many residents throughout the five boroughs and across the New York Metro Area, I was pleasantly surprised by Governor Kathy Hochul’s decision to “indefinitely pause” the implementation of Congestion Pricing. Rather than seeing this as a cynical calculation, as some have alleged, I see the Governor’s decision as a deeply pragmatic response to the crescendo of public concerns that I and many others have raised for years. As the countdown to the June 30 implementation date neared, everyday New Yorkers did what we do best: we spoke up for ourselves and said we won’t accept a bad deal! I applaud Governor Hochul for having the courage not just to listen to us but to take a tough stand against this misguided policy.