Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
“We know that New York City is a place with a legend, of struggling, hardworking people who grew up here, came here from around the country, came here from around the world with a simple dream to create something,” de Blasio said. “A lot of them struggled. A lot of them struggle today. Through their struggles, through their vision, they create extraordinary things that came to define this place. We received so much from them. It helped make us a great global capital, but a lot of times they kept struggling. So, for all those generations of artistic visionaries we want to do something different now. We’ll provide 1,500 units of affordable live-work housing for artists and musicians who make New York City such a great and vibrant place.”
The plan is part of a broader municipal strategy to make affordable housing a major priority in 2015, particularly for artists, veterans, and seniors. The live-work units for artists will be developed through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, with the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) contributing $3 million annually, and another $3 million coming from private donors. Every year through 2024, the city will build 150 new units for artists. The decade-long initiative will also see the creation of “500 dedicated affordable work spaces for the cultural community,” de Blasio said, converted from city-owned properties that are underused. An initial request for proposals for the new affordable artists’ housing is expected to be released by the end of 2015, with the DCA partnering with outside organizations — chiefly nonprofits — to determine the ideal criteria for projects.
“We just can’t allow artists to be priced out of New York City,” DCA Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl told WNYC. “They’re important for the soul of the city, they’re important for neighborhoods, they’re really important for the economy.”
The lack of affordable housing for artists in New York City is hardly a new problem, but there have been precious few municipal projects to build new apartments for artists. Save for the recent conversion of the abandoned PS109 building in El Barrio into 89 affordable units for artists and their families — for which a whopping 53,000 artists applied — the city’s best-known artist housing project remains the Westbeth Artists Community in the West Village, which welcomed its first artist tenants 45 years ago.
While it’s tempting to chalk this new affordable housing initiative up to some kind of artistic flourishing akin to the avant-garde that used downtown Manhattan as its aesthetic playground in the 1970s and ’80s, de Blasio’s ensuing comments offer an economic motivation for the project.
“On a practical note, these artists, musicians, the whole cultural community, they also help make our city a mecca for tourists,” the mayor added. “It’s one of the reasons why in 2014, a record 56.4 million tourists visited this city, which is an astounding figure. So we’re gonna make sure we support people who have done so much for us.”
It’s hard to imagine that de Blasio’s new housing initiative will seriously impact the housing shortage for artists in New York, tens of thousands of whom are still struggling to find affordable space in the city.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.