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Three years after Hurricane Sandy, the South Street Seaport is still on the mend. Shops remain closed, buildings show damage from the flooding that rose over seven feet, and the historic character of Manhattan’s oldest intact neighborhood is threatened by a 494-foot waterfront tower proposed by the Howard Hughes Corporation.
This week the area got an essential boost. On Thursday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler of the 10th district of New York jointly announced with the South Street Seaport Museum that the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has allotted $10.4 million for the area. The money is directed at repairing remaining damage from 2012’s storm. In a release, Captain Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the museum, said that the institution has “been working for more than two years to secure funding for Sandy recovery.”
In June, the South Street Seaport was listed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the 11 most endangered historic places in the United States, partly due to the Sandy damage and partly in reaction to the looming Howard Hughes development. The FEMA funding follows last week’s announcement by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that $6.2 million in grants has been designated for post-Sandy repairs at other historic sites around the city, including the Fraunces Tavern Museum near the Seaport, Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79 in Red Hook, Lookout Hill in Prospect Park, and Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Alongside the new governmental support for the Seaport, another entity — the recently organized Seaport Culture District — revealed plans this month for empty storefronts in the neighborhood to be filled by organizations like the Guggenheim Museum, Eyebeam, AIGA, and HarperCollins. This Culture District is funded by the Howard Hughes Corporation, and nowhere in its announcement does it mention the South Street Seaport Museum, the neighborhood’s existing cultural force, which remains mostly closed, post-Sandy, aside from its lobby. As Jennifer Smith at the Wall Street Journal pointed out, the museum’s “operating budget is now about $2.3 million, down from $4.4 million in 2012,” and it has no endowment. However, it remains an essential presence in engaging visitors and the local community with maritime history, as well as hosting ship tours and other events. Since 2012, the museum has increased its membership and transformed the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard into a sailing school vessel. The federal funding is a positive step towards restoring the historic and economic resources of the South Street Seaport, yet with the radical changes in the neighborhood, the balance between development and historic preservation remains fragile.
The art world has paid attention to other artists from the same era, but we have not done the same with Sonia Gechtoff, and it is time that we did.
Wifredo Lam developed a style that dances between figuration and abstraction, but the selected compositions at Pace gallery tend to repeat.
These multimedia works debuting on Voice include a “Death Mechanism” and allow fans to collect the artist’s origin story, told specifically for the metaverse.
These four artists dig into the cultural and geologic history of the enclave of Staten Island to produce work that resonates with the core of bell hooks’s commendation to love.
As acceptance of digital art grows, there is also a need to validate quality and recognize artists who explore radical ideas and achieve creative breakthroughs.
On December 13, learn about the Sam Fox School’s graduate programs in Visual Art and Illustration & Visual Culture, as well as the university’s competitive financial aid packages.
Anthology Film Archives’ complete retrospective of the influential Canadian experimental filmmaker includes many exceptionally rare titles.
Breuer’s Bohemia is centered around the life and work of Marcel Breuer, but touches upon an entire cohort of Modernist influencers.
Located in a historic industrial manufacturing facility in Utica, New York, this sculpture-centric program is accepting applications through January 15, 2022.
A conversation with Richard Kraft about his artist book in which he created penalty flags for nearly 10,000 of Trump’s misdeeds
The guidelines are specifically meant to combat a form of online harassment known as doxing.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month.