Watch the video from BEYOND ACCESS: (Re)Creating a Cultural Capital for All New Yorkers

On Monday, November 18, A Blade of GrassNo Longer Empty and a dynamic panel of artists participated in Talking Transition, an open conversation about the future of New York City. Talking Transition set out to transform the typically closed-door transition process between Election Day and the Mayoral Inauguration into an opportunity for New Yorkers to make their voices heard. From November 6 – 23, events filled open tents along Canal Street in addition to mobile “tents” in public spaces and the online forum

Watch BEYOND ACCESS: (Re)Creating a Cultural Capital for All New Yorkers:

Panelists: Manon Slome, President of No Longer Empty, and artists José ParláPaul Ramirez Jonas, and Caroline Woolard. Moderated by Deborah Fisher, Executive Director of A Blade of Grass.

New York City has rich history of providing culture to all its citizens and a renowned reputation as a cultural capital. But at this critical mayoral transition, the art world is a particularly vivid example of de Blasio’s “tale of two cities.” Who has access to the art world? Can NYC be a cultural capital when artists cannot afford to live and work in the city? Who pays for art when it’s free? What are the best models for providing art and culture to all New Yorkers?


MANON SLOME: The mayor-elect should adopt a carrot-stick approach of financial incentives and penalties for property owners so a greater society can leverage our empty spaces for artistic and cultural purposes.

CAROLINE WOOLARD: The mayor elect should support the New York City Community Land Initiative and incubator spaces for the solidarity economy. / / /

JOSÉ PARLÁ: The mayor-elect should make arts funding in New York CIty public schools a top priority.

PAUL RAMIREZ JONAS: The mayor-elect should create an artist-in-residence program that rents affordable studio and rehearsal space in underused spaces and offices in NYC municipal buildings and properties. Over and over, artist’s presence in private property deliberately improved it but inadvertently helped make it unaffordable. Their presence in public property can be an incredible contribution without unintended market consequences. It’s a win-win scenario.

More from the event:



Watch Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio on Talking Transition:


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