Yet another club crackdown (NYPD Shuts Down 5 Manhattan Nightclubs) bellies the need for the music community to exist peacefully with the NYC government. A new office set up for the arts might go some way to help it but will it be enough?
This New York Times article explains how Bloomberg has seen the light about using the arts as a commercial and tourist draw but from the statements made, it doesn’t sound like all arts are going to be treated equally as non-profits seem to be the focus. That leaves out the music clubs that have especially been under the gun for the last several years. The office is claiming that it is working to do something about health care and affordable housing, which are two important issues and definitely steps in the right direction. Considering that this administration and the previous one were so beholden to landlords and housing corporations, it will be interesting to see how committed to the arts they are since this will have the two sides opposing each other.
Another pressing arts problem that needs to be addressed is the cultural exchange gap because of Visa problems. Yo Yo Ma recently testified on Capitol Hill about this and this issue does effect NYC and other cities because a lot of clubs thrive (or don’t thrive) because overseas artists have too many problems coming to the States. Let’s hope this also comes up as a topic with the new office.