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About Us > Press Releases Printer Friendly Version

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2012

CONTACT:
Rachaele Raynoff / Jovana Rizzo (City Planning) – (212) 720-3471
Danai Pointer (DCLA) - (212) 513-9322

NEW YORK CITY THEATER SUBDISTRICT COUNCIL ANNOUNCES GRANT AWARDS TO SUPPORT AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT AND THEATER PRODUCTION

Grant Funding Is Third Round Facilitated by Theater District Zoning Sustains New York City's Unrivaled Concentration of Theatrical Excellence

January 27, 2012 – On behalf of the New York City Theater Subdistrict Council (TSC), City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin today announced that 10 organizations will receive grants totaling $1.3 million for a range of projects that will encourage audience development and foster the creation of new work.  The groups are the beneficiaries of a zoning initiative that preserves historic theaters, and helps ensure the long term viability of live theater within New York City’s Theater District, the world-famous area in midtown Manhattan from 40th to 57th Street. 

The TSC is a not-for-profit corporation established pursuant to a 1998 zoning amendment that allows owners of landmarked Broadway theaters to transfer air rights within the Theater Subdistrict provided the theater is preserved, there is a commitment to use the space for legitimate theater use, and a portion of the proceeds are deposited into a Theater Subdistrict Fund designed to support the theater community. The TSC administers the Theater Subdistrict Fund, to allocate grants with the goal of developing new audiences, promoting the production of new theater work, and showcasing Broadway’s singular role in the history of American theater.  As envisioned by the zoning text, a number of development plans resulted in significant contributions to the fund in recent years, which were followed by the formation of a TSC Directors Council and creation of the grant program. 

The TSC consists of the Mayor, three representatives appointed by the Mayor from the performing arts, theatrical and related industries, the Speaker of the Council and her designee, the Manhattan Borough President, and the Director of the Department of City Planning. The TSC is chaired by Commissioner Levin, on behalf of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.  Approximately $6 million has been paid into the fund to date. This is the third round of TSC awards, following $1.26 million in grants that were awarded in 2009 and $2.1 million in grants that were awarded in 2010.  

Commissioner Burden said, “Our zoning continues to sow the seeds for new generations of audiences and theatrical ventures, fulfilling the goal of bolstering the city as a thriving, vibrant center of opportunity for the performing arts. To aspiring artists, New York is already the greatest stage in the world, and enhancing its accessibility reinforces New York’s place as an international capital for creativity and theatrical achievement.”

“By supporting the development of dynamic work and stimulating expanded access to high-quality performance, the Theater Subdistrict Council grants will help build new audiences and reinforce New York City’s identity as a creative center,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.

"These grants are crucial to maintaining New York City's preeminence as a world culture capital.  Broadway is a top destination for our city’s residents and tourists, and it is essential that we preserve and expand its rich history for generations to come,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.

The award recipients are:

  • Apollo Theater Foundation
  • Atlantic Theater Company
  • Lark Play Development Center
  • LeAp (Learning through an Expanded Arts Program)
  • Manhattan Class Company
  • New York Musical Theatre Festival
  • New Dramatists
  • Rosie’s Theater Kids
  • Roundabout Theatre Company
  • Signature Theatre Company

The Theater Subdistrict covers the area between Sixth and Eighth Avenues from West 40th to West 57th Streets. Theaters to be preserved and receiving sites for new development must be located within the district.  As specified in the zoning, monies have been deposited into the TSC fund in connection with development projects that would result in the preservation of the landmark theaters.  In addition to the contributions to the fund, six theaters have entered into preservation agreements that obligate the facilities to maintain or upgrade the properties such that they are in physically and operationally sound condition: Martin Beck AKA Hirschfield, St. James, Broadhurst, Majestic, Booth and Shubert. 

The transferred air rights from the theaters have facilitated the construction of new hotels on West 44th on 8th Avenue (308 West 44th Street) and on West 45th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway (131 West 45th Street), and a new residential building on West 46th Street & 8th Avenue (750 8th Avenue).  

The representatives of the theater community on the TSC were appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn.  The Mayor’s appointees are Jed Bernstein, Ben Cameron, and George C. Wolfe.  The Speaker’s designee is Paige Price. 


Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable communities in the City, in part by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts, as well as establishing policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, waterfront and public space.



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