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Theater Subdistrict Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2010

CONTACT:
Rachaele Raynoff (DCP)  (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 Second Round Facilitated by Theater District Zoning
Sustains New York City’s Unrivaled Concentration of Theatrical Excellence

September 16, 2010 – 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 15 organizations will receive grants totaling $2.1 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 rule 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 appointment 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 $5.5 million has been paid into the fund to date. This is the second round of TSC awards, following $1.26 million in grants that were awarded last year.  

Commissioner Burden said, “To every aspiring artist, New York is already the greatest stage in the world.  It is gratifying that our zoning continues to sow the seeds for new generations of audiences and theatrical ventures, fulfilling the goal of bolstering the Theater District as a thriving, vibrant center of opportunity for the performing arts.  Enhancing its accessibility to New Yorkers and allure to visitors around the world reinforces New York’s place as an international capital for creativity and theatrical achievement.”

“By supporting the development of new work and diverse voices, 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.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said, “The City’s support of the Theater Subdistrict Council ensures innovation and creativity will continue to be the pulse of the Theater District in midtown Manhattan. We are committed to the continued support of our art programs to ensure creativity continues to live and thrive in every neighborhood.”

The award recipients are:

  • 52nd Street Project
  • Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
  • Apollo Theater Foundation
  • Atlantic Theater Company
  • The Broadway League
  • Fractured Atlas
  • Lark Play Development Center
  • Lincoln Center Theater
  • The New 42nd Street
  • Playwrights Horizons
  • Rosie's Broadway Kids
  • Roundabout Theatre Company
  • Signature Theatre Company
  • Theatre Development Fund
  • Walker International Communications Group

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. 


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