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Mayor Adams Convenes NYC's First-Ever Live Performance Industry Council to Discuss Issues Plaguing Industry

Inaugural Meeting Brings Together Representatives from Arenas, Cultural Institutions, Unions, and Nonprofit Sector with City Government to Develop Solutions to Industry-Wide Issues

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today convened the city's first-ever Live Performance Industry Council meeting, where leaders in live performance and government gathered to address challenges facing the live performance industry. The council will develop strategies to drive inclusive growth in the sector, support New York City's creative economy, and ensure the industry recovers beyond pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. The inaugural convening took place at Gracie Mansion and included Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres Springer; Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Commissioner Pat Swinney Kaufman; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo; and NYC Tourism + Conventions President and CEO Fred Dixon, alongside council co-chairs Coco Killingworth, vice president of social impact at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and Ken Sunshine, founder of Sunshine Sachs.

"Live performance has long been the heart and soul of this city — that's why we're continuing to support the industry's comeback and finding ways to uplift the creative New Yorkers who drive it," said Mayor Adams. "By bringing together leaders from across the industry and city government, we are not only supporting the individuals who make the live performance industry great but also ensuring that New York City will always be a global creative capital. Let's keep finding ways to help our theatre, music, and dance industries and all the exceptional people who entertain us with creative live performances."

"New York City's iconic live performance industry is the engine of our creative economy, employing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in good-paying jobs," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Torres-Springer. "This first-ever council will bring together diverse leaders across the industry in partnership with city government to deliver on innovative, new strategies to build a more equitable and resilient future for this sector."

"We are so proud to have helped Mayor Adams convene this truly awesome collection of creative minds from across all verticals of New York City's live performance industry," said MOME Commissioner Kaufman. "We have an incredible opportunity with this council to communicate issues and brainstorm big ideas that will serve an industry that is not only an economic driver for this city, but one that also promotes tourism, safety, and small businesses."

"This is truly a unique moment and the beginning of an important conversation about the vital ecosystem of the live performing arts sector — the live beating heart of New York City," said Coco Killingsworth, vice president of social impact, BAM; and co-chair, Live Performance Industry Council. "We are why people come to New York City and, more importantly, we are why they stay, and this council will help us address some of the very real challenges but, also, enable us to think big about the next chapter for New York City."

"I commend Mayor Adams for convening one of the most distinguished meetings of leaders in live entertainment ever gathered together," said Ken Sunshine, founder, Sunshine Sachs; and co-chair, Live Performance Industry Council. "We look forward to both big and practical solutions to the challenges we all face in producing live shows in our great city."

The first-ever council includes the nearly 60 members:

  • Theatre and Live Performance Industry Council co-Chairs:
    • Coco Killingsworth, Vice President of Social Impact, BAM, Chair, Cultural Institutions Group
    • Ken Sunshine, Founder and Chairman, Sunshine Sachs
  • Joe Benincasa, President and CEO, The Entertainment Community Fund
  • Steven Bensusan, Owner and Founder, Blue Note Entertainment Group
  • Randi Berry, Co-Founder and Executive Director, IndieSpace
  • Kristin Caskey, Executive Vice President of Theatrical Content and Creative, Ambassador Theatre Group; Chair-Elect, Broadway League, ATG North America
  • Steve Cohen, Owner, Chairman, and CEO, Citi Field
  • Richard Constable, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs and Social Impact, Madison Square Garden Entertainment
  • Talia Corren, Co-Executive Director, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York
  • Fred Dixon, President, NYC Tourism + Conventions
  • Gina Duncan, President, Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Michelle Ebanks, President and CEO, The Apollo
  • Erika Elliott, Artistic Director, SummerStage
  • Charles Flateman, Executive Vice President, Shubert Organization; and Board Chair, NYC Tourism + Conventions
  • David Freudenthal, Government Relations Director, Carnegie Hall
  • Sonia Friedman, Theatre Producer, Sonia Friedman Productions
  • Deeksha Gaur, Executive Director, Theatre Development Fund
  • Peter Gelb, General Manager, Metropolitan Opera
  • Clive Gillinson, Executive Artistic Director, Carnegie Hall
  • Lisa Gold, Executive Director, Asian American Arts Alliance
  • Tom Harris, President, Times Square Alliance
  • Wes Jackson, President, BRIC ARTS: Celebrate Brooklyn
  • Laurie Jacoby, Chief Entertainment Officer, Barclay Center
  • Leah Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications, Marketing, and Advocacy Officer, Lincoln Center
  • Khady Kamara, Executive Director, Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC)
  • Tom Kirdahy, Theatre Producer, Tom Kirdahy Productions
  • Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director, Flushing Town Hall
  • Natalie Koepff, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, NYC Tourism + Conventions
  • Paul Leibowitz, Founding Partner, IndieSpace 
  • Randy Levine, President, New York Yankees
  • Julia Levy, Former Executive Director, Roundabout Theatre Company
  • Matt Loeb, President, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
  • Brandon Lorenz, National Director of Public Policy, Actor's Equity Association
  • Jen Lyon, Board President, New York Independent Venue Association
  • Sade Lythcott, CEO, National Black Theatre
  • Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director, HERE Arts Center
  • Jonathan McCrory, Executive Artistic Director, National Black Theatre
  • Luis A. Miranda Jr., Founding Partner, MirRam Group, Chair, The Public Theater
  • Christopher Nave, Chief Advancement Officer, Roundabout Theatre Company
  • Jimmy Nederlander, President, Nederlander Organization
  • Laura Penn, Co-Chair, Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds; and Executive Director, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
  • Rosalba Rolon, Artistic Director, Pregones + Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (PRTT)
  • Tim Oliver Reid, Co-Founder, Black Theatre Coalition
  • Bennett Rink, Executive Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  • Bill Rauch, Inaugural Artistic Director, Perelman Performing Arts Center
  • David J. Roberts, President, Building for the Arts
  • Daryl Roth, Theater Owner and Producer, The Daryl Roth Theatres
  • Jordan Roth, Board Chair and Creative Director, Jujamcyn
  • Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director, Queens Theatre
  • Thomas Schumacher, President, Disney Theatrical Group
  • Jeffrey Seller, Theatre Producer and Co-Owner, Drama Bookshop
  • Lucy Sexton, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts
  • Peter Shapiro, Founder, Brooklyn Bowl
  • Linda Shelton, Executive Director, Joyce Theatre
  • Charlotte St. Martin, Special Advisor, The Tony Awards, The Broadway League
  • Candace Thompson-Zachery, Director of Programming and Justice Initiatives, Dance/NYC
  • Lisa Richards Toney, President and CEO, Association of Performing Arts Professionals
  • Al Vincent, Executive Director, Actor's Equity Association
  • Jessica Baker Vodoor, President and CEO, Snug Harbor (Staten Island)
  • Bob Wankel, Chair and CEO, The Shubert Organization
  • Patrick Willingham, Executive Director, The Public Theater
  • Emmanuel Wilson, co-Executive Director, Dramatist Guild
  • Casey York, President, Off-Broadway League
  • Madani Younis, Chief Executive Producer, The Shed

Today's announcement and convening of the first-ever Live Performance Industry Council speaks to the Adams administration's ongoing commitment to invest in New York City's creative industry and workforce. Recent initiatives to support this sector include the creation of additional Industry Councils for TV/film and digital games; the extension of the NYC Women's Fund in Media, Music and Theatre; announcement of the Broadway Musicians Equity Partnership; release of the "Made in NY" Talks 2023 fall schedule; and ongoing support for the Broadway community via the Curtain Up! Broadway Festival and Broadway Week.

In 2019, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment commissioned the All New York's A Stage; NYC Small Theater Industry Cultural and Economic Impact Study, which found that 748 venues and organizations are responsible for $1.3 billion in economic output, more than 8,400 full-time jobs, and $512 million in wages.