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2015 MAS Livable City Award
MAS Board Director Elizabeth Belfer presented the MAS 2015 Livable City Award to Dennis Friedrich, in recognition of Brookfield’s pioneering work in arts, culture, and development around the world. Through the Livable City Award, MAS honors the extraordinary organizations that make New York the vibrant, creative world capital that it is. From the transformation of Bookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, to its new investments in West Midtown, Brookfield has put the MAS principle of complete neighborhoods into action.
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Read the press release »»
A City Within a City: The Pivotal Importance of West Midtown
Lynne Sagalyn, Founding Director of Columbia Business School’s Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, framed the redevelopment of West Midtown in the context of the last forty-five years. Mary Rowe of MAS, Dennis Friedrich, and Timur Galen from the Related Companies spoke to the area’s two largest developments coming on line and the opportunities and challenges of large-scale real estate development in New York.
Watch the discussion »»
Triple Bottom Line: Making the Economic Case for Shared Investment in Civic Spaces
Panelists explored best practices in the development of dynamic urban space in New York City and across the globe. Ommeed Sathe of Prudential outlined projects in Newark, New Jersey. Melissa Burch of Lend Lease discussed the Elephant and Castle project in London and the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. Steven Cornwell of Howard Hughes discussed new visions for the South Street Seaport. Rick Vogel of Silverstein discussed the firm’s work in rebuilding Lower Manhattan and Vincent Lo’s Xintiandi project in Shanghai. Celia Smith of Artscape outlined the building and provision of creative space in Toronto.
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The afternoon session began with two rapid-fire smart talks by experienced place-making and design practicioners working in the age of big data and cutting edge performance art.
Big Design: Place, Context, and Social Flow in the Age of Data
Big data adds new complexity to projects – solving problems while increasing their scope and ambition. With Daniel Pittman of OMA and Mayo Nissen of frog.
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Elizabeth Streb, Action Architect, STREB Lab for Action Mechanics
The exuberant Elizabeth Streb took us on a whirlwind tour of STREB Lab projects and the need for speed.
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Building a Captivating Place: How Design and Programming Shape the Creative City
A session with curators, artists, designers, and arts funders explored the collaborative process in creating dynamic places. Jamie Bennett from ArtPlace and Debra Simon of Arts Brookfield delved into the infrastructure needs of artists. Jörn Weisbrodt of the Luminato Festival added the need to start with the artist, making sure a venue fits the artist’s intent and vision. Daniel Tobin noted the challenge that his company, Urban Art Projects, faces in negotiating the details of public art projects but the immense public benefits realized from the work. And Elizabeth Streb noted that while curation has its place, some of the best art is born serendipitously.
Watch the discussion »»
Performance: Dancers Among Us, with photographer Jordan Matter
Contortionist and dancer Maria Pucciarelli performed amongst the closing drinks with photographer Jordan Matter documenting the performance.
See the photos »»
We invite you to join MAS as a member and contribute year-round to the lively dialogue around making our city more dynamic, creative, and livable!
(November 19, 2015 | New York, NY) In recognition of the significant contributions Brookfield has provided to the livability and vibrancy of New York City for the past 25 years, the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) named Brookfield as the 2015 Livable City Award honoree. The award was presented today at MAS’s “Global Cities at the Crossroads” symposium that explored the impact of investments by the corporate real estate sector toward art and culture.
Across ten cities for nearly three decades, Arts Brookfield has created free arts and cultural programming that has improved the lives of millions of people. Brookfield plays an integral role in stimulating the development of the neighborhoods in which their buildings exist by cultivating relationships with artists who then create works and installations that inhabit the company’s public spaces.
Among the 400 performances, exhibitions, and installations Arts Brookfield has presented globally in 2015 are these New York City highlights:
“Arts Brookfield has created a unique platform for creative place-making, and we are delighted to honor them with the Livable City Award,” said Mary Rowe, Executive Vice President of MAS. “Brookfield brings the creativity of artists to public spaces. From New York to Perth, Brookfield is proud to support the arts and to offer unparalleled access for installations, performances, and the spontaneous, unexpected social interactions that draw so many people to live and work in cities in the first place.”
“Brookfield is honored to receive this award. For us, creating space for art and expression is an important aspect of corporate citizenship as well as a smart business decision in terms of providing a unique work and life environment,” said Dennis Friedrich, Chief Executive Officer, Global Office Division, Brookfield Property Partners. “We look forward to welcoming an all-new venue for Arts Brookfield’s constellation of programs with the opening of Manhattan West in a few short years.”
“American Express’s headquarters has been at Brookfield Place since 1986 and Arts Brookfield has helped to make this location a home,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. “Through high quality art exhibitions and live performances, our employees have the chance to not just work at Brookfield Place, but also come together with families from the neighborhood over a shared appreciation for the arts.”
About Arts Brookfield
Arts Brookfield invigorates public spaces through the presentation of free cultural experiences in Brookfield’s premier buildings around the world. By commissioning, producing, and presenting world-class works of art, Arts Brookfield supports creativity and innovation in the fields of music, dance, theater, film, and visual art.
About the Municipal Art Society of New York
Founded in 1893, the Municipal Art Society is five years older than the consolidated City of New York itself. Over more than 120 years of history, MAS has worked to inspire, educate, and empower New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. Through three core campaign areas, MAS protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages intentional planning and urban development, and fosters complete neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit mas.org.
The Livable City Award
Through the Livable City Award, MAS honors the extraordinary organizations that make New York the vibrant, creative mecca that it is. It is the organization’s belief that their honorees’ commitment to addressing urban challenges and enriching the city’s cultural environment makes New York a more interesting, dynamic, and desirable place to live.
Download press release (PDF).]]>
Today at 1PM, we kick off a symposium on the future of creative place-making. We invite you to watch online!
Don’t miss this exciting discussion. Watch online tomorrow, and join the conversation on Twitter with #GlobalCities!
We’re looking forward to furthering the creative place-making discussion with you!
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The MAS podcast is produced by Alana Farkas, MAS Director of Tours, and Audrey Gray, an architecture and design writer based in Brooklyn. Our sound editor is Andre “Chip” Bruchez. Our theme track, Jazz Party, is graciously provided by Steve Green and the Elevators.
Enjoy the new soundtrack to your commute!
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Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Kate Slevin and I’m the Senior Director of Advocacy and Policy at the Municipal Art Society of New York, a 123-year-old organization that works for a more livable city.
We strongly support Intro 737, and applaud Council Member Levine for taking a lead on addressing the impacts of new buildings on our treasured public spaces.
MAS’s longstanding concern about protecting our parks has been heightened by the supertall towers rising south of Central Park. Most of them are being constructed as-of-right, without any public or environmental review even though they will be among the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere and cast shadows deep into Central Park. Beyond Central Park, out-of-scale development can shadow entire playgrounds or pocket parks while providing limited benefits to the nearby residents.
We are not anti-development. New York City must grow and change, but we believe new development should positively contribute to surrounding communities.
Regarding the specifics of the bill, a proposal that somehow put the responsibility on the developer, rather than the Parks Department, to disclose shadow impacts of new buildings could also be explored. We also believe small pieces of land, like Greenstreets, should be exempt from provisions in the task force study.
As our city grows, this is an excellent first step towards addressing the impacts of large-scale development. But ultimately, the de Blasio Administration needs to take action and address this in a more holistic way. The Administration should:
MAS supports advancing policies that protect New York City neighborhoods, parks, and streets from adverse effects from irresponsible development practices. In light of these concerns, we have developed a series of online resources, including free, accessible maps that show the availability of development rights across the city. They can be found on our website at MAS.org/accidentalskyline.
Thank you for your time. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council on this issue.
Download the full testimony (PDF) »»
Learn more about this issue on the Accidental Skyline portal »»
On Veteran’s Day, as we pay tribute to millions of brave American soldiers who fought, and are fighting on behalf of the United States across the world, we stop to ponder the over 270 monuments, plaques and triumphal arches in New York City, honoring our military heroes. These symbols in bronze and stone are silent companions in our parks and plazas, holding a reservoir of public memory, grief, sorrow and victory.
Through our Adopt-A-Monument program, MAS is proud to conserve and maintain a dozen memorials commemorating our country’s veterans.
On Tuesday, October 10, from 10:00am-3:00pm, Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park will host a “Breath-In to Save Our Park”
Organizers invite you to, “Bring your kids, your signs, your voices . . . and your lungs! Let the American Museum of Natural History know how important Teddy Roosevelt Park is to our community. Parkland and stately shade trees are too important to lose to the museum’s proposed expansion.” Meet at the park entrance at 79th Street off Columbus Avenue. View the flyer for more information.
On Thursday, November 12, at 6:30pm, the Museum will host an informational meeting on the project
On November 5, the AMNH released drawings and renderings of the proposed expansion. The Museum will host an information session on these new details and the overall proposal for interested members of the community. Enter 77th Street entrance.
As we wrote in our October 9 statement:
MAS urges decision-makers at AMNH to:
“For years, arts and cultural programming were seen as investments the government might make in publicly-owned spaces,” said Mary Rowe, Executive Vice President of MAS. “We’re witnessing a remarkable industry shift right now as more and more private developers are demonstrating that investing in creative place-making makes their projects more desirable for tenants and better integrated into their neighborhoods. It’s a classic case of doing well by doing good.”
“The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate is proud to co-host this event and underscore the role that the real estate industry can play in making our cities more beautiful and engaging,” said Lynne Sagalyn, Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate and Founding Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at Columbia Business School. “Buildings that enliven our streets as well as our skyline make for good neighbors and good investments.”
The event will open at noon for lunch followed by the presentation of MAS’s 2015 Livable City Award, an honor recognizing organizations whose commitment to enriching the city’s cultural environment makes New York a more interesting, dynamic, and desirable place to live. The schedule for the symposium is as follows:
A City Within A City: The Pivotal Importance of West Midtown (1:30 PM)
A conversation examining the evolution of the West Midtown district and its renewed position as an economic driver for the City of New York and beyond.
Triple Bottom Line: Making the Economic Case for Shared Investment in Civic Spaces (2:30 PM)
An examination of best practices in building civic spaces that drive economic growth, create place, and contribute directly to enhancing a city’s competitive advantage.
Smart Talks (3:30 PM)
Building a Captivating Place: How Design and Programming Shape the Creative City (4:00 PM)
A discussion exploring how innovative design and programming create vibrant places that attract commercial activity.
Speakers will include Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace; Timur Galen, Executive Vice President of Related Companies; Donald Hyslop, Head of Regeneration and Partnerships at the Tate Modern; Ann Markusen, Principal of Markusen Economic Research; and Jörn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director of the Luminato Festival.
Global Cities at the Crossroads: Commerce, Art & the Captivating Power of Place will be held at 450 West 31st Street, 12th Floor, from noon to 5:00PM, with a reception to follow. Immediately prior to the event, attendees are invited to join a walking tour of the rapidly developing West Midtown neighborhood.
Leadership support provided by Brookfield Properties, additional support provided by the Association for A Better New York, Cardiff Council, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Tishman Speyer. For more information or to RSVP, please contact MAS at (212) 935-3960.]]>
The Arts Arena is a non-profit initiative for the creative and performing arts, and issues of culture and society. Since its founding in 2007, the Arts Arena has presented more than 130 exhibitions, performances, debates, colloquia, lectures, and festivals that are free and open to the public.
In the words of Arts Arena Founder and Artistic Director Dr. Margery Arent Safir, “From day one, the Arts Arena has been about more than the arts, per se. We’ve created a forum for culture and society dedicated to breaking down the walls between the arts and the worlds of business, science, cultural diplomacy, technology, and development, and exploring how the arts can be used for the betterment of the world in which we live.”
MAS is proud to celebrate the shared set of values that unites our organizations. We invite you to learn a bit more about our wonderful partners in Paris by viewing this new video:
Visit the Arts Arena’s website to view even more videos of their recent events, including a visit from MAS Board Member Thomas Woltz earlier this fall.
To learn more about MAS’s ongoing work on the relationship between business and the arts, and the value of cultural place-making, join us on November 19 for our next signature event: Global Cities at the Crossroads: Commerce, Art & the Captivating Power of Place.]]>
Mary Rowe, Executive Vice President at MAS, moderated a panel on urban entrepreneurship, highlighting the work of Hatch Detroit, Galapagos Art Space and the Brooklyn Navy Yard in incubating creative small businesses through the adaptive re-use of older buildings. Specific to New York, David Ehrenberg discussed the challenges of altering these buildings, while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of history and authenticity to his tenants in Brooklyn. He also reinforced the success of on-site, non-profit management, explaining that zoning alone would not ensure the retention of industrial and manufacturing businesses at the Navy Yard.
Ms. Rowe later offered a keynote on the next generation of tools and solutions for preservation in the urban environment. Her message was to mobilize local communities to preserve diversity of all kinds, be it buildings, jobs, or people. The greatness of our cities comes from the opportunity for chance encounters, and our built environment facilitates those moments of serendipity. She continued that city building is less about professional expertise and more about democracy. A community intuitively understands what it needs; we should let them tell us what preservation means to them.
Finally, Tara Kelly, Director of Preservation & Design at MAS, participated in a panel discussion about expanding the role of preservation in cities beyond traditional regulatory measures. Her comments focused on MAS’s work in promoting the Civic Commons, shared spaces in a community that are so integral to the serendipity that Ms. Rowe discussed, as well as long-term resilience.]]>
After many decades of decline, the past three years has shown growth in the number of manufacturing jobs in Brooklyn. This is largely attributable to the success of areas like the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. The Administration is hoping the regulatory changes will allow for more of these areas, to support more creative, tech, and light industry manufacturing jobs.
MAS has long supported the creation of new manufacturing jobs and reuse of iconic and historic buildings on the city’s waterfront. Our Save Industrial Brooklyn campaign in 2007 identified numerous historic structures along the Brooklyn waterfront and called for them to be preserved. We look forward to working with the Administration as it pursues this effort.]]>
The Steering Committee founded in May 2014 in response to MAS-led concerns about the previous proposal for rezoning East Midtown released its report this week. MAS was proud to serve on the steering committee, and we thank Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Dan Garodnick, and all of our fellow steering committee members for their collaboration over the last 18 months.
Read the Executive Summary of the findings and the full report on NYC.gov. MAS will continue to follow the recommendations as they come under consideration by city government.]]>
In our advocacy work over the three years since Superstorm Sandy, MAS has seen time and again that community resilience often depends on more than just official municipal resource centers. In times of great challenge, some of the most vital recovery outreach is performed by an unexpected constellation of neighborhood organizations and anchor businesses that know and serve communities year round.
In commemoration of the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, MAS offers this short snapshot of de facto community-based resource hubs—libraries, pubs, churches, and non-profits that sprang into action on October 29, 2012, delivering supplies, support, and hope to thousands of New Yorkers. Many of these hubs were identified through MAS’s series of Community-Based Resilience Convenings this spring.
Please join us in thanking these institutions for all they do to support New York’s neighborhoods on historic days and average ones.