April 2012
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Archive for April, 2012

Arts Forum Recap: Measuring Vibrancy in Placemaking

arts forum new york city panel

More than 300 arts community members, planners, policymakers and funders packed the auditorium at the National Museum of the American Indian Tuesday evening to listen to an expert panel discuss creative placemaking and new impact measures focusing on vibrancy being developed. The Arts Forum, Measuring Vibrancy: The Impacts of Arts and Culture Investments in Placemaking,was co-hosted by ArtPlace, a national consortium of funders investing in creative placemaking across the country.  “ArtPlace is providing critical leadership and resources on issues that are at the core of the MAS Livability agenda,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla.

The talk preceded a daylong work session at MAS supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, with nearly 30 economists, planners, arts funders, preservationists, and arts professionals  to stress test  proposed vibrancy and dynamism indicators—ways to quantify those unique, often qualitative “know it when you see it,” characteristics that shape successful neighborhoods.

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City Planning Hears from Both Sides on NYU Expansion

nyu city planning commission

MAS, along with over 200 individuals and organizations, testified at Wednesday’s City Planning Commission hearing regarding NYU’s application to expand in Greenwich Village. MAS spoke out against the proposal, recognizing the Manhattan Borough President for his success in negotiating changes to the plan, but continuing to argue that the project needs to benefit NYU, the neighborhood and the city as a whole. MAS specifically suggested further reductions in overall density and building height and assurance that public space will be redesigned to be welcoming to all members of the public and in consultation with community groups.

Throughout the day, Commissioners heard from alternate groups speaking for and against the project beginning with NYU President, John Sexton who explained NYU’s need to expand in order to accommodate a student body that has grown more quickly than its campus. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, whose institution has undertaken a similarly ambitious plan for expansion, provided another perspective on the need for institutions to expand to remain competitive and viable.

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MAS Honors Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson

joan kooney pete peterson jko medal

Hundreds of civic minded and philanthropic New Yorkers gathered last night as MAS presented the 2012 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal to Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson. Held at The New York Public Library, the event honored the couple for the role they have played in making New York a global capital of finance and education, as well as their many contributions to our city’s cultural life.

Mrs. Cooney, one of the visionaries and the chief moving forces behind the creation of Sesame Workshop, created the vibrant and diverse environment of Sesame Street, using the educational power of media to help children in New York and around the globe. Mr. Peterson, founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and co-founder of The Blackstone Group, has contributed his time, expertise and resources to institutions that define New York as the global city, including the Council on Foreign Relations, The Museum of Modern Art, the Japan Society and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

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Panel Recap: Libraries as Culture Hubs

artsforum libraries 2012 blog stage thumb

Last Thursday night, Tom Galante, Linda Johnson and Tony Marx, the Directors of the three New York City library systems, engaged in a lively discussion convened by MAS and moderated by New York Times reporter Sam Roberts at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. This evening followed on the heels of an initial discussion that took place last October at the MAS Summit for New York City, where the Directors discussed the common challenges and opportunities public libraries are addressing across the city.

Attended by several hundred, the evening’s discussion included highlighting the remarkable diversity of cultural offerings at local libraries, ranging from live performances to exhibitions, special events and festivals, reflecting the interests of local users.

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Urbanist Hosted MAS After DarkParty: Last Chance to Buy Tickets

MAS Annual Gala 2011 at the New York Public Library

It’s your last chance to buy advance early rate $50 tickets for the second annual Urbanist hosted MAS After Dark party, this Thursday, April 19 at the New York Public Library—tickets will be $75 at the door. Featuring special guest DJs Timo & Alan of Timo Weiland, a SPiN New York hosted table tennis tournament, appearances by Project Runway designers, a silent auction and open bar, this hot ticket event is nearly sold out.

The MAS After Dark party will follow the annual Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal gala, which is honoring Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson this year. The After Dark party is organized by the Urbanists, the MAS younger membership group of New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s with an interest in urban issues.

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