January 2017
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Archive for January, 2017

Brownsville Matters

Yesterday, MAS celebrated the installation of the Brownsville Matters art exhibition with more than 50 project partners, artist and local residents at the Langston Hughes Senior Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn. 

MAS is pleased to have partnered with ArtBridge and the Brownsville Community Justice Center on the exhibition, which will be on display on the fences around the cul-de-sac at Thatford and Belmont Avenues until January of 2018. 

Brownsville Matters features interpretations of East Brooklyn’s cultural identity by eleven local artists: Cheryl Bowers, Christine Stoddard, Dominique Davenport, Ebony Bolt, Jazmine Hayes, Kisha Johnson, Laurent Chevalier, Malcolm Williams, Maria Belford, Sophia Dawson, and Tristan Lamour. 

Included pieces were selected via an open call for art, narrowed down to 43 submissions by curators Rujeko Hockley (Brooklyn Museum) and Farrah Lafontant (Brooklyn Arts Council) and then voted on by residents.

The project was made possible by the collaboration of the New York City Housing Authority and support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Safeguarding Free Expression in NYC’s Public Plazas

In December, MAS joined planning colleagues around the city in issuing a joint letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio on the need to foster freedom of expression in public plazas and other public areas.

We invite you to read the letter, which details seven steps the Administration can take to make demonstrations and other gatherings of free expression, “safer, more effective, and even welcoming to all New Yorkers who want to participate in civic action.”

Re: Governor Cuomo’s State of the State

In yesterday’s State of the State, Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated that he would announce new infrastructure investments later this month. MAS hopes that further improvements at Penn Station will among those announcements. We applaud the Governor for spearheading the current plan to address some of Penn’s most visible deficiencies, but the more difficult track-level improvements are also urgently needed. We look forward to the Governor’s continued leadership on this and other infrastructure priorities across New York.

To learn more about MAS’s advocacy on Penn Station, read our joint statement with Regional Plan Association.

A Message from the Board

Dear Members,

Thank you for your ongoing support of The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) and our work fighting for responsible growth in our city. As we begin 2017 and prepare for our upcoming 125th anniversary, we would like to recap some of the best work of the last year and offer a preview of our year ahead.

In February, MAS will welcome its new president, Elizabeth Goldstein. She is nationally-known as a tenacious and remarkably effective advocate for parks, open spaces, and historic preservation. If you have not yet been introduced to Elizabeth and her incredible track record of leadership in New York and as president of the California State Parks Foundation, we encourage you to read our special announcement of her appointment.

Elizabeth joins MAS on the heels of much activity in the last calendar year.

MAS continues to be a key force in shaping the discussion over the future of Penn Station and the West Midtown neighborhood. The Governor’s plan to address some of the most visible deficiencies at the station – low-slung ceilings, rundown public spaces, poor signage, limited amenities, and cramped corridors – is laudable, but we urge all parties to address the more difficult track-level improvements that are urgently needed. MAS submitted comments in December regarding the preservation of the landmark Farley Post Office as it is redeveloped into the new Moynihan Station. Later this month, we will advocate in support of the proposed closure of 32nd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues for pedestrian use at the Community Board 5 Transportation Committee meeting.

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