On Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm The League of Independent Theater will hold a Meet The Candidates event at The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South) in order to endorse pro-arts candidates in the 2013 City Election Cycle. Selected candidates will be invited to speak on the arts issues currently facing our city, and what they will do for the performing arts, if elected. Candidates confirmed at press time include Tom Allon (Mayoral), Julie Menin (Manhattan Borough President), LetiTia James (Public Advocate), Corey Johnson (CC Manhattan 3), Yetta Kurland (CC Manhattan 3) Mel Wymore (CC Manhattan 6), Cheryl Pahaham (CC Manhattan 7), Angel Molina (CC Bronx 8), Matthew Silverstein (CC Queens 19), and Kimberly Council (CC Brooklyn 37).
LIT's endorsement will be based on the individual candidate's willingness to enter into a substantive and serious conversation with LIT's Political Action Committee on the following performing arts platform. As a pro-performing arts elected official, I will work to:
1. Create access to low-cost and/or no-cost Community Facilities Spaces for all City non-profits that are currently available and remain unused throughout the City through the creation of a Community Facilities Space Database.
2. Create access to empty and unused City property to be re-purposed as temporary rehearsal, office and (if appropriate), performance space.
3. Include non-profit performance venues in the favorable electricity and utility rates enjoyed by religious institutions and the VFW.
4. Implement a proposal that would reduce or eliminate property tax assessments for those non-profit organizations that have an artistic mission and/or rent performance space to similar non-profit performing arts groups with artistic missions of their own. This proposal was unanimously ratified by all twelve (12) Manhattan Community Boards.
5. Secure affordable permanent low-cost housing for working artists. In addition, work to provide access to affordable healthcare for these artists, depending on the status and reach of the Affordable Care Act at the time of negotiations.
6. Support the commission of an economic impact study for the independent theater territory.
7. Work with the Department of Cultural Affairs to expand the Cultural Institutions Group to include the independent theater sector's anchor venues.
8. Install plaques at sites of historical import and rename streets after the founders of the independent and Off-Off Broadway community.
The League of Independent Theater ("LIT") is the only 501(c) 6 advocacy organization for the independent theater and performing arts population of New York City, serving over 50,000 independent performing artists, 86% of whom vote regularly. LIT will endorse candidates in every City race, and work to form alliances with other cultural advocacy organizations in the City that will foster an all-out "Get Out The Vote" effort on behalf of those candidates selected.
For more information, visit www.litny.org.