New York City is on a mission to create a long term roadmap for the city’s cultural life through the Create NYC initiative. Thursday…Create NYC held one of their several workshops at the College of Staten Island to find out what culture means to Staten Islanders.
“There’s a lot of rich culture here and I saw an opportunity for us to be inclusive in a really collective way. To talk about how we can create programming, some sort of ideas that can really reflect what Staten Island looks like,” said Shereece Mullings with Island Voice.
Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl says the city has always had a hand in the arts…but they’ve never had a formal and intentional cultural plan. Last June, the city council voted to make a law that requires a cultural plan.
“We have to figure out what’s the right way to frame it. What’s being left out? What parts of the city aren’t getting their fair share of arts and culture? But also the great value of those things like Broadway and the Met. We can’t ever deny that,” said Finkelpearl.
Many showed up to share their input and make sure they’re represented in this plan.
“It’s important to make sure that artists are represented in the city and maintaining artistic practice. That’s what makes New York amazing,” said visual artist Tattfoo Tan.
Staten Islanders at the workshop made sure to highlight the diverse arts and cultural things the borough has to offer.
“Hopefully one of the things that will be highlighted through the cultural plan are these kinds of small existing cultural jewels that we have that people might not be aware of or having access to like the Jacques Marchais Museum,” said Elizabeth Bennett with Staten Island Arts.
“Get people to know that we have more art institutions per capita on Staten Island than anywhere else in the city. And that we have things on Staten Island that you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” said Edward Gregory with Lifestyles for the Disabled.
It will be a four part process. The first is research and discovery. The city is currently on the second part—that’s public engagement. The third part will be drafting the plan. The fourth and last part of the process will be to present the final cultural plan on June 30th.