How Arts Groups Can Recover Post-Sandy

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Last week was basically a write-off for many of New York City's arts organizations. Superstorm Sandy shut down theaters, knocked out power to downtown clubs and submerged art galleries. For many individuals, it destroyed paintings, musical instruments and recording equipment.

Kate Levin, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, said the impact was widespread. "There are organizations that have had pretty severe property damage," she noted. "But almost everyone has had some kind of revenue loss, had to suspend performances or stop services."

Efforts are now underway to help art galleries restore and conserve damaged works of art, including an initiative led by the Smithsonian Institution to offer resources and tactical advice. In addition, the the Art Dealers Association of America has assembled an aid program to help flooded New York City galleries, worth about $250,000.

Meanwhile, some arts groups are starting the process of raising funds, seeking out loans and Federal assistance.

What was Sandy's larger impact on the arts? What can hard-hit cultural organizations do to recover? In this podcast, host Naomi Lewin talks with three guests:

  • Kate Levin, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Pia Catton, an arts columnist at the Wall Street Journal
  • John Strohbeen, president of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, which is based in a warehouse on the Red Hook waterfront

Weigh in:
What role should the arts play as the region recovers from Superstorm Sandy? If you work in the arts, how where you impacted by the hurricane? Please leave your comments below.


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