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Bloomberg And The Arts (Something Omitted)
October 24th, 2005

On the same day that The New York Times “enthusiastically” endorsed Michael Bloomberg for re-election, it ran a long article on the front page of the Arts and Leisure section that said, while the mayor has little patience personally for the arts, “his administration has done more to promote and support the arts than any in a generation.”

Author Jennifer Steinhauer writes: “The mayor’s arts agenda has infused policy-making throughout the municipal government. The administration has created the first public school arts curriculum in a generation, and created zoning policies to encourage the growth of the art galleries in Chelsea. In the process, it has developed a constituency that is perhaps more enamored of the mayor than any other special interest group in the city.”

Oddly omitted from the article, though, are any comments from the major arts advocates in the city, including those from the Alliance for the Arts and the New York City Arts Coalition, who have not been shy about expressing their disappointment with the Bloomberg administration for having an arts expense budget lower than it was during the final fiscal year that began under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Instead, the Times article mentions Bloomberg’s personal contributions of many millions of dollars over the past three years to hundreds of small cultural institutions in the city through the Carnegie Corporation, and then concludes: “The donation blunted criticism about his budget-cutting.” An Associated Press article over the summer, however, put it differently: Bloomberg’s personal donations “help those organizations absorb cuts made by his administration.”

Not every member of this “special interest group” seems all that enamored of Bloomberg, or of the Times article. Alex Barreto, an artist on the staff of an (unnamed) arts organization, expressed outrage in the blog “Play Rey Play” at the Times “puff piece” appearing two weeks before the election: “This is not news; it is blatant political endorsement.”

For more about the current state of the arts in New York, see Is New York The Cultural Capital of the World?, Campaign 2005: Long-term Issues Facing The Arts In NYC and Arts Funding 101

By on October 24, 2005, 8:53 am
In category: Arts,Electoral Politics | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Bloomberg And The Arts (Something Omitted)”

  1. g kichen Says:
    November 1st, 2005 at 4:04 pm

    good article. thanks

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