New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is getting widely criticized after announcing this week that live performances are coming back to the Big Apple.
In a video featuring interpretive dancers on an empty street in the freezing cold, the mayor says, “We need a recovery that brings back the life and the heart and the energy of this city and that everyone gets to be part of.”
“And if we’re going to do that, if we’re going to really bring back the heart and soul of New York City, we need our arts and culture back," he continued. "And we need people to see it and feel it, to participate in it to know that the essence of New York City has not been defeated by the coronavirus but will come back strong in 2021.”
The whole world is a stage, so we’re bringing live performances BACK to New York City! Our streets will be filled with music, performances, and dance thanks to our #OpenCulture program. Applications open March 1: https://t.co/lp0DfJiK7X— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) February 15, 2021
The effort is called the Open Culture program and will launch with 115 locations across the boroughs.
According to The Federalist, it “promises to bring bad art to the streets — but on the upside, there won’t be anyone there to watch it.”
The city has set aside funding for the project to allow artists to apply for one-day slots to perform at the locations, but all artists are not created equal in this process. Digging into the requirements for applications, I found that artists or companies must have an affiliation with the Cultural Institutions Group. This is a group of 33 major arts and culture organizations that for some reason the city pours funds and resources into year after year. If one of these organizations, all of which are to the left of Bernie Sanders, don’t sign off on you, no slot.
Think about this. At a time when New York City is not allowing anyone to create public performance, they are handing a monopoly to the Cultural Institutions Group to produce all of the performance in what, until recently, was the most vibrant art city in the nation. And we have a pretty good idea of what this art is going to look like.
Expect diversity, and by diversity, I mean screeds against the horrible white supremacist society in which we live. Expect experimental performance, by which I mean incomprehensible hogwash that even the most effete have to try really hard to pretend to enjoy. The video gives us a clue to that. And finally, expect empty seats since these performances are not driven by what audiences actually want but rather what their betters think they should have. (The Federalist)
Twitter users blasted the program and the mayor.
My block in midtown has trash everywhere, belligerent vagrants demand cash from anyone who walks by, and my elderly parents don’t feel safe walking the dog in their own neighborhood at night, but I’m so glad DeBlasio has a street ballet budget. Gotta have priorities. https://t.co/VyTCLSsWkB— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) February 15, 2021
Businesses closed.— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) February 17, 2021
Explosion in Violent Crime.
Exodus to other states.
But this: https://t.co/lOppevpbmB
The fact that these folks don’t realize how insulting this is to the hundreds of thousands of dedicated performers and professionals put out of work due to this pandemic is a real glimpse into how they do not value the arts and view it as some sort of “hobby”. https://t.co/LcNiGg2d3F— Joe Bonamassa (Official) (@JBONAMASSA) February 16, 2021
Maybe open the schools and businesses if you really want to make a difference. Street ballet, not so much. https://t.co/RR29oyAmMK— Bruce Hooley (@BHOOLZ) February 16, 2021
Better idea: resign.— Caleb Bacon in Cancun w/ the Cruzes (@CalebEatsBacon) February 15, 2021
This is somehow worse than TikTok nurses. Didn’t think that was possible. You can always count on elected Dems to up the crazy to a whole new level. https://t.co/InAfOfqb7q— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) February 17, 2021