Petitioning Mayor Steven Fulop

Add your voice to help change to the way Jersey City supports the arts.

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The following was published in the Jersey Journal/NJ.com and signed by 30 members of the Jersey City artistic community. Please add your name to this growing list of people concerned for the future of the arts in JC.

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The Fulop administration has identified the arts as playing an important role in the economic and cultural development of Jersey City. However, artists and arts groups have been underfunded, excluded from city planning decisions, and marginalized as real estate and the cost of living in Jersey City have skyrocketed. Consequently, Jersey City arts groups have closed or become dormant, arts leaders have resigned or moved away, and ordinances/legislation designed to support the arts have been ignored or not enforced. After years of dialogue with the city about the arts sector’s critical need for support, and without substantive policy from the city, artists and arts groups hereby set out below the requisite policy items necessary for arts in Jersey City to become sustainable and adequately supported.  

We, the undersigned, ask the following of the administration:

1.     The City of Jersey City dedicates the entire 3% Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax to Arts/Culture local non-profit organizations, to be distributed by a neutral, professionally-qualified arts entity, acceptable to the arts community.  

2.     That all decisions involving future rezoning for “arts districts”, major capital projects such as renovating the Loew's Theater, re-opening of the Jersey City Museum, or the like, be made with a neutral, professionally-qualified arts entity at the table representing the arts community as a full negotiating partner. It is imperative that the voices of seasoned artists, dancers, performers, and professionals from the arts field have a say in policy that will affect them, and the public, for years to come.

3.     That all programs currently underway that involve the arts – including the JC Mural Arts program – be immediately halted, until a system of transparency is put into place and input from the art community is heard and incorporated. We want there to be murals and we want there to be art in JC, but we want to ensure that this is done in a productive and responsible way that reflects the very best of our city.

4.     The Department of City Planning assigns a staff person charged with the responsibility and accountability for upholding all arts provisions written into city ordinances, zoning, land use plans, and building plans. This staff person will also be responsible for advocating for arts space, artist housing, and other opportunities to provide funding and resources to arts groups as building projects are presented in Jersey City.

Sincerely,

Catalina Aranguren, artist/ board member, JC Children's Theater 

Mira Prinz Arey, co-organizer, West Side Arts & Music  

Christine Barney, Board Secretary, ProArts  

Meredith Burns, Executive Director, Art House Productions

Madeleine Cag, Board Member, Nimbus Dance Works

Jerome China, artist

Clay Cockrell, Executive Producer, JCity Theater

Sandy Cockrell, Artistic Director, JCity Theater

Gaye Dunstan, co-organizer, West Side Arts & Music

Brigid D’Souza, board member, JC Children's Theater  

Jeff Edwards, writer/art critic

Henry Faulkner, Board Member, Nimbus Dance Works

David Gibson, Board Chair, Art House Productions

Christine Goodman, Founder, Arthouse Productions

Brittany Graziosi, artist, organizer Pacific Flea and JC Oddities Market

Nanette Hernandez, Director of Development and Education Initiatives, Segunda  Quimbamba

Kay Kenny, President Emeritus, ProArts Jersey City

Annie Kessler, singer

Charles Kessler, artist

Hannah Kwon, Board Member, Nimbus Dance Works

Brian Lawlor, musician 

Olga Levina, Artistic Director, Jersey City Theater Center

Michael Lindgren, writer

Sarah Ordway, artist/writer 

Judith Pott, Board Member, Nimbus Dance Works

Samuel Pott, Founding Artistic Director, Nimbus Dance Works

Jon Rappleye, artist 

Laurie Riccadonna, artist, Professor HCCC 

Jeremy Smith, artist 

Amy Wilson, artist 

Larry B. Wright, printer/publisher 

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