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The Culture Shed: Arts Community Friend or Foe?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the Rockwell Group's design for their Culture Shed Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the Rockwell Group's design for their Culture Shed (The Rockwell Group)

The mayor's capital budget allotted an unusually large sum of money to a project that doesn't even exist yet.  The Culture Shed at Hudson Yards received a $50 million cultural capital grant, and it hasn't even established a construction budget or hired any employees.

Renderings for the Culture Shed show a 170,000 square foot visual and performing arts space that is flexible and open to be rented by cultural groups and suitable for large-scale events like Fashion Week.

It's a darling of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his cultural affairs commissioner Kate Levin, but The New York Times reported that some in the arts community are questioning the project and the size of the allotment.

But Justin Davidson, architecture and classical music critic for New York Magazine, says the Culture Shed is an economic development project, and it's not unusual for those to get that kind of money.

It's a darling of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, but The New York Times reported that others in the arts community are questioning the project and the size of the allotment.
Renderings for the Culture Shed show a 170,000 square foot visual and performing arts space that is flexible and open to be rented by cultural groups and suitable for large-scale events like Fashion Week.
The questions we should be asking are whether the Culture Shed serves New York, whether adding a cultural institution to New York takes away from the possibilities other cultural institutions, said Justin Davidson, architecture and classical music critic for New York Magazine.  "In other words, is culture a zero sum game in New York?"It's a darling of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, but The New York Times reported that others in the arts community are questioning the project and the size of the allotmentRenderings for the Culture Shed show a 170,000 square foot visual and performing arts space that is flexible and open to be rented by cultural groups and suitable for large-scale events like Fashion Week.
"The questions we should be asking are whether the Culture Shed serves New York, whether adding a cultural institution to New York takes away from the possibilities other cultural institutions," he said. "In other words, is culture a zero sum game in New York?"

 

To listen to WNYC's Amy Eddings' full conversation with Justin Davidson, click on the audio link above.

 

Guests:

Justin Davidson

Hosted by:

Amy Eddings

Editors:

Gisele Regatao

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Comments [1]

Peter J from Brooklyn

My question is why Manhattan needs another cultural mega project. Why couldn't this money have gone to complete or enlarge the Brooklyn Cultural District or another outer borough project that that would help decentralize the Manhattan cultural hegemony? BAM already proves that if you build it, they will come.

Aug. 01 2013 07:38 PM

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