New York’s venues operators say reopening isn’t “financially viable”

first_imgHouse of Yes in Brooklyn (Getty)New York City’s live music scene went silent when the pandemic began last March — but even with loosened restrictions, venue operators are hesitant to reopen.The state gave permission for small and medium indoor arts venues to reopen on April 2 at one-third capacity with a maximum of 100 people, according to the Wall Street Journal. But some venue managers claim these restrictions make it impossible to turn a profit and are keeping their doors closed.Read moreBars and and music venues across America worry they’ll never reopen NYC, New Jersey restaurants to open at 50 percent capacity Lower east side home of mercury lounge for sale Some venue owners also say that it would be difficult to restrict close physical interactions at concerts.ADVERTISEMENT“It’s pretty simple for us: It’s not financially viable,” Kae Burke, a co-founder of the House of Yes in Brooklyn, told the publication. She said the venue lost millions in revenue since it closed its doors last March.Other venues are awaiting relief funding from a federal grant program, which includes some $16 billion in grants, according to the Journal.But mostly, these owners claim that music venues needed packed crowds multiple nights a week to turn a profit. Some venues were challenged by rising rents and increased competition.A recent survey of 45 of New York’s chapter of the National Independent Venue Association found that the majority of large venues plan to reopen in the fall, the Journal reported. Eleven smaller venues and four larger venues expect to open this month, according to the survey.[WSJ] — Keith Larsen Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tagscenter_img Share via Shortlink Andrew Cuomobrooklynlast_img read more

Two things tend to be overlooked in the wrangle over the…

first_imgDear Editor:First, when taxes are doubled, tripled and quadrupled, in the absence of a presidential declaration of a national emergency, it is indicative of a failure of government at all levels, including the municipal. Let’s look back at how the municipal government contributed to the fix we’re in. During the past 20 years, real-estate entrepreneurs have come to Jersey City seeking to build things. They’ve made generous campaign contributions and by and large have been allowed to do whatever they wanted.They’ve also been excused from paying taxes for a considerable length of time on the properties that have been (and are being) constructed. Meanwhile, municipal office-holders have turned around and told us how wonderful all this “development” is. “It will increase your property values,” they said. Downtown Jersey City is now chock full of 30-story campaign contributions, and property values have increased to the point that half the electorate has to live somewhere else. Many thanks, municipal government…Second, we all understand that if a serious terrorist incident had occurred here two weeks ago, the real-estate market would substantially change. The metro area would lose its cachet. Large numbers of people would be looking to sell their homes at the same time, thereby creating a buyer’s market. An increase in supply relative to demand depresses prices. The individual seller would not likely reap the full value of the property being sold. Similarly, if there had been a natural disaster— hurricane, flooding, earthquake, tsunami—again, the market would have been altered. Numerous homes would be up for sale, and a buyer’s market would ensue. The appraisers who conducted the re-evaluation failed to consider the economic impact of their own process. The evaluation has itself changed the market. Huge numbers of property owners are being forced to sell simultaneously. A buyer’s market is in the cards—the result being that the individual seller is unlikely to obtain anything close to the value the appraisers have projected. In this way, the re-evaluation process has managed to invalidate itself.Which is reason enough to SCRAP IT and start over with a team of appraisers who have a more mature understanding of the impact of their own actions on the market they analyze. The process might incorporate a few guidelines such as capping maximum tax increases at 25%. That would prevent a buyer’s market from being created. Actually, there are thousands of reasons for scrapping the current re-evaluation and starting over. I refer to the multitude of property owners who had no intention of selling, but find themselves unable to meet stratospheric tax obligations, and the countless tenants facing steep rent increases who had no previous desire to move. S. Bartlast_img read more

New era for the arts

first_imgHarvard’s 375th anniversary celebration on Oct. 14 will commemorate centuries of history and innovation and honor the University’s continued dedication to excellence in education and scholarship.It will also be one heck of a party in Harvard Yard, organized with the help of three people who are ushering in a new era of creativity for the institution.Since 2009, three of the University’s major arts positions have changed hands. Jill Johnson, director of Harvard’s Office for the Arts (OFA) Dance Program, Andrew Clark, Harvard’s director of choral activities, and Federico Cortese, director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO), replace, respectively, the trio of Elizabeth Bergmann, Jameson Marvin, and James Yannatos, whose Harvard tenures totaled almost 90 years.The three artists also hold joint teaching positions in Harvard’s Department of Music.“This is an extraordinary time in the history of the arts at Harvard,” said Lori Gross, Harvard’s associate provost for arts and culture. “It is exciting to feel the catalytic energy engendered by the influx of these innovative artists in the classrooms and throughout the University.”Honoring the past while charting a course for the future is central to Harvard’s founding ethos. In keeping with that mission, each newcomer envisions building on the foundations established by their predecessors as they carry the arts forward in challenging new ways.“They represent the next generation of leadership in arts practice at Harvard,” said Jack Megan, director of the OFA, who was involved in the hiring search for all three. “They are young and ambitious and extremely gifted artists, and they have a view of their fields that is both traditional and pays homage to the past and the great traditions, but also is looking ahead and saying, ‘What else is new, what is interesting, where else could we go?’”Johnson choreographed a special surprise number for the celebration, one that is true to the event’s intergenerational, inclusive theme.“It’s a way to create community,” said Johnson, “because I think that is part of what is really to be celebrated here: the Harvard community.”Such thinking is part of the Canadian native’s broad approach to her new role. As head of the Dance Program at OFA, Johnson is eager to explore other disciplines, incorporating a range of views and visions into the art of dance, expanding the boundaries and culture of the form. She is also eager to collaborate and learn from her peers.‘There’s a real exchange and a willingness to explore as we get to know each other,” she said. “It feels like a creative hub. And there’s a cohesiveness; there are affinities. It’s an incredible opportunity and incredibly inspiring.”The three take charge during a time of increasing opportunity and influence for the arts at Harvard. In 2007, President Drew Faust created a task force to examine the place of the arts at the University. A year later the committee released recommendations that included developing General Education courses and freshman seminars that include arts practice; the exploration of a new concentration in dramatic arts and another in architecture; a master of fine arts degree; more and longer stays by visiting artists; displays in new spaces; and creation of an advisory body to continue the work of the task force.“There is such excitement, and there is this feeling of movement in the arts … and the ability for the arts to be a bigger and more meaningful part of the Harvard community,” said Johnson.Clark wasn’t looking for a new job when Harvard came calling. An assistant conductor at Harvard under Marvin from 2001 to 2003, he was content at Tufts University, where he was the director of choral activities. But when his former boss encouraged him to apply and discussed the possibilities the Harvard job offered, Clark couldn’t resist.His wife also offered him helpful advice.“She told me, ‘A job like this isn’t going to be open for another 30 years, so I don’t want to be 70 years old and have you regret that you didn’t apply.’ ”Clark hopes to capitalize on the “amazing potential” of Harvard’s Holden Choirs, which consist of the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society, the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus. His plans include partnering with other University organizations and elsewhere, as well as creating new work.“There is a lot to do,” said Clark, “and we have a bold and enterprising vision for where we want to go.As part of that vision, in April the choirs collaborated with the HRO on a challenging and emotionally charged work by Harvard alumnus John Adams, “On the Transmigration of Souls.” The piece, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate those killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in music. A complex work, it includes pre-recorded sounds and text taken from missing-persons signs posted in New York, comments drawn mainly from interviews that appeared in the “Portraits of Grief” series in The New York Times, and a list of names of the victims.Clark learned about the 375th celebration last year during his first week on the job. In the ensuing months, he worked closely with the OFA and Cortese to create a piece based on excerpts from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that will accompany a slide show with images from Harvard past and present.“There is a long history of the choirs and the orchestra being involved in major college anniversary events and we are delighted to continue that tradition and
 consider it a privilege and a great opportunity to be the ensemble of choice for such a 
high-profile event,” said Clark. “Our students are really excited to have that stage.”Harvard’s “goldmine of talent” is in large part what drew Cortese to the role of director of the HRO.“Harvard has access to extremely talented students, a special atmosphere, fantastic faculty, fantastic facilities. That is what makes it an extraordinary opportunity,” said Cortese, who is the director of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and was assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2003.And while the professional world offers conductors the opportunity to work with sophisticated musicians at the top of their craft, he said that students bring a special desire and passion to “really work at improving something. And that, in itself, is an artistic process.”The Italian-born director also shares a commitment to excellence with his new colleagues.“We start from the same thing: How do we convey the importance of quality?” said Cortese. “There’s no art making that makes any sense if it’s not accompanied by training and standards.“The fact that the three of us are new is a good thing, because I do think that we see things in the same way. At the same time, I think we are aware that we have to take care of our little corner in different ways in order to achieve the same result.”As part of his vision for HRO, Cortese hopes to develop a solid teaching and training program for student musicians. He also aims to use HRO tours to show the world what the United States has to offer musically and to break down barriers. This past summer, the orchestra traveled to Cuba, where it performed three sold-out concerts, including a performance in Havana of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony alongside Cuban musicians. The HRO was the first U.S. university orchestra to play in the communist island nation since an embargo against it began in the early ’60s.“The trickier the destination,” said Cortese, “the more we need to send Harvard students.”He is grateful and excited that HRO will be part of the 375th celebration.“It does show an attention to what we do. … We are going to be the live band that plays background music on beautiful images, and it’s going to be fun!”last_img read more

Miami looks to end streak vs N. Illinois

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNorthern Illinois (15-10, 8-4) vs. Miami (9-15, 2-9)John D. Millett Hall, Oxford, Ohio; Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Northern Illinois looks to extend Miami’s conference losing streak to five games. Miami’s last MAC win came against the Eastern Michigan Eagles 73-68 on Jan. 25. Northern Illinois fell 63-59 at Ball State in its last outing. SENIOR STUDS: Northern Illinois’ Eugene German, Lacey James and Noah McCarty have collectively accounted for 52 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 58 percent of all Huskies points over the last five games.EFFECTIVE EUGENE: German has connected on 33.3 percent of the 177 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 8 of 24 over the last three games. He’s also made 72.1 percent of his foul shots this season.WINLESS WHEN: Miami is 0-9 this year when it scores 66 points or fewer and 9-6 when it scores at least 67.ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The RedHawks have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Huskies. Miami has an assist on 24 of 58 field goals (41.4 percent) across its previous three outings while Northern Illinois has assists on 23 of 71 field goals (32.4 percent) during its past three games.DID YOU KNOW: Northern Illinois is ranked second among MAC teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 31.3 percent. The Huskies have averaged 11.8 offensive boards per game.___ Associated Press February 13, 2020center_img For more AP college basketball coverage: and was generated by Automated Insights,, using data from STATS LLC, Miami looks to end streak vs N. Illinoislast_img read more