Carol Rinzler, our contact at 250+ Friends of NYC Parks, brings to our attention new Parks & Recreation Department rules that would impose time and place restrictions on artists who wish to display their work — “expressive matter” — “in or on any property under the jurisdiction of the Department.”
The rules support the 30-year-old private-public partnership deal the City made with the Central Park Conservancy, and subsequently with similar groups, to give them substantial control over revenue production (vending) in major parks. Such control enables them to raise funds to maintain those parks. Artists have skirted any restrictions by asserting their First Amendment rights. The proposed rules would impose limits on this.
Some of the language in the rules suggests that they are aimed specifically at Robert Lederman, an artist whose repeated attempts to display his work on the High Line Esplanade in Chelsea were met with arrest.
More on this and the message we received from 250+ Friends of NYC Parks can be found after the break. The proposed new rules and a notice of the required April 23rd public hearing can be found here.