Current artists: Amon Azizov, Wei Chen, Qiao Fu, Gao Min, Guo Kun Sheug, Artashes Karslian, Ji Yin Jin, Li Qun, Lin Ruo, Dean Lu, Ren Jien-Guo, Jorge Rivera, Sharif Sadiq, Peter Walsh, Xiang Yue Chuan, Dario Zapata, Zhuang Xuemin

Organized by Peter Walsh, Ongoing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Public Space Battle in NYC Grows: City Actions Now Extend Beyond Artists to Include Musicians and Newspapers

As scorching summer temperatures hit Manhattan, sparring over what a person can do in New York City’s public parks has heated up too.

In May a panel of New York State Appeals Court judges allowed new park rules to go into effect, dramatically restricting where artists can work and sell in four busy city parks, pending the outcome of an artists’ lawsuit against the city’s Parks Department.

“Panel Finds Vendor Restrictions Do Not Violate Free Speech Rights” New York Law Journal, May 18, 2011.
"Appeals Court Rules Against Artists in Dua v. City of New York Department of Parks Suit," Cental Park Portrait Exchange, May 18, 2011.

Meanwhile the Parks Department ordered it’s Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers to expand enforcement of restrictions beyond artist vendors to include musicians in newly created “Quiet Zones,” including near the crowded and popular Bethesda Fountain in the heart of Central Park.

“Musicians chased from Central Park,” New York Post, May 28, 2011.
“Musician Crackdown At Central Park's Bethesda Fountain,” A Walk in the Park, May 29, 2011.
“No Radios by the Fountain, Please! Or Cellos!,” New York Times, June 5, 2011.

Concurrently, Robert Lederman, president of the street artists organization A.R.T.I.S.T and an artist/plaintiff in a second suit against the city, in federal court, reports that new depositions of PEP officials confirm that sellers of newspapers such as the New York Times, New York Post and the Daily News are now officially banned from selling from temporary stands in parks such as Union Square. Those news-sellers would be forced to compete for the same restricted locations used by artists.

“Why Bloomberg is Evicting Newspaper Vendors From 4 NYC Parks,” Robert Lederman, June 8, 2011.
“Art vendors spots restricted at Union Square, High Line,” The Villager, Volume 81, Number 2: June 9 to 15, 2011.

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