C.B. 1 asks L.M.D.C. to hone in on WTC Arts Center

BY John Bayles

Volume 20, Number 39 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | September 15 – 21, 2010

C.B. 1 asks L.M.D.C. to hone

in on WTC Arts Center

Community Board 1 is once again calling on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to come up with a plan to move the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center forward, and quickly.

C.B. 1 Co-Chair Catherine McVay Hughes introduced the resolution at the W.T.C. Redevelopment Committee meeting on Monday. The resolution points out that “currently there is no formal structure in place to program, fund, and design the P.A.C.” It calls for an immediate formation of a fundraising entity that would both raise money for the center and “reassess the proposed programming of the P.A.C. to ensure that it becomes a world-class performing arts center.”

The resolution also specifically asks that the P.A.C. board be independent of both L.M.D.C. and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

McVay Hughes said the P.A.C. board should be a “stand-alone entity” for two reasons.

“We don’t know how long the L.M.D.C. will be here,” said McVay Hughes. “And the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is focusing very hard on getting the museum up and running. It just makes sense to get other people involved.”

In addition, the resolution calls for the state, city and the L.M.D.C. to reopen the Request for Proposals for cultural institutions for the site. Since the W.T.C. Master Plan was initially developed, three cultural institutions, the Drawing Center, the Signature Theater and the Freedom Center have all pulled out, leaving the Joyce Theater as the site’s only remaining tenant.

The resolution was unanimously adopted at Monday’s committee meeting. Should the full community board approve it later this month, C.B. 1 Chair Julie Menin would then step in to ensure the L.M.D.C. takes it into consideration.

“Since I sit on the subgroup of the L.M.D.C. Board in charge of culture, I’ll be arguing that we reopen the R.F.P. immediately,” said Menin.