Exit, stage left and make room for the $1,000 drink

December 18, 2005

The NY Times reports on a study which finds that the creative sector is becoming less concentrated in NYC as artists are priced out: New York, Once a Lure, Is Slowly Losing the Creative Set.

The Center for an Urban Future report Creative New York illustrates how important the creative industries are to New York:

No other place in the U.S. even comes close to matching the city’s creative assets. In fact, 8.3 percent of all creative sector workers in the U.S. are based in New York. The city is home to over a third of all the country’s actors and roughly 27 percent of the nation’s fashion designers, 12 percent of film editors, 10 percent of set designers, 9 percent of graphic designers, 8 percent of architects and 7 percent of fine artists.

Among the challenges facing the creative communities, the report summarizes:

New York faces a number of significant challenges to its creative sector, including the high cost of appropriate work space; a general lack of business skills among individual creative entrepreneurs; pressures to conform to a traditional for-profit business model; creative workers’ widespread lack of benefits such as health insurance; barriers to reaching appropriate markets; and the impact of changing technology.

The cost of housing alone makes it difficult for artists to give up their day jobs. But in addition, the nature of housing makes it difficult for artists to work out of their homes and need to rent a separate studio space. Bands have the additional cost of figuring how to get all their equipment from a practice space (usually in Brooklyn or Queens) to a club (usually in Manhattan) when none of the musicians own a car.

Finally, the report outlines some proposals that the city could enact to provide more support to the creative communities the city:

  • Create a centralized coordinating body modeled after Creative London.
  • Establish an industry desk for creative industries at the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
  • Begin to address affordability issues facing individual artists and creative enterprises.
  • More flexible support from the philanthropic community.
  • Expand market access for locally-made creative products.
  • Help creative individuals and enterprises get access to business assistance services.
  • Improve access to health insurance and other work supports for creative workers and enterprises.
  • Begin to address the creative core’s workforce development needs.

Why are artists crowded out of the city? To make room for the clubs that can charge $950 for a drink and the patrons who are willing to pay $950 for a drink. Also in today's Times: Hey, Bartender, Can You Break $1,000?: "Served in a traditional martini glass, the cocktail is made with super-premium Grey Goose L'Orange vodka, Hypnotiq liqueur, orange and pomegranate juices and topped off with Dom Pérignon. The coup de grâce: a one-carat ruby affixed to the stirrer. And the bar tab for a Ruby Red? An eye-popping $950."

I guess it's just a different form of the creative arts.

Posted by Andrew Raff at December 18, 2005 10:50 PM
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what can you tell me about brooklyn law school? are you currently practicing law? what was the job placement like with a jd from bls? pls let me know since i'm considering on applying there and various nyc law schools. thank you.

Posted by: christie on December 22, 2005 12:54 AM
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