The NYC Department of Parks has just published a proposed set of new rules for street artists who display or sell art in NYC
Parks. It was published in The City Record on 3/24/2010. ***There will be a public hearing on April 23, 2010 at Chelsea Recreation
Center, 430 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10010 at 11:00 AM. The ARTIST group will hold a large protest immediately before the
hearing at 10 AM. We hope that every single person who sells art on the street or in any NYC Park will be there - on time - and
with a sign in order to lend their support. If these rules pass it will mark the end of street artist freedom in NYC.

*** These rules will go into effect at the end of April if we do not stop them. ***

* The full 15 page text of the proposed rules and a link to maps showing each legal vending spot can be downloaded at these addresses:

The most significant change is that First Amendment protected street artists will now be severely limited as to where they can set up an art
display in a park and in how many artists can set up in each park. The Department of Parks has set a specific numerical limit within each of the
parks or park controlled areas around parks that routinely have artists selling in them, as follows:

* Battery Park, 9 artists allowed.

* In front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (between 79th and 81st streets) 12 artists.

* In front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (between 84th and 85th streets) 12 artists.

* Union Square Park 18 artists allowed.

* Columbus Circle, 4 artists.

* Wein Walk (near the Central Park Zoo) 8 artists

* High Line Park, 3 artists

In the above noted parks, all legal vending spaces for will be marked with a Parks Department sticker. While the proposed rules claim it will be
first come, first served as to how these very limited spots will be allocated, the Parks Department’s real intention is to set artist against artist so
as to justify replacing this unworkable arrangement with a permit and concession system in which artists must bid hundreds of thousands of
dollars to win each spot, just like a hot dog vendor. The highest art vending bid will get each vending concession.

* The Parks Department described their intention to implement this exact system in a NY Times letter dated 2/28/96 “We are considering a plan
to allow art vendors to bid for eight one year permits. The bids for these permits are likely to be less than those submitted for year round
concession stands.”

NY Times February 28, 1996 Parks Restrict the Sale of Art, Not Its Creation

As an example of the low regard the Parks Department and the Park conservancies have for street artists’ freedom of expression, in High Line
Park they will allow 3 artists and 3 food concessions, as if these two activities are in any way of a similar legal status. Each park has a similar
proposed ratio of artists to hot dog and souvenir stands. There is a Federal constitutional guarantee of free expression in public parks and the
ARTIST group has won numerous Federal lawsuits supporting this right. There is no constitutional right to sell hot dogs or souvenirs in a park.

* This is all about supporting Bloomberg’s Park Privatization agenda

Note that while the High Line will only allow 3 small street artist displays in it’s mile long park, the entire park is available to be rented out for
private parties and corporate promotions according to the Friends of the High Line website. Recently, Calvin Klein threw a huge promotional
party up there with thousands of participants in exchange for making a $3 million dollar donation to the Parks Department.

In Union Square Park, First Amendment protected artists will be limited to a very small area while the non First Amendment protected
Greenmarket and the month long Holiday Gift Market selling clothing and jewelry under a huge tent will continue to take up hundreds of times as
much space.

At Columbus Circle only 4 artists will be allowed while the Parks Department runs a huge congestion generating Holiday Gift Market in the same
location that is likewise a month long event.

* If preventing pedestrian congestion “caused” by street artists was the genuine concern of the Parks Department, why are there daily corporate
promotions in NYC parks by companies like Disney, Nike, Sony, Best Buy, Target, JP Morgan Chase and a thousand others that involve huge
displays, thousands of participants, numerous giant trucks, powerlines and other dangerous infrastructure?

* If one factors in the additional proposed restrictions contained in the park rules that artists cannot be within 50 feet of any monument, public
work of corporate owned art or any statue; within 5 feet of any tree, bench, garbage can or sign; or on any sidewalk with less than a 12 foot
clearance from the art display to the curb, it becomes clear that these proposed rules are intended to virtually eliminate street artists from NYC

* That this is being done to allow more room for corporate promotions and park privatization rather than to address any genuine issue of public
safety, means that the artist group is prepared to defy these restrictions in every park and to sue in Federal Court to overturn them.

* Will these rules affect artists who sell in SoHo, Times Square or elsewhere on the street? *

If the Parks Department succeeds in limiting artists in parks to a few marked off spaces, the City will then apply this same exact system to the
streets, and eventually replace that system with a full blown permit/concession system in which you will have to buy your vending spot. ARTIST
will hold a protest at the hearing for these park rules. Please be there early. Our rights to create, display and sell art on public property are at
stake. If we won’t publicly stand up for those rights, who will?


With these proposed new Park rules coming at the same time as 2 other proposed laws, Intro #36 (BIDs will control all vending in their districts)
and Intro #30 (any vending stand left unattended for 30 minutes will be confiscated) it is clear that the city plans to make 2010 the year of
eliminating street artists’ freedom of speech.

Mayor Bloomberg has just severely cut his “gifts” to the arts SEE: NY Times 3/18/2010 “Bloomberg Is Quietly Ending a Charitable Program.”
Factor in this new assault on artists’ rights and it is clear that the Bloomberg administration intends to reignite the war against street artists. Will
you take a stand to defend your rights?

Contact info: Robert Lederman, president of ARTIST

Email: ARTIST WEBSITE with all vending laws and news for street artists:

To subscribe to ARTIST and get updates on this and other street artist related issues send a blank email to: Reply to that email and you will be a member of ARTIST.
The New York Optimist
© MMIX, The New York Optimist. All Rights Reserved. The New York Optimist & is a registered trademark of The New York Optimist.  The New
York Optimist is a registered service mark of The New York Optimist
logo and original photos are a registered trademark of The New York Optimist  . All other photos
are property of the advertiser. And are rightfully protected under their copywright protections.
You Tube
Digg It