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New Performer Rules Newsday

New Performer Rules Newsday

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Published by artistpres
Article on new restrictions on performing in NYC Parks
Article on new restrictions on performing in NYC Parks

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Published by: artistpres on Apr 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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***NOTE:Washington Square Park, contrary to the disinformation campaign by the Parks Department, will absolutely be affected by this new rule.If you want to understand why this rule will eliminate almost 100%of the performers in Washington Sq Park, SEE this report on theentire issue:
 New rule limits NYC's street musicians April 22, 2013 NEWSDAYBy MARIA ALVAREZA city park tradition in which musicians have performed freely inManhattan's open spaces will be limited under a new rule that takeseffect May 8 and classifies them as vendors.The rule, which includes mandating that musicians perform on 100 spotsin which a medallion is embedded in concrete, will be enforced by Park Enforcement Patrol and NYPD officers. Violators could receive asummons and a $250 fine.An appeal on the new rule that labels musicians as vendors is pendingin federal court filed by Artists Response to Illegal State Tactics, agroup of 2,000 artists and musicians.The new rule will apply in certain sections of Central Park, BatteryPark, the High Line and Union Square Park, which are popular venuesfor musicians who depend on donations to earn a living.Under the new park regulation, vendors are considered "sellers or solicitors of donations in exchange for tangible items, such as paintings, books, or photographs."Philip Abramson, a park spokesman, said, "It was always our intentthat the rules include performers and entertainers who seek donationswithin the definition of an expressive matter vendor, the rules willnow state that explicitly."But Robert Lederman, president of ARTIST, said"This is taking away my rights and my living." Lederman, 62,said the new rule "is not a clarification." "It is about the privatization of  public space."He said space at Union Square Park, where artists and musicians once performed, now is being rented to vendors.Under the new rule, musicians will have to adhere to regulations suchas only performing on medallion spots; at least 5 feet away from a park bench, and 50 feet from a statue.
Ian Duerr, 31, a guitar player, said the new rule "is taking away jobs. This is not what people should be doing right now in thiseconomy."Duerr, who plays with his band in Central Park, said that somemusicians are at the medallion spots at 4 a.m. "It's terrible. The police are constantly moving us. We play music that people want tohear. We shouldn't have to worry about the police."At Washington Square Park, saxophone player Dusty Rhodes is worriedthat his coveted spot next to the 19th century statue of Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi may be taken away."I'm a humble musician. I play my music for New Yorkers -- not for thetourists on Times Square. My music is serious and original and the people who listen to me know that," he said.There are no medallions at Washington Square Park, said Abramson."Wedo not anticipate that the clarification will have much of an impactin this park" unless a display stand is used.------------------------------------------- NY WORLD 4/9/13 by Aaron MartinezIt’s official: Free-range parks performers face finesBuskers, jugglers, dancers, rappers and others who play for pay muststay confined to approved areasThese days, as blues musician Demarco Evans performs in WashingtonSquare Park, he’s thinking about more than just hitting the perfectchords on his guitar.He’s worried about getting fined.Street performers are gearing up to abide by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s strict rules for vendors who operate in city parks, which as of May 8 will explicitly apply to them if they ask audiences for funds.Since 2010, the city has steered art, book and other “expressivematter” vendors in parks to specific locations: along the curb, awayfrom park furniture like benches and at least 50 feet away from amonument. In Union Square, Battery Park, the High Line and parts of Central Park, they may work only in designated vending areas.
 Now singers, rappers, jugglers, dancers and contortionists — evenhuman statues — will have to join them, if they perform in exchangefor a fee or a donation.As far as the Parks Department is concerned, the performers have beensubject to the rules all along. The new change just makes it official,following a state appellate court decision in early 2012 that found“entertainment” isn’t automatically subject to rules restrictingvending.“While it was always our intent that the rules include performers andentertainers who seek donations within the definition of a expressivematter vendor, the rules will now state that explicitly,” explainedParks spokesman Phil Abramson.But that doesn’t reassure Evans or other performers, who are bracingthemselves for a long, expensive summer after a yearlong reprieve.Violations of the vending rules are a misdemeanor, and can result in afine of up to $1,000.Two years ago, when the parks vending rules went into effect, Evanswas fined $250 three separate times in less than three months for  playing in Washington Square Park and Central Park.“The city went on a crackdown on us performing anywhere near thewater fountains or statues,” recalls Evans, who has been playing guitar andsinging blues for seven years to tourists in the area. “Then after  protests for performers and activists they seemed to settle down. Nowthese new rules are going to start that all up again.”Evans anticipates another round of enforcement specifically targetedat entertainers.“After we protested and had most of the public support behind us, they just stopped fining us,” Evans said. “So recently, there have been no problems. Who knows how bad it could get again.”John Hendricks, who plays a drums and guitar set-up in WashingtonSquare Park, had a similar experience, and shares Evans’ fears. “In2011, I was fined multiple times for playing to close to a monumenthere in Washington Square,” Hendricks said. “Now, It seems like thecity is out to get us again.” And he always worries that still morerestrictions could be in store.

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