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EXHIBIT T (replaces Exhibit A)

The copies of news articles in Exhibit A became almost unreadable after being scanned by E-file. This
Exhibit makes the articles readable by only using the text. The Exhibits containing photos of vendors in
parks and some of the summonses the plaintiff received also became unreadable after being scanned by
the e-file site.

http://thevillager.com/2011/12/22/a-symphony-of-nos-on-parks-musician-rules-at-speak-out/

The Villager 12/22/2011

A symphony of no’s on Parks’ musician rules at speak-out


BY ALBERT AMATEAU There was only one speaker on Monday in favor of the Parks Department’s
citing musicians and other performers in Washington Square Park for violating park rules.

The lone supporter was Bill Castro, Manhattan borough Parks Department commissioner, who told a
packed audience that the recently enforced rules still allow buskers plenty of room to perform in
Washington Square — as long as they’re 50 feet from any monument and 5 feet from a bench.
“The rules are not intended to ban performers from this or any other park, regardless of whether they
solicit or accept contributions,” Castro said.
“The department seeks to regulate and accommodate a variety of activities and uses,” Castro added, but
he promised that the department would review and reconsider the enforcement policy that began in the
park around May. The rules only apply to buskers, meaning performers who accept cash contributions.
Given that Washington Square, the spawning ground in decades past of music luminaries including
Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and Joan Baez, has benches along its paths and large monuments, including
the iconic arch, the central fountain, the Garibaldi statue and the monument to Alexander Lyman
Holley, the claim of “plenty of room” rang hollow.
All others at the Dec. 19 speak-out, sponsored by Community Board 2 and its Parks Committee, called
for an end to what they called an anti-life and hypocritical enforcement effort.
Indeed, one speaker, Mitchel Cohen, mocked the rules, saying he was in favor of barring musicians
because they interrupted the sound of jackhammers and sirens and they prevented people from getting
close to the monuments.
“Everybody knows that people come to Washington Square Park from all over the world to see the
Holley Monument,” Cohen quipped.
Gregory Nissen, a theater composer and pianist, introduced himself as Robert Zimmerman who just
blew in from Minneapolis with his banjo, but decided to leave because the cops wouldn’t let him play
in Washington Square.
Katie Kat, a soprano and voice instructor at New York University who performs under the arch (“great
acoustics”) with her partner, Roxanne Walitzki, sang part of an aria from Puccini’s “La Bohème” at the
end of her remarks and won admiring applause.
C.B. 2 members Keen Berger and Doris Diether, both speaking as individuals, urged an end to the
enforcement.
Berger, a resident near Washington Square for 47 years, said she has visited the park at least 2,000
times. She said she cherished the music and didn’t recall negative reactions against performers.
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Diether reminded the forum that performance in Washington Square dates back more than 50 years.
“This is ridiculous,” Diether said about the enforcement, which she recalled started two or three months
ago. “First, they said that musicians were blocking the pathways. Then, they said there was no
solicitation in the park. The rules are idiotic and the Parks commissioner [Adrian Benepe] should be
told they’re idiotic and they should be thrown out,” Diether said.
“The people who perform are the people who keep the park safe,” said Susan Goren, a regular parkgoer
known as “The Squirrel Whisperer.” The rules, she said, are eliminating what people find joyful in the
park.
A longtime jazz performer known as Black Bobby said, “First they came for the black folks. Now,
from the look of the audience here tonight [largely white], it seems that there is equality.”
Norman Siegel, a civil rights lawyer, recalled that he came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in 1965 to
study at New York University Law School on Washington Square South. He said he was concerned
that the Bloomberg administration was targeting free expression in the parks — in Zuccotti Park
[previously, the site of the Occupy Wall Street encampment] and Washington Square Park. Noting that
the U.S. Supreme Court has held that music is protected under the First Amendment, Siegel threatened
that another lawsuit was likely unless the city narrowed the scope of its parks rules.
Robert Lederman, president of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics), reminded the
meeting that he has a pending federal lawsuit challenging the city’s rules limiting where artists can
vend art and other expressive matter in Union Square, on the High Line and in Central Park and Battery
Park. The rules were only imposed on musicians, according to Lederman, after he raised the issue to
Parks that musicians were excluded from the Union Square limits, while vendors were forced to abide
by them.
Lederman, who cited an editorial, “Don’t ban the buskers” in last week’s issue of The Villager, said the
rules practically ban artists and musicians from any New York City park.
The activist said the hypocrisy of the rules is apparent from the city-sponsored holiday markets that
pre-empt space in Union Square and other parks.
Lorie Moody, a resident of 2 Fifth Ave., agreed, citing the Greenmarket in Union Square and “the less-
than-glorious, white-tented event in Washington Square,” referring to the annual Taste of The Village
event under the Washington Square arch.
Colin Huggins, “The Crazy Piano Guy,” who wheels his piano to play in Washington Square and other
parks, said he has received summonses that would cost more than $2,000 in fines if they are not
eventually dismissed. He said his playing brings people together.
Joe Mangrum, who does sand painting in Union Sq. and Washington Square, has also received
numerous summonses.
“New York City is unique because there is this creative freedom,” Mangrum said. The city, he said,
appears to be “militarizing’” the park.
“Freedom is the most important thing we have. If you don’t have that you don’t have a country,”
Mangrum said.
Ryo Sasaki, a jazz trumpeter, said he came to New York four years ago from Japan because of the
music culture. He has been playing in Washington Square Park for three years, “and suddenly this
season we cannot do it anymore,” he said. “I learned to play music in school but I never learned how to
entertain and communicate with people. Those skills I learned in Washington Square Park,” Sasaki
said.
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“The city crated a problem that never existed,” said Natalie Albert, a neighborhood resident for 40
years.
Tobi Bergman, chairperson of the board’s Parks Committee, called for speakers supporting the parks
rules at the end of the two-hour forum, but there were no takers. Pros and cons may weigh in online at
www.washingtonsquarespeakout.com .
“I take it as a good sign that the enforcement could change,” said Brad Hoylman, C.B. 2 chairperson,
citing Castro’s assurance that the department would reconsider the policy. Earlier this year, Board 2
opposed the Parks Department’s limits on vendors of expressive matter in the four Manhattan parks.
“That was even before we knew that musicians would be summonsed,” Hoylman said.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/street-artists-performing-fear-big-fines-washington-square-
park-article-1.999502
Daily News January 1st, 2012
Street artists say they’re performing again without fear of big fines in Washington Square Park
Colin Huggins serenades passersby on his baby grand piano in Washington Square Park.

BYJOHN DOYLE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Sunday, January 1, 2012, 5:06 PM

It may be curtains for the controversial crackdown on street performers in city parks.

Artists who had been slapped with huge fines for performing in Washington Square Park say the rule is
no longer being enforced — and many of their outstanding tickets were suddenly dismissed.

“Maybe they are rethinking their approach,” said Colin Huggins, who said he’s been hit with nine
summonses totaling $6,000 for playing his baby grand piano between the park’s famed arch and its
empty fountain.

A spokeswoman for the Parks Department insisted “the rules remain in effect.”

Still, performers say they haven’t been hassled in the three weeks since civil rights heavyhitters Ronald
Kuby and Norman Siegel took the case on behalf of the ticketed buskers.

They are due back in court Jan. 31.

The rule, which applies to parks citywide, went into effect about a year ago and prohibits artists who
collect tips from performing within 50 feet of a monument or landmark. It wasn’t until October that
performers reported being hit with the steep fines.

At a recent community board meeting, Manhattan Borough Parks Commissioner Williams Castro
hinted the city may be re-considering the rules.

“We are mindful of the concerns raised by some park patrons and we are further reviewing the impact
of these rules in Washington Square Park,” Castro said.
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That’s good news for Kareem “Tac” Barnes, who has been performing an acrobatic dance routine with
his twin brother, Tyheem, near the Washington Square Park fountain for 25 years.

“We are not looking for permission or forgiveness. We just want to perform,” said Barnes, 36, a father
of five.

We don't need permission to be out there. It's our First Amendment right.”

Barnes said he has had most of his 14 summonses — carrying fines of more than $10,000 — dismissed.

News of the latest dismissal came about two weeks ago in a letter from the city’s Environmental
Control Board. The letter stated that his performance did not fall under the guidelines of the city's
vendor laws, which prohibit vending in city parks.

“It's totally a victory," Barnes said.

Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, said the rules “are clearly meant to prohibit
performing in the park.”

“We are happy that the city has officially ceased writing summonses [until\] these issues can be worked
out,” Croft said.
----------------------------------------------------

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/nyregion/a-reprieve-for-performers-in-washington-square-
park.html

NY Times May 17th, 2012


A Reprieve For Performers In Washington Square Park
The show can go on in Washington Square Park.
After months in which the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation handed out summonses
in the park to performers who strayed too close to monuments and benches, park officials seem to have
quietly backed down in the park, a birthplace of folk music and a haven for poets, activists and buskers.
In a statement, Philip Abramson, a parks department spokesman, said that “the expressive matter rules
have not changed,” referring to the regulations seeking to control commerce in busy parks. The rules
prohibit the sale of art and souvenirs, and restrict the solicitation of donations, within 50 feet of a park
monument or 5 feet of a bench. But, the statement said, the rules generally do “not apply to buskers and
entertainers.”
The rules became a flash point primarily in Washington Square, because of its size and popularity
among entertainers, including a pianist who wheels in his baby grand, and an artist who makes intricate
sand paintings. The 10-acre park is laced with park benches and flanked by monuments. Musicians and
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others argued that there was virtually no place where they could perform without violating the rule.
Many kept on playing, despite receiving summonses ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Some park advocates protested. Lawyers threatened to sue. And the local community board organized a
rally and passed a resolution denouncing the enforcement. Reaction to the city’s about-face has been
mixed, however, given that the city did not so much change its rule, as change its interpretation of the
rule.
“We’re very pleased,” said Brad Hoylman, chairman of Community Board 2. “But I’m concerned that
the rules could be enforced again, given the lack of clarity around this issue.” Norman Seigel, a lawyer
and the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union who had publicly criticized the
crackdown in Washington Square, said he recalled a community board meeting in which a park official
listened patiently as musicians and local residents denounced the new rule. “The public outcry
persuaded the parks department to take a new look at that restriction,” he said. “The park representative
heard the music and decided to let the music continue.”

A Walk In The Park


http://awalkintheparknyc.blogspot.com/2012/05/city-backs-down-on-artists-musicans-in.html
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012
City Backs Down On Artists & Musicians In Washington Square Park
"In 27 years we've never lost a summons. That should tell you something. We've always abided by the
law, " said Barnes.
Manhattan
By Geoffrey Croft
The City has officially dropped issuing summonses to artists & musicians in Washington Square Park
who were within 50 feet of a monument or public art installation.

Street performers had been targeted by the city's new rule that prevents collecting donations near
landmarks or monuments in parks. In attempting to prohibit and restrict this activity in the park, the
Bloomberg administration tried to classify these performers as vendors. The city began issuing tickets
under the Parks Department's new Expressive Matter vending rules and had instructed Park
Enforcement Patrol officers to write tickets which included unlawful vending and unlawful assembly.
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More than a dozen tickets were either thrown out by the court or withdrawn by the Parks Department in
December and January.

In February a Parks spokesperson said that 59 Notices of Violation were issued in calendar year 2011
in Washington Square Park. 23 were dismissed after a hearing, of those nine were in various states of
appeal or challenge by Parks Department. The agency said that three of the appeals pertained to the
performers Tic & Tac from the Bronx.

Tic and Tac from the Bronx have been performing in Washington Square Park for more than 25 years.
The tickets issued to them keep getting thrown out in court.

The Parks Department said 9 of the tickets were administratively withdrawn by Parks, 10 were found in
violation (guilty) - 10 were pending decisions after hearings, 7 are in default (respondent did not appear
in court and has not paid the Notice of Violation.

Critics asserted that the enforcement was a violation of the First Amendment, the vending rules were
not applicable and were being enforced arbitrarily. The rule also severely limited the areas in the park
where these free speech activities could be done.

At a December hearing the ECB dismissed seven summonses issued to Collin Huggins, his remaining
two tickets for "Unlawful Vending" were dismissed by the Parks Department prior to the hearing by
mail. In multiple letters sent to the ECB, Assistant commissioner and head of Park Enforcement Mike
Dockett admitted that the law the did not apply to Washington Square Park.
Mr. Huggins said he had also been threatened with arrest by PEP Commander Ray Brown.
The city had been in negotiations with Civil Rights attorneys Ron Kubyand Norman Siegel after a
December 4, 2011 press conference.

In January we reported that the city had stopped issuing summonses after the public outcry. (The Parks
press office denied it) In December the City adjourned the tickets until at least January 31st.
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According to Mr. Kuby the City/Parks Department took the position that as long as musicians were not
"vending" from "stands," they are free to play - subject to crowd control and other relevant regulations.
The musicians will no longer be written summons's for seeking donations as long as they follow the
above rules. The Parks Dept. is encouraging people to apply for permits to avoid excessive crowds and
conflicts with other scheduled events.
"I'm very happy that the City and the Parks Department, and the artist community have reached a
Modus Vivendi," said Mr. Kuby.
On December 21st, an administrative law judge at the city’s Environmental Control Board threw out a
summons issued on October 23 to Kareem “Tac” Barnes, 36, who had been performing an acrobatic
dance and comedy routine with his twin brother "tic" in Washington Square Park's fountain.

The judge found that they were, "not engaged in an activity that required a permit."

The brothers, known as Tic & Tac - who hail from the Bronx - have worked with Michael Jackson and
have toured with Alicia Keys. They have been performing in Washington Square Park for more than 25
years.

Mr. Barnes said all of the approximately 15 summonses they received in 2011 - totaling almost 10, 000
worth of fines - were dismissed.

"In 27 years we've never lost a summons. That should tell you something. We've always abided by the
law, " said Barnes.

"They take advantage of those who do not know." I love what I do. This is an art form and as long as
I'm able to perform this is what I'll be doing."

He said he was not aware that the Parks Department was appealing any of their tickets.
"The judge said (Parks) can appeal all they want but the law is the law,"

Sand artist Joe Mangrum received six summonses including five in Washington Square Park and one in
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Union Square Park.

"That's great," Joe Mangano said in reaction to having all six of his tickets dismissed. "They were
enforcing rules that weren't in effect in Washington Square Park."

"Parks does not to want performers coming in and making money, " said an officer who spoke on the
condition of anonymity."

In a controversial move earlier in the year the city had city also had attempted to prohibit performing
near Central Park's Bethesda fountain.

"The Expressive Matter Vending Rules do apply in Washington Square Park and they do apply to
performers and musicians who play in exchange for donations," according to a Parks Department
spokesperson. "The Expressive Matter Vending Rules (at 56 RCNY 1-05(b)((5)(vi)) prohibit
expressive matter vendors from placing display stands within 50 feet of a monument or public art
installation. An expressive matter vendor who sets up within 50 feet of a monument or public art
installation – without a display stand – is not in violation of this provision.

By The Numbers: According to the Parks Department:

59 Notices of Violation were issued in calendar year 2011:


23 were dismissed after a hearing (9 of these are currently in various states of appeal or challenge by
Parks).
9 were administratively withdrawn by Parks
10 were found in violation (guilty).
10 are pending decisions after hearings.
7 are in default (respondent did not appear in court and has not paid the Notice of Violation.

Read More:
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Parks Dept. Performance Summonses Put On Hold In Washington Square Park


A Walk In The Park - January 2, 2012

Crowd Denounces Parks Dept. Washington Square Park Performer Crack Down
A Walk In The Park - December 22, 2011

Bloomberg $ Cracks Down On Performers In Washington Square Park Ticket Blitz


A Walk In The Park - December 4, 2011 - By Geoffrey Croft
------------------------------------------------------

Washington Square Park Blog May 3rd, 2013


http://www.washingtonsquareparkblog.com/2013/05/02/last-nights-meeting-community-board-
meeting-amidst-confusion-feedback-to-parks-department-to-commit-in-writing-no-performance-
crackdown-at-washington-square-and-all-nyc-parks/
Amidst Confusion, Community and Performers to City’s Parks Department: Commit in Writing
— No “Performance Crackdown” at Washington Square, and all NYC Parks

Manhattan Borough Parks Commissioner Bill Castro came before the Parks Committee of Community
Board 2 last night at downtown’s Grace Church Tuttle Hall to address the many conflicting things
being reported about whether performers at Washington Square Park specifically, but other parks
generally, will begin (again) being targeted and ticketed for performing beginning May 8th.

Before all this, we met new Washington Sq Park Park Administrator Sarah Neilson — but that will be a
separate post. We also heard about the Jackson Square Alliance and their first art project in the park
and I’ll come back to that too.

But first, Manhattan’s Parks Commissioner Bill Castro’s beginning statement at last night’s meeting:

Washington Square Park is a park for decades where musicians have flocked to play music. [This new
rule is a] technical change … it is not going to affect musicians who come to the park to play. If you sit
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on a park bench, open a guitar case, put a hat out, that’s fine. That is not going to change. You don’t
have to be x feet away from anything. You can play under the Arch, as long as there is some distance
and people can walk through the paths…and you’re not blocking the sidewalk. It is not an issue we
consider particularly difficult. It’s not anything we saw as a problem at Washington Square Park. The
Community Board has said ‘we don’t want commercialization of things.’

Then, he stated that the only change coming is, that, if a performer has product such as CDs, he or she
“can sell those but you have to get a stand. So people don’t trip over them, you have to get a stand.
That goes into effect next week. We will make sure our PEP (Park Enforcement Patrol) workers know
this. We know it can be confusing [when you hear] 5 feet from a bench, 50 feet from a monument…
The only issue is if you decide to sell CD’s. We are doing a Q&A sheet that we’re handing out.”

So far, so good. That seemed clear enough. Then, former Parks Committee Chair Tobi Bergman, still a
member of the committee, asked, going back to 2011 when performers began getting summonses for
doing things that they didn’t “normally” get ticketed for at the park, “What happened then, so we can
understand” Bergman asked, “and why?” (Good question.)

Commissioner Castro replied, “Somebody went off and enforced the strict letter of the law. [Back in
2011], I came to that Parks meeting and said this is not going to be our policy. We don’t intend it to
happen [anymore].”

Committee member Shirley Secunda then said, instead of this “informal statement,” she suggested that
“the best way to make this absolutely clear would be to pass legislation.”

“[The Parks Department rules] go back to Frederick Law Olmsted,” Commissioner Castro responded.
“That’s the genesis of them.” The implication being that they are difficult to change (tho’ they have
clearly changed them).

(Olmsted died in 1903 at age 81, surely these exact rules we are living with today don’t come from
him…? Writer and activist Mitchel Cohen later asked, “does that rule about amplification come from
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Olmsted?” I also can’t imagine Olmsted saying, don’t feed the pigeons and squirrels. But anyway…)

Sand artist Joe Mangrum, whose art is a frequent site at the park, said that a PEP officer told him, back
around the time of the “crackdown,” that there is one spot 12 feet in diameter on the west side of
Washington Square Park where the “rules” (which, to some in the room, still felt up in the air) — the
50 feet from a monument and 5 feet from a bench — don’t apply.

Matt Borden from Assembly Member Deborah Glick’s office commented, “The next Parks
Commissioner, if they don’t have the same ethos as you folks, [people] might have to fight this fight
again.” He suggested that something more specific be laid out.

Commissioner Castro said the PEP officers are getting “special training [on the new rules] Monday”
(May 6).

Then he outlined some of the context of the “expressive matter” rules that were put into place first in
2010 which, Castro said, applied to “several parks with select spots at Union Square, the High Line,
Battery Park and southern part of Central Park” where something called “medallion spots” were put in
play. A limited number of these “spots” are in these parks and artists (and performers) can only utilize
these isolated spots to display their work or perform.

Confusingly, he then said, “the restrictions exist in all parks but there are no medallions in Washington
Square Park.”

Pianist Colin Huggins got up and said that he was threatened with going to jail when playing his piano
in WSP during the “crackdown” and it wasn’t just one PEP officer, it was “all of [the park’s] PEP.” He
said, “There should be something in the rules to clarify this isn’t going to happen again.”

Bill Castro replied, “We are going to make it clear in a few days. [We’ve] demonstrated over the last
year and a half what we meant by this.”
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Joe Mangrum then said that he had been told previously, “if you are accepting donations, you are
‘expressive matter’ vendors.”

The conversation swung back and forth like this throughout the meeting. Artist and activist Robert
Lederman, head of A.R.T.I.S.T (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics), discussed his federal
lawsuit against the Parks Department about the “expressive matter” rules and said the Parks
Department had filed papers in their response to the suit which contradicted what Commissioner Castro
had just stated. There was a bit of tension, shall we say, at this point with no clear resolution.

It felt very much like the Parks Department is trying to set some rules in specific parks, mainly
focusing on artists however they don’t want to appear to be notregulating the musicians – so they have
included them. Although some musicians who performed at other parks mentioned problems they have
been having.

What is clear is that thus far the city agency does not want to change the language of these rules to
indicate or clarify that performance and art are ‘safe’ at these other parks, particularly Washington
Square Park, which is what is making people very wary and nervous. Understandably.

It is a little suspect that New York City, known for its culture, and art, and street sense, is now, under
the Bloomberg Administration, being basically pacified and sanitized by the enforcement or even threat
of these rules. Unless these “new” rules that are unveiled are very clear, no one is going to know
whether to believe them.

Towards or at the very end, Geoffrey Croft from New York City Park Advocates got up to speak.
Commissioner Castro had left shortly before hand. Croft said that he was sorry Bill Castro left because
he stated it was “disingenuous [for Bill Castro] to say — his exact quote — ‘someone went off’ [when
the mass ticketing occurred], that is factually incorrect. This was a Bloomberg Administration policy
carried out by Mr. Castro. To throw out a PEP officer under the bus, when this was a policy, is
disgusting. Through legal pressure and the help of the [community] board, [change occurred]. Every
single person [at the hearing held by Community Board 2] was against the policy, the only person in
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favor was Bill Castro.”

Croft said he’s been working with lawyers Norman Siegel and Ron Kuby and, as far as he’s been
informed, the rules are not going to affect performers and musicians… which is, actually, also what
Commissioner Castro said. Croft also mentioned that the issue of Conservancies and NIDs
(Neighborhood Improvement Districts) was really important and he hoped the board would adequately
address the “privatization issues.” (Ah… more on that to come…)

At the end of the day, I think it would make everyone feel better and somewhat reassured – and I can
see no reason why this would be a problem — if this was all stated clearly in writing: no performance
crackdown at Washington Square Park and parks in New York City. And also if the Bloomberg
Administration would pleasestop trying to sanitize our city before the Mayor’s seemingly endless third
term ends. He’s done enough already.

Daily News Sunday, December 19, 2010


Artists at Union Square say city is a portrait of hypocrisy with holiday market
The holiday market at Union Square is filled with artists that the Parks Department tries to keep out of
the space the rest of the year.

The red-and-white holiday market set up in Union Square is a beautiful addition to a New York
Christmas, as the plaza overflows with artisans selling high-quality gifts.

Funny, then, that the Parks Department tries to chase artists out of there the rest of the year.

The holiday market booths fill the south end of the plaza, where Parks has spent years in court trying to
block the traditional cluster of artists from selling their paintings and photographs.

What's the difference?

The artists claim a First Amendment right to sell there without permits and don't pay a dime to the city.
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The holiday market pays the city $1 million a year for the space.

"That's almost as much as Tavern on the Green paid us," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who
is unapologetic about the arrangement - and about the need to bring order to the artists.

"It's public parkland. If you want to use it for private commerce, you pay for the privilege of using
public land," he said. "Income is important right now."

His agency wrote new rules this year that bar artists from the steps and plaza where the holiday market
is set up, allowing only a limited number of vendors on the edges of the park.

Those rules - currently on hold as a judge considers a lawsuit against them - were supposed to ensure
that parks "provide the public with enjoyable and accessible open space."

That's the hypocrisy of the holiday market, said Robert Lederman, leader of the artists who have sued
to block any restrictions.

"Artists were making the whole park a safety hazard," Lederman said mockingly of Parks' rules.
"Artists being there were some sort of aesthetic blight."

He pointed out that the holiday market's warren of booths flows over the steps, nudges up against trees
and the subway entrance, and creates the same crowding that Parks would arrest artists for creating.

"We have to be 10 feet from a crosswalk. They're blocking the crosswalk," Lederman said. "The
holiday market exposes the complete false nature of these rules."

The dispute illustrates a larger truth about New York's parks: In a cash-strapped city, Mayor
Bloomberg's administration appreciates parks for their potential revenue, not just for their open spaces.
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The city is hiking fees for its recreation centers, encouraging private groups like the Central Park
Conservancy to help pay for maintenance, and looking for other ways to cover Parks' $338 million
budget.

Deputy Mayor Robert Steel last week said the Bloomberg administration hopes to build "spectacular
waterfront parks" that are able to pay for themselves.

"We will do our best to continue to insist that these parks be built with a self-sustaining source of
revenue," Steel said, "so that today's ribbon-cuttings don't create tomorrow's fiscal challenges."

The Union Square holiday market will be over after Christmas Eve. The battle over what New York's
parks are supposed to be for will continue.

Washington Sq Park Blog: May 10th, 2012

http://washingtonsquareparkblog.com/2012/05/10/parks-department-reversescourse-

on-performance-crackdown-at-washington-square-park/

City Reverses Course on Performance Crackdown at Washington Square

Park – No More Ticketing and Fining of “Entertainers and Buskers”

Performing Under the Arch

Updated — In a victory for the community and park goers, the New York

City Parks Department has quietly reversed their policy of ticketing


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and fining of musicians within 50 feet of the fountain or monument

(such as the Arch, Garibaldi) or 5 feet from benches in Washington

Square Park. This new “rule” was first implemented in the fall of last

year; once uncovered, it sparked tremendous outcry and negative press.

These rules basically set off-limits large swaths of the park (pretty

much all performance public space) and restricted musicians from

performing as they traditionally always have at Washington Square

Park.

Through the diligent work of Community Board 2 which held a public

hearing and issued a letter to the Parks Commissioner (proclaiming the

rules as “overly restrictive and unnecessary”), New York City Park

Advocates, which held a press conference and worked with lawyers

Norman Siegel and Ron Kuby and the artists, media coverage, and the

community speaking out, this rule is no longer in effect.

Parks Department spokesperson Phil Abramson confirmed, “Busking and


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entertainers are not subject to the expressive matter vending rule.”

He added, “They must still abide by other park rules though such as

they cannot block benches or paths, play with amplified sound, etc.”

So, although not technically admitting a reversal in policy, the Parks

Department previously had been applying the “expressive matter vending

rule” mentioned above – set up primarily to regulate the locations of

street artists in public parks – to the musicians performing in WSP.

That is no longer the case. At least the city agency was willing to

switch course. In addition, all summonses previously issued were

dismissed. Yay!

Community Board 2 Chair Brad Hoylman commented, “Community Board 2

held a successful speak-out in December to enlist public support

against the practice of ticketing performers in the park. We followed

up with a resolution to the Parks Department and have since been

informed that they’ve halted the practice. I’m very pleased with this
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result, but park lovers need to continue to monitor the situation and

inform the community board if the summonses start again during the

summer months.”

The impromptu performances by buskers, musicians and entertainers – in

which you never quite know what you will experience – have always been

considered part of the core experience of visiting Washington Square.

And now they continue.

--------------
Village Voice May 11th, 2012
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/05/art_war_did_the.php
Art
Parks Department Reverses Restrictions on Performers: Report (UPDATE)
By Victoria Bekiempis Fri., May 11 2012

In summer 2010, New York enacted rules limiting the location of artist
vendors in city parks, a move which has since become the subject of a
lawsuit.

The city then applied this same "expressive matter vending" rule to
entertainers. Officials used the mandate to crack down on park
performers, especially targeting those in Washington Square.
The pols' basic claim was that change dropped in a musician's hat was
the same thing as buying work from a photographer or painter. So,
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performers within 50 feet of a monument or fountain or 5 feet of a


bench or tree -- pretty much the whole park -- could get ticketed just
like visual artists.

The Voice has just gotten word that the city seems to have reversed
its decision to apply this rule to performers. But, it looks like
these vending rules still apply to visual artists, who have long
fought with the city for the right to display their wares.

The news, first broken by the Washington Square Park blog, quotes a
Parks Department spokesman as saying: "Busking and entertainers are
not subject to the expressive matter vending rule...They must still
abide by other park rules though such as they cannot block benches or
paths, play with amplified sound, etc."

Robert Lederman, who heads an artisan advocacy group and has been the
main plaintiff on artists' vending lawsuits against the city, welcomes
the decision.

He thinks it could cause the city to lose the lawsuit.


"I'm happy that rights have been reinstated. The City has destroyed
all its legal arguments. The 14th Amendment says that similarly
situationed people have to have the same rights," he told the Voice.

UPDATE: The Parks Department confirmed the blog's original report, and
had this to say to the Voice:
"The expressive matter rules have not changed. Generally, expressive
matter vending rules do not apply to buskers and entertainers. They
must continue to abide by all park rules. For example, they cannot
block benches or paths, or play with amplified sound.
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On background, guitar playing does not fall under expressive matter


vending rules but the set up of a table / sale of goods (a CD) would."

-------------------
DNAinfo

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120511/greenwich-village/city-reverses-policybarring-
performances-washington-square-park

City Reverses Policy Barring Performances in Washington Square Park

May 11, 2012 6:28pm By Jill Colvin, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer


NEW YORK — Performers in Washington Square Park can sing a sigh of relief.

The Parks Department has reversed course on its policy banishing performances from it
and other parks, following an outpouring of community support, activists say.
The policy, introduced last fall, had been used to bar musicians and other performers
from performing within five feet of benches or 50 feet of fountains or monuments, such
as the Washington Square Park arch — drawing outrage from artists, advocates and
members of Manhattan’s Community Board 2.
But the city is has reversed course after numerous summons were dismissed.
“Generally, expressive matter vending rules do not apply to buskers and entertainers,”
said a Parks Department spokesman, confirming the re-interpretation, which was first
reported by the Washington Square Park blog.

Artists must still abide by other park rules, such as not blocking benches or pathways, or
playing with amplified sound, the spokesman said.
The news had artists like Colin Huggins, who is known as "the crazy piano guy,” singing
praise.
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“It’s definitely a great feeling," said Huggins, who plays a baby grand piano in parks
around the city, including Washington Square, and said he'd been slapped with nine
tickets that would have cost him upwards of $6,000 dollars in fines over the past six
months.

The tickets have since been dismissed.

“It was just really baffling for me to see them come and do this," he said of the
crackdown.

Community Board 2 chair Brad Hoylman, who lobbied for an end to the Parks
Department policy at a Greenwich Village "speak-out" in December, also praised the
policy change.

"This is a excellent result for the community, park users and artistic expression," he said.
Hoylman added that he hoped the new interpretation would be enforced.
"I would urge the community to continue to monitor the situation, however, and inform
the community board should the Parks Department revert to their original practice," he
said.

Artist Joe Mangrum, who has been ticketed multiple times for making sand art in city's
parks, also said he was pleased to hear that artists have regained some of their rights.
"I'm happy that [the Parks Department is] rolling back these rules, but they should have
never created them in the first place," he said. "Public space is public space and it's meant
for free use"

But Robert Lederman, a painter and printmaker, and president of the Artists’ Rights
Group, which represents 2,000 artists, slammed the city for failing to extend its
exemption to visual artists, who have also been slapped with thousands in fines in recent
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months.

“If you make a rule that visual artists have all these visual restrictions, but performance
artists don’t have to do them, you’ve completely violated the 14th Amendment,” he said.
Andrea Swalec contributed reporting.
----------------------------------------------------

Village Voice

Does The City Know Its Own Policy On Park Performers?

By Victoria Bekiempis Fri., Jun. 8 2012

Earlier this week, the Voice brought you very confusing news: The city, which just

decided to let performers play in parks, might be considering kicking them out, as

detailed in a recent legal filing.

When the city decided to OK entertainers, Department of Parks and Recreation officials

said that performers had always been allowed. No rules had changed, officials said, even

though these same performers hadn't been allowed in parks for the last two years.

But on Monday, an affidavit filed by an NYC attorney claimed that performers actually

were not allowed at parks, and never had been: "It remains the Parks Department's

position that the Expressive Matter Vending Rules cover the activities of performers,
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musicians and buskers who entertain in exchange for a donation. "

Huh?

Because we don't like being confused, we put in a call to the Parks and Rec, as well as the

City's law office, to see what's up. We also sent e-mails. We put in more calls and sent

more e-mails. After four days, here's all the Department could tell us: "The new

expressive matter vendor rules have not changed. Parks rules have not changed."

Of course, this didn't answer our question -- obviously, something had changed, because

performers were allowed to entertain whereas they previously weren't. There seem to be

several ways to explain this.

For starters, either the rule changed, or the City's enforcement of the rule changed.

If it's the former, then we've been mislead several times, since we've been repeatedly told

that it had not changed. If it's the later, however, here are some possibilities: The City

decided to stop enforcing a rule prohibiting performers or, the City decided that it never

prohibited performers in the first place -- which would make keeping them out of parks

statutorily questionable.
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We brought this up to the city, asking:

Hi:

Thanks for getting back to me.

I'm still a bit confused, because it seems like something has changed -- I have been told

that the rules apply to performers and I have also been told that they don't apply to

performers. And, here's what a City Attorney explained in a recently filed court memo:

"It remains the Parks Department's position that the Expressive Matter Vending Rules

cover the activities of performers, musicians and buskers who entertain in exchange for a

donation. However, in light of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division,

First Department's February 23,2012 decision re New York Skyline. Inc. v. City of New

York, 94 A.D.3d 23 (App. Div. 1'st Dept. 20120), the Parks Department has temporarily

stopped enforcing the Expressive Matter Vending Rules against people who entertain in

exchange for a donation in the City's parks....If the City is successful on its appeal of that

decision the Parks Department will resume its enforcement efforts. If the City is not
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successful, the Parks Department will consider other solutions to address its interests."

And:

"Finally, contrary to plaintiffs' allegations, recent press accounts which stated that the

Expressive Matter Vending Rules are not presently being enforced against most so-called

performers, musicians and buskers, are not indicative of a Parks Department

determination that only artists who sell expressive matter in City parks should be

"targeted" for enforcement...as a preliminary matter, it remains the Parks Department's

position that the Expressive Matter Vending Rules cover the activity of performers,

musicians and buskers who entertain in exchange for a donation. As set forth in 56

RCNY 1-05(bX1), the act of vending includes selling or offering for sale, hire, lease or

let, or providing or offering to provide services or items in exchange for a donation. The

Department has interpreted the word 'services' in this definition to include entertainment.

Thus, the Department had determined that performers and musicians who provide

entertainment in exchange for a donation were providing a service in exchange for a

donation (albeit an expressive one) and, thus, were required to do so in a manner that
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complied with the Expressive Matter Vending Rules...

"However, in or around March 2012, I was advised by the Parks Department's General

Counsel that, as a result of a decision rendered by the New York State Supreme Court,

Appellate Division, First Department on February 23,2012, in a case called In re New

York Skyline. Inc. v. City of New York, PEP Officers should temporarily stop enforcing

the Expressive Matter Vending Rules against people who entertain in exchange for a

donation in the City's park."

And so broken down, it seems like the City claims that the vending rules have always

applied to entertainers, but have just been put on temporary hiatus because another

lawsuit (Skyline) puts to question these regs. This seems to directly contradict what we

were told before -- that these guidelines never applied to entertainers in the first place.

Again, here's what we were told earlier: "Expressive matter vending rules do not apply to

buskers and entertainers."

Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated.

3
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Thanks,

Victoria

We then sent a follow-up e-mail, to clarify and confusion:

Another way: Do these rules apply to entertainers, yes or no? What is the City's final say

on this? If this is a change, why the change? If this is simply a policy hiatus, why the

hiatus?

Thanks,

Here's what a Parks spokeswoman responded:

You bet. I cannot speak for attorneys. Please contact them. Thanks.

Funny, because all throughout the week, the City's legal team had told us to go to Parks

and the Department's legal team, who told us to go back to the City and vice versa.

A spokeswoman from the city's legal team then reached out to us Thursday afternoon,

and promised to get us an answer to these simple questions. We didn't hear back. We

rang once more this morning. Still no word.


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So, yeah: We don't know whether performers are allowed or what, because we've been

told drastically different things, and the people who should know seem a bit fuzzy on the

issue, too. We'll update when we get to the bottom of this.