Annual Report (September 2010)

Alliance for the Arts

330 West 42nd Street, Suite 1701

New York, NY  10036

Tel: (212) 947-6340

Fax: (212) 947-6416


The Alliance for the Arts advocates for the arts in New York through research and audience development.  Our vision is to help more people experience more of the arts in New York more of the time.

Recent programs and activities:


The objectives of our advocacy are increased public and private support and the inclusion of the arts in educational and economic policy.  Our advocacy is based on our research, which we communicate directly to public officials, policymakers, the press and the cultural community.



Our research objective is to increase public awareness of the cultural sector's contributions in terms of jobs, economic impact and public programs.  The Alliance's studies demonstrate public participation in the arts and suggest what the industry needs in order to prosper.  The Alliance hired a new Research Director in February 2010 and is continuing its series of reports on the state of the arts.  In May we published The Recession & the Arts II (PDF), the latest in our annual study of the economic health of the arts sector.  In July we produced a report of the largest cultural institutions in the city for Crain's New York Business.  To help us develop a research agenda, the Alliance has formed a Research Advisory Committee made up of representatives from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Pew Charitable Trusts, NYU Urban Institute and other organizations.

Audience Development

The Alliance's flagship NYC ARTS Web site is designed to develop audiences and increase access to the arts, which the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences selected as a Webby Award Official Honoree.  With profiles of more than 900 arts venues and organizations and a calendar of cultural events taking place throughout the year, the site allows users to browse and discover arts activities across the city.  NYCkidsARTS adds detailed information for teachers and parents about arts programs for young people.  The Alliance editorial staff collects thousands of listings that reflect the ever-shifting cultural landscape and growing number of cultural events.  We continue to add unique content to the sites, such as collections of thematically-linked events, often chosen by guest editors.  The sites are supported by a grant from Google as well as through sponsorships from companies like Bloomberg and HBO, and foundations like MetLife and the Helmsley Charitable Trust.


With a leadership grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Alliance is designing an iPhone application and a Web-based calendar widget that will extend the resources on NYC ARTS and encourage cultural attendance.  The iPhone application will allow any user to find out what cultural offerings and events are available nearby at any time.  The first stage of this project will be completed by the end of the year.


The Alliance produces the Culture Chronicle, an online daily summary of industry news, and publishes a monthly e-newsletter reporting on topics such as public funding for the arts and special initiatives in the field.  Through our e-mail blasts and social networks we reach an engaged audience of more than 20,000 members of the cultural community.  The Alliance also produces several printed publications that promote New York City cultural offerings to the public.  This year we continued our Avenues of the Arts series of maps, which highlight cultural institutions in neighborhoods around the city and are distributed at visitor's centers and other high-traffic areas.  In January, with a leadership grant from American Express, we published a map of cultural venues in Lower Manhattan.  Other new maps include Broadway from Lincoln Square to Columbus Circle and Museum Mile.  The Alliance book, The Hudson Valley: A Cultural Guide, is available in print.

Services to Special Constituencies

The Alliance is working to increase public access to cultural programming and institutions.  Our NYC ARTS Cultural Guide for Seniors will provide comprehensive information about discounted admission and memberships for seniors at cultural institutions throughout the city--information that is particularly needed during the recession.  The guide will contain information about special programs for older audience members, as well as volunteering information.  The Manhattan portion of this guide is available now on NYC ARTS, and the citywide guide will be completed by June 2011.  We are also planning to produce a guide with comprehensive information about disability access at cultural venues.

Arts Forum at The New York Times

The Arts Forum lecture series, produced by the Alliance, provides an opportunity for a cross-section of the cultural community to gather and discuss issues of interest to the field.  The most recent Forum in June featured a discussion of art spaces and communities, with panelists Craig Hatkoff of the Tribeca Film Festival, Kelley Lindquist of Artspace Projects, and Roberta Uno of the Ford Foundation.  Past forums have featured Leslie Koch, President of the Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts, and Thomas Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS

Founded in 1991, the Estate Project is a response to the unprecedented impact of AIDS on American artists.  Its primary missions are to provide practical estate planning advice to all artists, especially those living with HIV/AIDS, to document and offset the immense loss wrought by AIDS in all artistic disciplines, and to preserve the cultural legacy of the AIDS crisis so that future generations can enjoy, study and engage artworks as aesthetic achievements and historical documents.  The focus of the project is to create online archives for works by writers, filmmakers and architects with AIDS for the benefit of the public.

Board of Trustees


J. P. Versace, Jr., Vice President, Bernstein Global Wealth Management


Chairman Emeritus                         

Ashton Hawkins, Counsel, Gersten, Savage & Kaplowitz


Vice Chairman                  

Robert Clauser, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer,


Vice Chairman                  

Karen K. Gifford, Investment Consultant



Laurie Beckelman, Partner, Beckelman+Capalino

Charles Cowles, President, Charles Cowles Gallery

James H. Duffy, Attorney; Author

Stephanie French, Executive Director, Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation

Paul Gunther, President, Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America

Patricia C. Jones, Arts Consultant

Martha Newton, Senior Director, Pfizer Global Manufacturing, Pfizer

Susan Ralston, Senior Consulting Editor, Knopf Publishing Group

Larry Warsh, Founder, Museums Magazine

Joanne Stern, Life Trustee

András Szántó, Senior Lecturer in Art Business at Sotheby's Institute of Art and Director of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University



J. P. Versace, Jr., Chairman

Ashton Hawkins, Chairman Emeritus

Robert Clauser, Vice Chairman

Karen K. Gifford, Vice Chairman

Randall Bourscheidt, President Emeritus (as of January 1, 2011)

Robert Libbey, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

Anne Coates, Vice President

The Alliance for the Arts is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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  •  Advocacy Newsletter
  • (Periodic newsletter with information about the cultural sector)
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