Volume 22, Number 54 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 21 - 27, 2010
Reading the handwriting
The Drawing Center has been kicked around a few times through the downs and downs of building a cultural center at the World Trade Center, but the Soho group tells UnderCover it’s okay with losing 8 of the $10 million it was promised to help build a new home in Lower Manhattan.
“We don’t want to be a stick in the mud,” Brett Littman, the Drawing Center’s executive director, told us. “One to 2 million is a very fair number.”
David Emil, Lower Manhattan Development Corp. president, told Community Board 1 last week that the corporation was shifting $8 million the corporation set aside for Littman in order to help other Downtown cutural groups. Littman’s group spent about $250,000 studying the feasibility of the Seaport and other sites, leaving about $1.75 million.
We heard the L.M.D.C. wanted to leave some money in the pot for a Drawing Center project. Littman said he’s had some discussions with Emil on various ideas but nothing is imminent. He also said the group’s building on Wooster St. could use a capital upgrade and they remain interested in partnering with a developer once the economy picks up.
He said forces behind the group’s control including the economy made it impossible to open a new space. He did not mention the troubles they had with former Gov. George Pataki five years ago.
After the Drawing Center was one of four arts groups to win the competition for a space at the WTC in 2004, Pataki stepped in the next year and made censorship demands the group found to be untenable. The center walked away from the site, and the L.M.D.C. felt so bad, it offered a $10 million consolation prize to open somewhere else Downtown.
Now the group will have to make due with less than two.
Battery Park City’s Olivia Goodkind landed the lead in M.S. 104’s production of “The Pajama Game” and will be performing Thursday and Friday. The school has had a high-powered drama program for many years and its most famous alum may be Jon Cryer, star of “Two and a Half Men.” A source close to UnderCover still remembers Cryer’s performance in “Bye Bye Birdie” about three decades ago. Break a leg, Olivia.
Ghee Whiz! A Protest?
Students from IS 89 will preview their upcoming play, Madwomen of Tribeca: Don’t Bulldoze Tirbeca for Big Oil at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Ghee Whiz Restaurant at Greenwich Street and Warren. Then at 4:15 p.m. students from IS 89 will join a citywide coalition in a protest march to prevent the closing of Manhattan Youth’s after school program.