In his second press conference of the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his appointment of Tom Finkelpearl as Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner. Finkelpearl has been executive director of the Queens Museum since 2002.
Full Press Q&A:
de Blasio and Finkelpearl answered on-topic questions only. (Mayor de Blasio answered on-topic and off-topic questions at a separate press conference earlier in the afternoon, available here.) Question topics included how the city budget will address cultural institution funding vis-a-vis driving tourism or other initiatives, the fate of institutions that have been “in limbo” such as the South Street Seaport Museum and the performing arts center at the World Trade Center, whether the mayor considers himself an artist, how the city budget will address the need to hire additional arts teachers, ideas for expediting the international exchange of art, whether any Queens institutions are “top of the list” for attention, plans for the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair, whether smaller non-Manhattan institutions have been neglected by the Department of Cultural Affairs, whether they will consider reallocating capital funds allocated by the Bloomberg administration, the administration’s position on the LG tower being built on the Palisades, whether Finkelpearl’s experience with the arts community in Rockaway provides any guidance for arts communities in other parts of the city and how the DCA will adapt to not having major philanthropy coming from the mayor.
Rockaway & The Arts:
Finkelpearl noted that he has been a part-time Rockaway resident for 9 or 10 years. I asked him whether his experience with the growing Rockaway arts community provides him with any guidance or ideas on how to promote expansion of arts communities in other parts of the city.