Madame Chairperson and Members of the Commission:
I come before you to talk about the future of our city. I am Associate Dean of Faculty at the Tisch School of the Arts, Interim Chair of its Department of Drama, and, most importantly, to my way of thinking, an Arts Professor and teacher of acting.
Over the centuries, New York has thrived because of the wealth of immigrants to the city. Various migrations – from abroad and from within the U.S. – have enriched the life of the city. We need to keep them coming. Contrary to previous testimony, I do not want to see my native city transformed into Paris or some other locale that celebrates past triumphs. I do want our city to continue to grow and flourish and be a place that draws the young and the gifted not only from across the U.S., but from around the world.
Currently, the Tisch School of the Arts attracts students from around the world. Next year, we will play host to the first cohort of students from NYU Abu Dhabi. I would like to see the Institute of the Performing Arts of the Tisch School of the Arts continue to serve as the pre-eminent training ground for artists and scholars. The school incubates young actors, dancers, performers, and academics. As you have heard, many remain here and contribute to the city’s vitality and artistic life. They are among the reasons that visitors from all over the world flock to New York. Please allow that to continue to happen.
It is not just New York University and Tisch that need the Institute of Performing Arts and the 2031 plan, it is New York City itself that needs and will benefit from this progressive vision of the urban fabric of the 21st century.
Thank you for your time and attention. All best to you in your deliberations.
Associate Dean, Tisch School of the Arts