Let There Be Music

Brooklyn Vegan has a statement from OSA on the summer concert park series, basically saying that the show will go on. (Not that there was really any doubt about that – the concerts are popular, profitable and well beyond the jurisdiction of the local community board.) And Brooklyn365 has a similar statement from Assemblyman Joe Lentol, with similar sentiments. Like everyone else (myself included), Lentol is unclear as to exactly what the board said last night, but this is his interpretation:

I believe that there were complaints about the noise and drunkenness of some concert goers afterwards on the neighborhood streets. There were also some requests for information about how much money has been raised and where those funds go.

That last bit is pretty important. Four (?) years in, and the community isn’t seeing the benefits of these concerts. Not that they aren’t there – OSA does tremendous work on behalf of the community. But clearly they can do a better job of publicizing that work.

6 responses to “Let There Be Music”

  1. As I understand it, the profits from these concerts were (after expenses— that being $1.2 Million dollars), last year, $400,000. This was divided equally between East River State Park and OSA. In other words: $200,000 was raised to (ostensibly) maintain/upgrade all of the parks in CB1. This is hardly something to be proud of. In fact, it is chump change.

    Especially given that our joint Parks person/OSA chief “Park Advocate” is being diverted from her job as a Parks employee during peak season (summer) so as to facilitate these concerts. Something has(and have)to give.

    I honestly think this appointee could handle one job or the other with a C+. At best. As both she is an abject failure. Especially in Greenpoint. She seems to treat my community as a place to have fundraisers (and dump snow farms). Residents be damned. We’re a place on a map. Nothing else.

  2. Unfortunately State Parks has made it infinitely clear to those involved that without the funding from the concerts, the East River State Park will be closed indefinitely. You may recall that prior to the concerts it was already closed was once for four months due to a lack of state funds to keep it open. The budget at State Parks has taken massive funding cuts and they have made it very clear that they are not going to spend what little funds they have left on our park when they know very well our park can pay for itself. Thankfully this year OSA and State Parks will not be forced to use Jelly to run the concerts and can choose a group they want to run the concerts that hopefully have more experience and will work with and respect the community. SO CHOOSE WILLIAMSBURG 15 CONCERTS A YEAR OR NO PARK AT ALL?

  3. We need to stop framing this as an “either or” situation.

    There a lots of ways to raise money sadly OSA hasn’t learned any other way beside the Waterfront Concert Series.

    Hopefully, someday OSA will hire a senior fundraising professional who will teach the 1.5 staff members about building a strong development plan.

  4. True there are lots of ways to raise money, but OSA’s mandate as per its contract with the city is to use its money throughout its mandate area. Even if they raised lots of money other ways,they would not be able to put the hundreds of thousands necessary into running and keeping open the the state park, especially not year after year, because that money would need to be spread throughout the area of mandate. The concerts because they are contracted the way they are, directly fund the park. Unless a separate fundraising entitiy stepped forward and had as its contractual mandate to raise funds directly for the park, and was able to prove prior to every fiscal year to state parks that they would be able to raise the required several hundred thousand, OSA raising money in other ways would not be a solution.

  5. osa is not mandated to raise funds for only the state park. they are mandated to raise funds for ALL the parks in community board 1. osa can and should have other fundraising streams that benefit all the parks in the community.

    we shouldn’t be happy with having one really nice park in community board 1. osa was created to make all the parks in this community better.

  6. Thats exactly my point, the money made by the concerts is split between the state park and OSA. Some of the money goes directly to keeping the park open (this is the rent and permit money) and the rest goes to OSA to use for the entire community board. It accomplishes both purposes of keeping the park open and raising funds for the entirety of CB1. We dont have to choose.