(Albany, New York) As Arts Advocacy Week kicked off this week State Senator José M. Serrano, (D-Manhattan/Bronx), called on the State to do more to assist the arts community. The Senator pointed to the arts as a vehicle for economic development as the main reason as to why the arts should receive more attention from the state government.
"The arts are more than just a pastime or a form of recreation. As we can see in neighborhoods throughout the city and state, artists are the pioneers of community revitalization. The arts must be recognized as a viable sector of our economy," said Senator Serrano.
The Senator criticized the SenateMajority for doing little to foster the arts. Senator Serrano said, "There’s a one man task force on the arts in the Senate and that task force does little or nothing to promote the arts in this State. Where New York City is able to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to cultivate the arts, the state allocates a pittance towards the arts industry. Little or no attention is given to how the arts can truly reform communities."
Senator Serrano named down trodden areas of the state where artists had migrated to and were revitalized into thriving communities. In a recent workshop held by Serrano in Albany, artists and experts in the field of economic development testified to the viability of the arts as a stand alone industry.
"New York State needs to put an honest investment into the arts. The return on that investment will be extremely beneficial to the State and to its citizenry," said Serrano.