The Artist Studio Affordability Project (ASAP) formed in 2013 by a group of artists forced out of their studios due to rising rents in Sunset Park's Industry City.
The warehouse complex, which mainly housed small manufacturers and artist studios, raised rents dramatically and informed many of its artist tenants that they would need to vacate in order to make way for higher-paying clients. For many, the well-publicized case was an urgent wake-up call: artists must work with their neighbors and government representatives if they are to remain in New York City.
Currently, ASAP members lend support to tenant coalitions and arts organizations, at protests and public forums. Its members meet with local political leaders and likeminded community organizations in order to form a broader support network for artists. ASAP consistently engages in direct actions that further their goal of affordable living for artists in harmony with all of New York's residents.
On the occasion of The Brooklyn Museum hosting an exclusive real-estate developer conference, ASAP, along with many New York City artists, hosted a performance and protest
RHEINGOLD FACTORY DEVELOPMENT PROTEST
When a Bushwick developer planned luxury condos on the historic Rheingold factory site, ASAP joined and supported community protests.
MASS EVICTION IN GOWANUS, BROOKLYN
ASAP and Brooklyn artists unite to protest the loss of over 300 artists' studios in a single building in Gowanus.
LOBBYING FOR THE SBJSA
ASAP joins with Queens commnity and arts groups to successfully press local council member Jimmy Van Bramer to support the SBJSA.
ZONING 101 FOR ARTISTS WORKSHOP
On October 26, 2014, ASAP hosted a workshop on Zoning 101 for Artists with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Generis. The workshop introduced basic urban planning concepts in NYC as they affect spaces of art production and exhibition, with an emphasis on building solidarity between artists, small businesses, manufacturers, and long-term neighborhood residents. The workshop began with CUP's "What is Zoning?" participatory toolkit, and concluded with a conversation about how zoning affects artists, and how artists affect zoning.
AFFORDABLE STUDIO PANEL @ CABINET
On March 27, 2014, ASAP produced a town hall discussion preserving affordable studio space, in conjunction with the Skowhegan Residency Program and the blog Art F City. An audience of artists and community members packed Cabinet's space wall-to-wall to hear our panelists: urban planner Tom Angotti, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, artist and ASAP member Jenny Dubnau, and artist and Placeholder member Shawn Gallagher. Panelists' stories about gentrification in artist communities provoked animated discussion on how artists can better engage with their neighbors, and become recognized as a constituency of their own.
Issues addressed include the Loft Law, zoning, community planning, designation as small manufacturers, and coalition-building.
Read responses to the panel and an abridged transcription here:
Redefining the Role of the Artist, William Powhida
An In-Depth Discussion on How Artists Can Save Studios in NYC, Whitney Kimball