What are your ideas for bringing more art to Long Beach?

So I am reading about the Long Beach Council for the Arts:

“Leaders of local arts groups gathered together [recently] for a special meeting to discuss the formation of a Long Beach Council for the Arts. Members of the City Council and the City Manager joined the discussion which was run by Sustainable Long Island — [LINK]
I am so curious to see where this goes, for I am a lover of the arts, even though I cannot even draw a stick figure or make a straight line. What I want to know is:  What are your ideas for bringing more art to Long Beach?  

One thing I would LOVE is a sculpture garden. I’ve been to a bunch: Socrates in Astoria, Seattle near Pike Place, Jersey has a cool one as well. There is really not much to it, but an interesting walk of sculptures – perhaps on the bay near the Rec Center and new skate park? But cool scupltures. No crap.

Oh, I would like to see more murals. The more recently ones around the city are AWESOME!  But enough about me, what about you? Got any great ideas? Please share with links, if possible!Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 9.51.06 PM

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22 thoughts on “What are your ideas for bringing more art to Long Beach?”

  1. I have a few questions for anyone that attended or has actual first hand knowledge of the meeting. Is it safe to assume that no one on the City Council has any background or experience in such an endeavor? Did they even scratch the surface on what it means to have art in a public space? Why a work of art exists where it does and that simply by virtue of location doesn’t mean it’s accessible? How does art engage a community? How much of art in a public space is about the work itself, and how much is about the mission? There are so many questions that need to be addressed. I really have no idea what Sustainable Long Island is doing in the room. I would have asked everyone that wants to be on the Council for the Arts to write a few pages on why they want to be included, what they think an Art Council will do for the city, how they perceive public art, and what experience they have. After an intellectual conversation on such matters takes place, and only then, should we proceed. I fear another Maypole sculpture coming (Anyone remember that horrid thing on Riverside?)

  2. You raise great questions, and properly emphasize that establishing a successful Arts Council typically takes considerable effort and usually requires over a year to complete.

    Recognizing this, I thought the group could learn from the successful efforts of others and shared with the City representatives the studies and detailed plans from 7 Arts Councils, including vision statements/goals/objectives from Ohio Arts Council, Greater Hartford, West Windsor, Arkansas, England, Rhode Island and Iowa. So, the team has a good understanding of what others have done.

    The purpose of having Sustainable Long Island was to collect ideas and recommendations and to create a framework of ideas for follow-up discussion.

    I’m not sure if you attended the meeting or will attend others. Sounds like your input could be valuable.

  3. Like what Ed said, you bring some great questions to the table. I also have been reading how some residents want the art for residents and not to turn Long Beach into a tourist attraction.

  4. Have you attended any city council meetings? Have you raised your concerns at any of these meetings? Have you proposed solutions to any of your concerns at any council meeting?

  5. Hi! I am so glad to see that people are noticing our City of Long Beach’s recognition of setting up a bona fide Arts Council. I attended the meeting/workshop the other night. I found it well attended, considering many people were probably put off by the heavy rain earlier. It was run in an organized, informative and friendly manner. The attendees split off into several tables, each with about 8 people individual tables, with a City employee, basically from the Office of Economic Development, guiding us through the workshop.

    As far as “Art” in our City…..from what I’m reading here in your posts, it seems as if the people commenting on here are focused mainly on “visual art”……however, and as pointed out by many at the meeting, (myself included), there is much more to “The Arts” than just visual art, murals, etc. There are many branches of The Performing Arts, including Music (which we have plenty of, here in town), Dance, Spoken Word, Theatre, etc, as well as Literary Arts and the many facets of Cultural Arts. Being the owner of a grass roots 501(c)(3) nonprofit for The Arts myself, and a 37 year resident who has played a very supportive role within our community (yet non-political), I am more than elated to see this Council get under way…..and I’m hoping to be one of the initial members, as well. Some comments of mine will have to placed “on hold” here, with respect to what I saw and heard regarding the suggestions of those who attended the meeting…..basically because I was not privy to what went on at each and every workshop table.
    I’d be happy to answer questions of anyone on here, as I was in attendance and would be glad to share information. My thoughts on some things at this time, however, will remain in my head.

    Regarding “Why” it’s a good idea to have an Arts Council here…..well, I think it’s smart to take a look at the Mission Statements of some Arts Councils that have been in existence here on Long Island for some time, and have been successful at attaining their goal. For example, here’s the Mission of The Huntington Arts Council, from their website:
    “Mission: The Huntington Arts Council enriches the quality of life of Long Islanders with programs and services that address the needs and interests of artists, cultural organizations and the community.”

    Personally, I can see nothing “bad” coming out of the formation of an Arts Council here in Long Beach, and that’s just my opinion.

    Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk about this topic. You can find me on social media (Facebook) at Joanne J-Bird Phillips or J-Bird Music for The Arts, Inc. or you can email me at joannejbirdphillips@gmail.com

    As far as myself being qualified to talk about the subject, here are some of my credentials, all current and up to date.
    Thanks so much!
    Joanne J-Bird Phillips

    * Joanne J-Bird Phillips -Performing Musician/Booking Agent/Promotion/Consultant to the live music performing industry/Stage Management/Arts Advocate/WebTV Host

    * J-Bird Music for The Arts, Inc. – 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corp. – Supporting Performing Arts & Music Programs in New York State Education

    * Turnpike Joe & The Traffic Jam – NY’s Premier Classic Rock/Pop Band Entertaining Long Island, NY Since 1977

    * TRADEWINDS …..”Blowing in cool sounds of the Caribbean” New York’s Dynamic Duo Featuring Joanne J-Bird Phillips and Nydia “Liberty” Mata (Percussion Duo w /tracks)

    * STRONG BEACH™ Events Producer STRONG BEACH™ Battle of The Bands (J-Bird Music for The Arts, Inc. annual teen music fundraiser) (2014, 2015)

    * Long Beach ROXX NY – NY Rock Music Festival Producer (2012, 2013, 2014, Oct. 22-25, 2015)

    * “STRONG BEACH™ CHEF” Web TV Series Host on Long Island NY TV http://www.longislandny.tv and Really Big TV Network http://www.reallybig.tv

    * “Jammin’ With J-Bird” Web TV Show Host on Long Island NY TV http://www.longislandny.tv and Really Big TV Network http://www.reallybig.tv

    * AFM Local 802 New York – Member
    * Bass Musician Magazine – Featured Bass Player, February 2011 Issue

    * Endorsed by: Hartke Amplification; INTEX Cables; Planet Sox (former Endorsement)

    * “Broadcasting On The Beach Band” – Drums/Percussion – Broadcast Radio House Band – WGBB 1240 AM, NY (2012-2014)

    * The Stephen Scouten Jazz Trio – Drums

    * Retro69 – Woodstock Tribute – Percussion

    * Associate Producer of Independent Film “Knock Knock” (2007) (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

    Watch for “Knock Knock” DVD release by Lionsgate Home Entertainment, April 29, 2008! “Answering The Door Will Never Be The Same!” – U.K. Release 2009

    * Executive Producer of Independent Film “Craig” (2007) (Apotheosis Film-Denmark) (Objektor Film-Denmark)

    * We Support L.I.ve Music – Site Administrator

    * New York Musical Theatre Film Festival – Member

    * The Inspired Word (NYC) – Sponsor/Supporter

    * Arts In The Plaza, Long Beach NY – 2013, 2014 Season Sponsor

    * Long Island Arts Council at Freeport (NY) – Affiliate Member

    * Women In Music – Member

    * Friends of The Arts for Long Beach School District – Lifetime Member

    * Rockaway Artists Alliance, Inc. – Member

    * West End Arts – Member/Former Associate Publicity Director

    * Artists In Partnership – Member/Former Sponsor

    * Harman/Kardon – Former Audio Bench Technician

    * 1st Annual Long Island, NY ArtsFest – Consultant

    * 40th Anniversary Woodstock ’69 Tribute Concert/Benefit for L.I. Cancer Care (NY) – Event Stage Manager/Percussionist (2009)

    * 40th Anniversary Woodstock ’69 Tribute Concert/Benefit for The Max’s Kansas City

    Foundation (Triad Theater, NYC) – Event Stage Manager/Percussionist (2009)

    * Texas Pop ‘69 Festival Tribute Concert/Benefit for Rick Walsh Scholarship Foundation (Bethpage, NY) – Event Stage Manager/Percussionist (2011)

    * Barrier Beach Blues & Arts Festival/”Ladies Sing The Blues” (NY) – Promoter/Event Stage Manager (2009)

    * Barrier Beach Blues & Arts Festival (NY) – Promoter/Event Stage Manager (2010)

    * Long Beach (NY) Jazz Festival – Sponsor/Promoter/Event Stage Manager (2002-2003)

    * “Du Jour” Gourmet Food & Music Festival (Long Beach NY) – Music Coordinator (1993-2000)

    * City of Long Beach (NY) Chamber of Commerce – Member

    * Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – Member

    * National Museum of American Jewish History – Founding Member

    * Long Island Panthers Semi-Pro Football (Founder/1st President)

    * The Cradle of Aviation Museum – Member

    * Delta Sigma Alpha Sorority Alumnus (Nassau Community College)

  6. Hope folks look at your link. Almost all the “increase” happened from 2009 to 2010- one year. Did all these “Section 8” people invade in 2009? Since 2010 crime has increased about 12%, 332 to 372 cases (according to your link.) I guess you thank the recent politicians for that amazing slowing of the crime rate rise? It’s just a case of you (and many other politicians) picking the numbers you use to “prove” an invalid point- ie, the budget is balanced, the check is in the mail, crime skyrocketed in 2009 because of something that happened after that.

  7. You’re very welcome, Anthony. I’m currently working on 2015 Long Beach events (and still in some disaster recovery here), and will keep you in the loop! J-Bird

  8. As JoAnne said, art can take many forms.

    Last night my wife and I drove through the Jones Beach Holiday Light Spectacular Light Show. It was wonderful! Earlier in the evening, as dusk darkened the skies, our Boardwalk celebrated the evening with its seasonal-light display.

    I love light shows. I hope one of our resident artists crafts some light shows for our summer and winter beaches, or captures artistic beauty in lights along parts of Park Avenue and other outside pallets.

    Why not keep some of our lights year-round, for the pleasure of the many? (Of course with low-cost, low-impact LEDs.)

  9. Typical Long Beach: Whenever something is desired, the leaches materialize to recommend that experts, usually themselves, be paid huge sums by the taxpayer to provide it.

    Touching on what Allison mentions from time to time: To get more art, we have to become a home to more artists. Since artists aren’t generally the wealthiest among us, we have to be a community with affordable space for their trade and home.

    That’s easier said than done. We do have a large amount of unused office space over stores. The City outlawed combined (apartments above stores) zoning in the 1970’s, so the space is hard to rent. Those lofts would attract artists. How to keep clusters of problem residences out of them is a challenge.

    Several art galleries have failed in Long Beach after sizable investment by their owners. So demand for retail art seems minimal.

    Perhaps a small “art district” could offer less restrictive zoning for artists? Maybe a storefront space with upstairs lofts could be tried on a cooperative basis?

    The last thing Long Beach needs is one more self-congratulating politico sucking at tax dollars calling herself or himself the “art czar” and plugging something that occurs naturally if a real need exists.

  10. Typical to Long Beach: Whenever something is desired, the leaches materialize to recommend that experts, usually themselves, be paid huge sums by the taxpayer to provide it.

    Touching on what Allison mentions from time to time: To get more art, we must become a home to more artists. Since artists aren’t generally the wealthiest among us, we have to be a community with affordable space for their trade and home.

    That’s easier said than done. We do have a large amount of unused office space over stores. The City outlawed combined (apartments above stores) zoning in the 1970’s, so the space is hard to rent. Those lofts would attract artists. How to keep clusters of problem residences out of them is a challenge.

    Several art galleries have failed in Long Beach after sizable investment by their owners. So demand for retail art seems minimal.

    Perhaps a small “art district” could offer less restrictive zoning for artists? Maybe a storefront space with upstairs lofts could be tried on a cooperative basis?

    The last thing Long Beach needs is one more self-congratulating politico sucking at tax dollars calling herself or himself the “art czar” and plugging something that occurs naturally if a real need exists.

  11. I’m torn if I should have attended, that is, if I was even made aware of such a meeting. Sustainable Long Island has no business running anything in this City. Their modus operandi is to waste everyone’s time by breaking up into small table groups, develop individual mission statements, have a table captain read notes of the table’s mini-meeting and then at the next meeting present the findings of the tables and present a mission statement, After many month’s of wasting everyone’s time, you come to realize that everything to date could have been accomplished in first 20 minutes of the very first meeting, if it was even necessary in the first place. They are really big on mission statements, which to me, is beyond pointless at this juncture, as no one has clue yet as to what this is all about. it sounds to me like it’s already getting off to a very bad, and very typical, Long Beach start. What I believe should have happened is something like this – First of all, it should have been better publicized. The City should have brought in a few guest lecturers that would have included persons from Academia, professors that teach courses in Public and Architectural Art, perhaps hosted a coordinator from someplace like the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, and Long Beach City Council should have presented the City with what was the impetus for starting an Arts Council. I would really love to participate but It’s tough to get beyond the Sustainable group. They are interlopers and colossal time wasters with an ulterior objective.

  12. By the way, funding for the Arts Council would be supplied by grants, not our community tax dollars. It would’ve been nice for residents to have attended the meeting, so they could get the facts before ranting on here and such mean and accusatory tones. The meeting was open to the general public, mostly to get their opinions, suggestions and ideas. My open question to commentators here is……”Where were you when the meeting was held?” Although I must agree with posters on here, that the meeting itself could’ve been better publicized, and again, I was an attendee and not part of the planning. Also, the area by Magnolia Senior Center seems to be the focal point for an “Arts Corridor”…..so yes, a particular area is being considered a the main area for an “arts space”. Just passing along the info…..Please don’t shoot the messenger! Thank You!

  13. Grants = tax dollars = a nice salary for you to provide something that people want so much they have to be forced to pay taxes for it. Typical Long Beach get-what-I-can attitude. This is Long Beach folks!

  14. J-Bird, I usually like to go to the quirky meetings, but I had no idea this meeting occurred until after the fact. Are you sure it wasn’t just the art community that was invited?

  15. No Anthony….I am NOT sure. There WERE some residents there that were not part of any organized Arts organization that I am aware of….and a majority of the attendees were, in my opinion, members or FOLLOWERS/SUPPORTERS of our local Arts scene. DO realize that before this meeting/workshop, it was advertised and promoted previously that the public was more than welcome to attend the last City Council meeting, where their public opinions and suggestions were MORE than welcome, to address the topic of a proposed Arts Council……and I saw people there who expressed their support. I’m pretty sure that the City Council meeting agendas are posted in advance….but don’t hold me to it. As far as this last meeting/workshop, I saw no public online advertising about it, or you KNOW I would’ve passed the info along to the general public myself, on my own social media site……but I am not involved in organizing this. I WILL say here, though, that I am not happy to see that my efforts to answer some questions on this blog, to people who wanted to hear from someone who attended this past meeting/workshop, were met with weird replies that had no bearing on the topic….and quite frankly, it looks like there are lots of unhappy people on here. Just sayin’. So instead of me trying to be a nice person and helping people here with some information they were looking for, I will just keep my info to myself (no bearing on you and your wonderful efforts) and fade awaaaaaaaay. :-/ I posted my contact info on here, and anyone wants to meet at Starbucks here in Long Beach and have a nice, civil conversation about the topic, I’d be delighted to shoot the breeze with them. 🙂

  16. sorry to see you go. I can’t predict what the comments will be. There are a ‘miserable few’ who enjoy ruining the party. I plan on moderating and blocking on a case-by-case basis, if and when it gets out of hand. In the past month I have already put several people into moderation.

    Also, if you saw the RENT post from a few weeks back, People are scared to comment because they don’t want to be attacked by the “miserable few.” But I will say this, your message is getting out there. The blog has a pretty good reach, don’t let the lack of relevant comments deter you from contributing.

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