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Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang Unveils 'Arts Revival' Proposal for NYC

The proposal includes a mass ticket purchasing program and a pilot program for streaming high-quality theatre recordings.

A new proposal from NYC mayoral candidate Andrew Yang released today puts forth a plan of action to bring about an "arts revival" in the city.

As part of his plan, Yang proposes a joint effort from the public and private sectors to purchase "hundreds of thousands" of reduced price tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway shows in order to "bring people back into theatre seats" and stimulate the city's economy.

According to Yang's proposal, funds for the program would come from the New York City Mayor's Fund as well as commitments from private entities.

Participating corporate entities would be entitled to keep a portion of the tickets for themselves "while donating the majority of the other tickets to non-profit organizations around the city, starting with those that support essential workers and first responders."

His "Always New York" campaign would register New York businesses to generate rewards in the form of theatre tickets to tourists and patrons who spend specific amounts at local city businesses.

Yang's proposal outlines five spending tiers on a sliding scale. Premium and front seat orchestra seats would be available to Tier 1 patrons who spent $1,500 or more with participating businesses, Tiers 2-4, would be available to those spending $1,000, $750 and $250. Tier 5 seats would be set aside as a lottery system for people spending $100 or more with local businesses.

A similar program was rolled out following the events of September 11, 2001.

Yang also touched on an aspect of the modern age that has eluded Broadway for some time: streaming. The plan proposes the establishment of a pilot program to stream high-quality recordings of theater productions.

The proposal states, "In 2020, Netflix revenue was estimated at $25 billion in a category that's roughly 3 times bigger than that," the proposal states. "With the world home-bound in quarantine, Netflix posted positive cash flows for the first time since 2011, profiting greatly off of every day consumers. These massive companies have cornered the market in at-home streaming and most content generation is being lost to these monopolies. A Yang administration will establish a pilot program to support high-quality streaming of theatre productions, particularly, but not limited to, those on Broadway."

Another aspect of the plan includes the concept of introducing "personal seat licenses" in arts venues. The plan mirrors the season ticket plans used by many sports venues, which entitle patrons to a certain seat for the season.

According to Yang's proposal, "Doing so would encourage reliable ticket sales and a portion of the proceeds could go toward charity and revitalizing NYC."

Yang's plan also includes a pledge to take part in Save Our Stages, Take 2, which aims to get funds to displaced theatre workers, expanding the open streets program enabling venues to sell refreshments outdoors stemming crowding issues during intermission, as well as an aggressive tourism marketing campaign and a three-month tax reduction plan for New York City hotels.

Read the full proposal here.

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