Zero Culture. What's Happening to the Arts at Ground Zero?

Panel Discussion Mon 12 Dec 2005 7.30PM-9.30PM The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor
Admission: $8, free for students with valid ID and members of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
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Why have culture and memorial diverged? Why must we choose one or the other?
The acceptance of a master plan for the World Trade Center site in 2003 has not made it immune to intervention, discussion and debate. The ongoing challenges to rebuilding the site, focused on issues of design and security, have most recently polarized the areas of culture and memorialization. Culture, ordinarily the bedrock of remembrance, is estranged from the current planning, and even thought by some to desecrate the site.

The recent expulsions and withdrawals of cultural institutions slated to occupy the site urgently foregrounds the questions that engage this panel, and the citizens of New York: What is at stake in this latest edition of the "culture wars"? What are the implications for daily life, livelihoods, and the vitality of New York City? Is "culture" integral or an appendage to the revitalization and redevelopment of Downtown Manhattan?

Paul Goldberger, Dean, Parsons The New School of Design

Tom A. Bernstein, President and Co-founder, Chelsea Piers
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem
Hans Haacke, artist
Mike Wallace, historian and director, The Gotham Center for New York City History
Bob Yaro, President, Regional Planning Association