Can Contests for Emerging Artists Lead to Economic Vitality?

New York City’s Economic Development Corporation is sponsoring CurateNYC, a contest for emerging artists, with the hope of boosting economic vitality. 150 winners will have images of their artworks printed on 5-inch-by-6-inch postcards and displayed at the Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea or at three city-owned spaces on the Lower East Side, in Harlem and on Staten Island for 10 days.

A New York Times article on the contest quoted Teresa Vazquez, who directs arts and nonprofit development at the Economic Development Corporation: “There’s an economic reason [for helping the arts]. There are jobs associated with it and tourism associated with it, and an attraction for other industries to be here because there are creative thinkers here.”

The project doesn’t sound like much. The actual artworks won’t actually be displayed – only small postcard-size images of them.  But it’s just one of several recent initiatives undertaken by the city to support emerging artists, including offering free business courses and outdoor performance space.  And the website will “live on” past the end of the project.

To learn more, visit the project website, CurateNYC, where you can enter the contest and view submissions.


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