The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation recommended that $100 million of $200 million in unspent federal funds, originally meant to rebuild the electrical and telephone grid at Ground Zero, be reallocated to the World Trade Center Performing Arts Center.
The Arts Center had been languishing without sufficient funding, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, along with New York State Governor David Paterson controls the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said that the $100 million “makes clear that the cultural venue is a critical part of the ongoing revitalization of lower Manhattan.”
The World Trade Center Performing Arts Center will be designed by Frank Gehry, and will house two theaters, including the Joyce Theatre, which presents dance. There is still debate about the location of the Arts Center.
Part of the drive behind supporting cultural development at Ground Zero is that it will attract visitors, financing, and private sector businesses to build at the site. Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board One, said, “We need major world-class cultural organizations that are going to bring people from all over the world. We need to incentivize the private sector to come behind the performing arts center.”