2010-04-09 / Letters

Rockaway Tourism Perhaps?

The following letter was sent to NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn:

Dear Editor,

The following letter was sent to NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn:

Council Speaker Quinn: Thank you for attending the Town Hall meeting at The Colony Theater in Breezy Point concerning our ferry. I was the last speaker, who addressed the issue of tourism to The Rockaways, a century old tradition as I’m sure you know.

I enclose a copy of the Rockaway Artists Alliance brochure which I refrained from giving you at the time, there were enough issues and charts to absorb without more visual stimulus.

However, I would appreciate you taking a moment to look at it when you are addressing this issue next. We are a 501©3 organization that has partnered with the National Park Service in Fort Tilden over the last fifteen years, using State and Foundation monies to renovate their buildings into an ongoing Arts Center. We not only provide after school service to Rockaway children through NYC Department of Youth and Community Development here, but we also run adult classes, workshops and events. Most are free to the public, including two year-round art galleries.

As a new advocate for the Arts in the mid 1990?s and representing a

Letters substantial membership of working Artists I lobbied Albany through New York State Council on the Arts. I was advised by them that tourism was the number one industry in New York State as a whole and the Arts represented a huge portion of that initial draw, particularly in NYC. People travel from around the world to see our Broadway shows and Museum exhibits, thus contributing to every aspect of the economy, from airfares and hotels to simple groceries and public transportation.

We are a microcosm of this economy, but in the big picture we are promoting and encouraging its expansion through visitation to our beautiful beachfront park in Fort Tilden by local New Yorkers as well as out of towners. I am sure it is not lost on anyone in City Hall that it is therefore advantageous to City, State and Federal entities that expansion of the ferry services everywhere in New York add up to a multitude of micro economies.

Clearly you are behind this concept, and in the short run, I would just like to add it to the immediate argument for continuing the Rockaway Ferry service. In particular weekend ferries have proved very successful for our programming and visitation.

Thank you again for staying active in this immediate issue please include RAA and reach out to me for any support or information that may be of use to the ferry cause in our city in general and Rockaway in particular.

GEOFF RAWLING

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