The Shed via Wikipedia
Michael R. Bloomberg has added a $75 million contribution to what the New York Times calls “New York’s first new cultural institution in recent memory,” the arts center known as The Shed, part of the new Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s far west side. The former mayor’s gift brings the total raised for the project to $421 million of its $500 million capital campaign. The new arts center has gotten much of its funding from a small group of billionaires that includes Related Companies’ Stephen M. Ross and media mogul Barry Diller. Set for completion in 2019, the eight-level structure, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in partnership with the Rockwell Group, will host performances, concerts, visual art, music and other events.
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Bloomberg said in a statement, “I’ve always believed the arts have a unique ability to benefit cities by attracting creative individuals of every kind, strengthening communities, and driving economic growth. The Shed will help New York achieve all three goals.” The Bloomberg administration also made a public appropriation totaling $75 million to The Shed–the arts group had yet have any staff members or a construction budget–before Bloomberg left office in 2013.
The former mayor’s support has fast-tracked The Shed ahead of arts institutions–like the Met’s $600 million new wing for Modern and contemporary art and the $240 million performing arts center at ground zero–whose development has been postponed or delayed. Bloomberg has long expressed interest in Manhattan’s west side. As mayor, he rezoned the area including West Chelsea and Hudson Yards, paving the way for the latter to become one of the largest developments in the country. Hefty financial support for large new arts institutions is a contrast to current mayor Bill de Blasio’s strategy of allocating more of the city’s arts budget to smaller, sometimes underserved groups in other boroughs, some say.
The Shed, situated on the High Line on 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues is designed as a shell on rails that sits atop the fixed part of the building, enabling it to expand or contract for larger or smaller events; the 20,000-square-foot plaza can be left open for outdoor programs. When enclosed by the outer shell, the plaza can become an indoor hall for a seated audience of 1,200. The complex will also include a black-box theater and two column-free museum-quality galleries occupying 25,000 square feet.
According to The Shed’s artistic director Alex Poots, “The building is almost like a tool kit for artists of all kinds — whether it’s Kanye West or Björk or Kenneth Branagh, Steve McQueen, Matthew Barney or FKA twigs,” with an emphasis on inclusiveness.
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