The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, October 26, 2008
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Today, as our economy struggles with the turmoil on Wall Street, it’s more important than ever that we invest in sectors that will strengthen small businesses, create jobs and attract tourists. That means making sure New York maintains its reputation as the greatest and most exciting city in the world.
“One of the ways we’re doing that is by encouraging innovative public art, such as Olafur Eliasson’s New York City Waterfalls. During the 16 weeks that the project was on display in New York Harbor, it created a nearly-$70 million splash in our city’s economy. In total, 1.4 million people viewed The Waterfalls either from a boat tour or from one of the seven official vantage points along our waterfront. They hailed from all over the U.S. and at least 55 other countries, too. About 79,000 of them booked or extended their trips to New York just to see The Waterfalls – and then spent money at our hotels, restaurants, stores, and cultural attractions. The Waterfalls was a big win for New York City, especially when you consider that the project was funded by private donations through the Public Art Fund, rather than with City tax dollars.
“Another big draw for tourists is the performing arts. And this month Broadway got a big boost with the opening of a striking new T.K.T.S. booth in Times Square. New Yorkers and tourists alike can once again buy half-priced tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway entertainment in this time-honored location. For the first time, people also will be able to sit down – right in the middle of Times Square – and take in the energy and excitement of the Crossroads of the World. Adding seating to this area will help support business at nearby delis, cafes, and shops, too.
“While many are drawn to New York because of a particular art exhibit or theatrical production, others are attracted by the New York they see in a film, commercial, or favorite TV show. Our city has long been a popular place to set such productions…but it wasn’t always the most popular place to shoot them – and that meant we were missing out on jobs. We’ve worked hard to change that by offering a combination of logistical help and tax credits to productions that do most of their work in New York. The program – called ‘Made in NY’ – has been a phenomenal success. Today, our city’s film studios are booked solid. And popular TV shows – even some that were originally set or shot in Hollywood – have moved to New York, pushing the number of city jobs this industry supports to well over 100,000.
“To keep pace with this growth, Kaufman-Astoria Studios – which is already one of the largest production facilities on the East Coast – just launched a $22 million expansion of its facilities. The expansion – the product of a great partnership between the City, the State, and the Studios – will create some 400 new production jobs. That will make New York an even greater destination for arts and entertainment – and for the tourists who want to walk the streets that their favorite characters call home.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”