Measuring Live Music Space in New York City

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Creative Footprint NYC | Music (CFP NYC) is a content-rich cultural impact study of the wellbeing of the current (live) music scene in New York City. Identifying music as a primary catalyst (for greater urban vibrancy, an agent for strong community identity that cuts across social boundaries, and a driver of ground-level economic initiatives), the report processes and evaluates an extensive and brand new dataset. This dataset is collated from nearly 500 venues and 150 stakeholders based in New York City, 15 data researchers and designers, and New Yorkers active and expert in the city's music industry. Over 25,000 data points were gathered. Using a methodology based upon 15 "venue specific" criteria, the Creative Footprint provides an objective and holistic analysis of the city's musical wellbeing through examining each venue's programming, ability to be a host for different art forms (known as "design of space") and public-facing presentation. In doing so, the report asserts the essential importance of affordable creative space to a city centre's social and economic health.

  • Findings highlight the uneven concentration of venue spread in the central districts,
  • Differentials in programming policy related to district,
  • And the vital role that good transport networks play.

The CFP NYC report takes the term "affordable space" to mean local musical spaces in a city center that can - due to low rents and proactive legislation - take creative risks and carry out socio-cultural initiatives in their programming. Affordable, maintainable cultural spaces that can afford to take such risks with programming (those delivering high creative scores in the CFP report, for example) can have tangible beneficial knock-on effects in a wider, communal sense. They can help strengthen a sense of local community and prevent cultural or local erasure, provide recreation, bridge social divides, define neighborhoods and benefit the city's cultural health at large. The report recommends therefore that affordable working creative spaces should be a vital component of all the boroughs throughout the city. They are enriching agents and sources of local empowerment that bring incalculable value to city center communities and are hard to replace once removed. The report was created by the Creative Footprint (Vibe Lab consultancy and experts and data scientists at Harvard University) A team from the University of Pennsylvania, led by Michael Fichman, conducted a demographic and spatial analysis of the data.



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