The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council on the Arts today released a report detailing the vision and next steps for future cultural programming on the World Trade Center site. The LMDC, State, and City reviewed all 113 submissions received in response to the Invitation to Cultural Institutions that was released last June. Submissions came from a wide range of cultural disciplines and organizations, including a number of institutions interested in creating an interpretive museum describing the events of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. A short-list of these institutions and additional organizations that have the potential to contribute a unique or needed activity or program will be invited to take part in next-stage meetings. Other organizations may be invited to participate in meetings as well. LMDC Chairman John C. Whitehead said, "Cultural institutions are one of the keys to the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, potentially providing a broad spectrum of fascinating venues to inform, educate, and entertain both New Yorkers and visitors from around the globe. Especially important is the Memorial Center where major artifacts will be exhibited and the story of this terrible tragedy remembered for generations to come. We look forward to the next stage of our conversations with promising institutions." LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe said, "Lower Manhattan is already home to some of New York's foremost educational institutions, museums, and cultural facilities. As we move forward with this process, the LMDC will work to ensure that Lower Manhattan is transformed into a world renowned cultural epicenter." LMDC Vice President & Director for Memorial, Cultural & Civic Programs Anita Contini said, "The cultural organizations selected will serve as a source of enrichment and an economic engine to the community. The responses we have received will assist the LMDC, City, and State in developing a diverse and energetic cultural destination for New York City's residents and visitors." New York City Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Kate Levin said, "We are grateful for the overwhelming response we received from the City's cultural community. So many compelling ideas ensure that creative energy and artistic excellence will come to define the entire Lower Manhattan area." New York State Council on the Arts Chairman Richard Schwartz added, "The New York State Council on the Arts is confident the evaluation process outlined in today's summary report will result in an appropriate and vibrant cultural addition to the Trade Center site." From October 2003 through January 2004, an evaluation committee made up of representatives from the LMDC, City, and State reviewed the 113 submissions and evaluated which responses would be appropriate for the World Trade Center site. The panel evaluated the responses on a number of criteria including the respondent's successful international, national, and community programming, and a proven track record of governance and sustainability. Based on this work, the public comments received during the ICI public forum held on July 28, 2003, the comments at LMDC/City sponsored Neighborhood Workshops conducted throughout Lower Manhattan, and other factors, the LMDC has identified a short-list of institutions whose submissions seem especially feasible and promising for developing the curatorial approach or content for the Memorial Center, and occupying a performing arts center and cultural buildings.
As a next step, the LMDC will convene meetings with the short-listed organizations. These organizations will also be asked to submit more refined proposals with additional information including programming, costs, and management structure. The LMDC will continue to seek input and advice from the international cultural communities, stakeholders, and interested parties. The process of coordinating and facilitating the cultural development on the World Trade Center Site, and for securing adequate funding for the World Trade Center Site Memorial and related cultural uses, will be managed in concert with the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation.