Federal Judge To Decide if Artists Can Play in The Park


The long-standing legal battle between the city’s artists and Department of Parks and Recreation has started to heat up.

Yesterday, the city’s artist vendors asked Richard J. Sullivan, U.S. District Judge of the Southern District of New York, to consider new evidence in their suit against the city.

That new evidence? They claimed via letter that the Department is unfairly and illegally prohibiting craftsmen and artisans from selling their wares in city parks, since entertainers are allowed to perform for money again.

This controversial crackdown on artist vendors originally stems from a 2010 regulation. The rule had applied to performers too, but the city recently reversed that decision.

Today, Judge Sullivan agreed to listen to the artists before making a final decision in the case. The official notice from the Federal Court, furnished to the Voice, indicates that the new round of oral arguments will begin June 28.

The City is not worried about these developments.

“The plaintiffs are just engaging in wishful thinking,” Sheryl Neufeld, city lawyer, told the Voice. “There is nothing in today’s order that supports their belief that the judge has given their contentions credence.”‬

Check back to the Voice for updates.