BuskNY and the performing community were disturbed to learn of a new wrongful arrest. A longtime, well-loved performer was arrested early this morning at Metropolitan Avenue, a key station for Brooklyn performers. Fortunately, he was well-prepared: a copy of the rules of conduct was in play, and the full arrest was documented on video:
BuskNY is preparing a public response to this arrest. Please reach out if you would like to be updated. We thank this performer for standing up to the undocumented and ungrounded ejections that occur daily in New York City — and we believe, as always, that the end of wrongful ejection, ticketing, and arrest is in sight.
On our way back from Harlem, Matthew and I stopped to pick up some cheese at the Westside Market on 14th St. and ran into balloon sculptor Zoom in the tunnel. We had met Zoom a few times before, and in fact still have a gift from him, one of his heart flower balloons, slowly shriveling on top of a dresser.
This time, we got this great balloon clown. Everyone was jealous of it. Or terrified. It was hard to tell.
Matthew and Zoom
Nothing seems to lower Matthew’s inhibitions quite like holding a silly prop does. Enjoying the reactions of strangers to the balloon man, he asked our train neighbor what we should name it.
He responded, “Charlie Sheen.”
Charlie and Matthew reflected in the train window
Zoom’s web site at http://www.zoomballoons.com/ appears to be down, but I found an article about him on the blog Manalapan Patch. If you’re in the tunnel between the L and the 1 on the 14th St Sixth Avenue station, check out his work!
Update at 7:30 PM: I spoke with Paul Hale of Hale Legal Group this afternoon, and he said he’d be more than willing to take on summons cases for the performing community. I think we’ve found our guy.
I emailed back and forth recently with a prominent arts advocate. He had big news: if you receive a wrongful summons, you can go ahead and sue for it.
I followed up on this with Galluzzo & Johnson, and it was confirmed that a wrongful summons is potentially an easy target for a lawsuit. (Remember — even if your officer was polite, and even if he or she mentioned pretexts like blocking traffic, your summons was still wrongful if you weren’t clearly breaking a law).
Your first step after getting a summons should be to get it dismissed at the adjudication. I haven’t done this personally, but it’s said to be easily done. We’re hoping to observe the process and post tips soon. (You can also talk to a lawyer at any point for a consultation, although you can’t typically sign the retainer agreement to start a suit until after your charges have been dropped or you’ve received an ACD.)
After that, you can go ahead and get going with a lawyer. Alternatively, you can even file a notice of claim yourself with this form, and the city may settle without you needing a lawyer. (I suspect it’d best to work with someone for now, at least until we know the ropes better).
Last item: if you contact us, we can send additional information privately, cheer for you during the process, and potentially even help your attorney document other cases of harassment to support you. Let’s get this show on the road!
The shirts arrived Thursday evening, and since I only had two days available to print them before losing access to my studio space (and I’m spending Sunday helping to install my show at the Painting Center), we had to rush to get them done.
Printing the first shirt.
With only two people, it took seven or eight hours to finish the front side of all 135 shirts.
We started with the pink shirts.
My cousin Zeke took a detour into the city on his way up the Appalachian Trail, and he offered to help us print the backs. With his help, we finished them in four hours.
And he bought us food!
The print shop’s mustachioed Pratt Cat, who is most often found sleeping in the paper guillotine’s scrap bin, visited us in the silkscreen lab.
About half of the finished shirts.
Matthew and Kalan will start distributing them to subway performers this week. Remember: Music is Legal!
Welcome to BuskNY’s all-new blog, a site to behold!
As tradition mandates, our first post is a link to the under-read, under-loved MTA Rules of Conduct. Don’t forget:
“The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations; solicitation for religious or political causes; solicitation for charities.”
That means YOU, buskers!