Are there building owners who are more resistance to donating space to artists?
There might be, but we wouldn’t necessarily know because we generally deal only with people who come directly to us. The landowner will contact us and then we will agree to take the space. Then we give the landowner $5 million-worth of insurance on the space. And we have a letter of agreement with them where we do, like, the first six months. And then we go to a month-to-month contract. Then once we’ve done those agreements and the insurance, we bring the artists into the space.
A lot of our spaces we’ve actually been in for four or five years—like our spaces up in Harlem in the beer factory. I mean, Rockrose said we’d be able to stay there until 2013, but we’re still on a month-to-month contract with them.
Besides Rockrose, what other owners have donated space?
The city. We work with the EDC and that’s where we have a hundred visual art studios at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We’re on a month-to-month contract with them. We ask a nominal fee for the space there, but in all our spaces we pay for the electricity and for upkeep. So if Rockrose had their spaces empty in Long Island City, they’d have to pay for the maintenance man to go there and make sure there are no leaks. But when we’re there we’re bringing hundreds of people, which cuts down on costs.
Your father named a building after your younger sister, Helena? Why don’t you have a building named after you?
I have the through block, Anita’s Way. It’s between [The Condé Nast] building and another next to it.
Is it really Anita’s Way?
Yes. I get my way. Actually, we put performances in there, or we just had somebody open the hall and they just did a history of what’s happened in Times Square for the last 40 years—events like that. I also went and got married there the other day. I married myself.
It was a few weeks ago. I married myself.
What were your vows?
That I wouldn’t get mad at myself if I made mistakes, and I would love myself as much as I love others. I can’t remember what the third one was. But they got a veil for me and went in and they took pictures, and threw rice while a U-Haul waited to take me away.
Did you have guests?
Yeah, I brought my husband, and he married himself as well.
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