In the Arts: Ground Zero Arts Center Secures Nonprofit Status

Plans for a performance complex at the World Trade Center site moved two big steps closer to fruition in recent days as the project gained nonprofit status and brought on its first staff member, writes The Wall Street Journal.

The World Trade Center Performing Arts Center secured state incorporation on Feb. 29, clearing the way for it to seek federal tax-exempt status. The following day the center’s board hired Maggie Boepple, a former president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as a senior adviser.

The board was empaneled in December, just in time to keep the proposed center eligible for $100-million in support from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. Current plans call for a 1,000-seat theater along with other spaces to host music, dance, and theatrical performances.

In other arts news, Helsinki residents have turned against plans for a Guggenheim museum in the Finnish capital, according to a poll commissioned by the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

A year after surveys showed about 50 percent support for the proposal, the new poll found 75 percent of city residents oppose the Guggenheim, with only 19 percent in favor. Asked to prioritize a list of cultural projects, the Guggenheim among them, respondents overwhelmingly backed building a new library instead.

The City Council is expected to vote next month on the $178-million Guggenheim project, plans for which were unveiled by the Guggenheim Foundation in January.

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