The Fine Arts Federation of New York, a non-profit organization established in 1895 to create and defend art and architecture city-wide, is an alliance of twenty-two prominent organizations concerned with public art, architecture, planning, parks, and historic preservation.
The Federation's board meets monthly to formulate positions and coordinate united action on current and emerging issues that affect the aesthetic interests of the community. The common interests and diverse professional expertise of constituent organizations create numerous points of advocacy and are a resource of technical as well as aesthetic advice. The Federation welcomes speakers to their meetings to present projects large and small that affect the quality of life in our city.
The Federation has helped shape the city in projects ranging from the placement of General Sherman's statue at Grand Army Plaza in 1903, joining with other groups to secure a Planning Commission and the Landmark Preservation Law, encouraging the designation of historic districts and individual landmarks, managing a competition for the City to commission sculptors to enhance the Family Court Building in Manhattan, to advocating the elimination of proliferating unsightly sidewalk newsboxes.
Once a year the Federation seeks highly qualified New York City residents for nomination to the Art Commission, the municipal agency that reviews and approves works of art and architecture design for city owned property. Established by the New York City Charter of 1898 and continuing today, the Mayor of the city of New York appoints members of the Art Commission (a non-salaried, three-year term) from lists of nominees provided to him by the Federation for the posts of painter, sculptor, landscape architect, and architect, and laymen. The Federation also proposes individuals for consideration as members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Fine Arts Federation representatives attend public hearings and submit statements of support or opposition with specific recommendations on many items under review by the Art Commission and Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Interested persons may attend programs presented at the annual (April) and semi-annual (November) meetings of the Board of Directors, presidents, and delegates from member organizations.
Regina Stewart, Executive Director