Event Details
  • Non-members, please pay at least $5 to help keep us running.
    April 22, 2022
    5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Politics and Art: Current Efforts to Revitalize Live Performance in New York
Friday 4/22, 2022 at 5:00 eastern time

Community Gathering on Zoom - register with the bright red reservation box to receive the Zoom link. These gatherings are a service for the theater community and are offered free for TRU members; we ask that non-members help keep us running by making a donation or joining as a member.

In the room: Erik Bottcher, councilperson for New York City's 3rd district (Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side); Aimee Todoroff, managing director League of Independent Theater.   A followup to the conversation we had with Erik last fall. While government support for the arts is a given in many countries, why has America been slow to actively support our cultural voice? This touchstone of national identity is rarely even mentioned in political speeches about key issues that affect our country. Is it inevitable that other social issues be prioritized over the struggle of artists? In our educational system, why do sports outperform the arts in the arena of funding? Currently what is New York doing to support the return of theater and what are the most effective channels to go through to initiate necessary changes? And how are a politician’s well-meaning goals affected by the realities of the political world? We pose these questions to our honored guests as we hope to raise awareness of the needs of the independent and commercial theater communities.


    is a dedicated public servant and activist who has devoted his life to progressive causes and to the betterment of the community he loves. In 2021, he was elected to represent City Council District 3, which includes the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Flatiron, Hudson Square, Times Square, the Theater District, the Garment District and Columbus Circle.  His career in public service began in 2009 as the LGBTQ & HIV/AIDS Community Liaison in the City Council’s community outreach unit, where he organized grassroots campaigns on issues including hate crimes, transgender rights, housing for people with HIV/AIDS, and marriage equality. Erik then served as the statewide LGBTQ Community Liaison in the governor’s office, where he helped organize the fight for marriage equality in New York State, working with activists from Buffalo to Montauk in an unprecedented grassroots campaign to garner support for the Marriage Equality Act. In 2015, Erik joined the team of New York City Council Member Corey Johnson as his Chief of Staff. Erik has worked tirelessly for the residents of Council District 3, fighting for more green space, better schools, affordable housing, senior services, and more.


    most recently served as the City’s Census Director achieving a historic result where NYC finished number one of all major cities. She has served as Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs and Commissioner of Media and Entertainment. She previously served as a Columbia adjunct professor teaching on city and state government, preemption and home rule. As the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, she reinvigorated the agency by increasing consumer restitution by 70 percent, instituting 25 reforms to lower fines on small businesses where there was no consumer harm, implementing the Paid Sick Leave Law, and launching trailblazing legal investigations into for-profit colleges, debt collectors, banks, predatory lenders and other industries preying on New Yorkers. As Commissioner of Media and Entertainment she implemented dozens of initiatives to increase gender equity, launching new programs to increase women’s representation and opportunities in film, TV, theater, and the music industry such as the first-ever women’s film fund, job training programs to increase gender equity in the film, theater, TV and music industries and a slate of new women’s programming on the city’s TV channels.


    is a director practicing theater in NYC. She has been a part of two Obie Award winning productions, as a performer and as a director. She loves directing in traditional and non-traditional, site specific spaces. Equally adept at classic and new work, Aimee has helmed classic plays by Ibsen and Chekhov, and premieres by Cusi Cram, Daisy Foote, and frequent collaborator Chris Harcum among others. Aimee received her MFA in Directing from Southampton Arts, studying with Marsha Norman, Nick Mangano, and Rinde Eckert, and was the Assistant Director for John Rando and the playwright David Ives for Classic Stage Company’s production of “The Heir Apparent.” She is the artistic director of the indie theater company Elephant Run District, and is passionate about collaborative dialog between artists, audience and communities. In addition to directing and teaching, Aimee created the LIT Anti-Harassment Toolkit and speaks on best practices to create safe creative spaces. aimeetodoroff.org elephantrundistrict.org