Mayor Richard Thomas' Weekly Report
City of Mount Vernon, New York
December 15, 2018
Mayor Richard Thomas unveiled Mount Vernon’s first Arts, Culture & Heritage Master Plan, a blueprint for economic development that capitalizes on the city’s rich history as a home to legendary singers, actors and entertainers, such as Nina Simone, Denzel Washington, Dick Clark. P. Diddy and Heavy D to name a few.
The product of months collaboration among artists, community members, business leaders, professional planners and city officials, the Master Plan includes 21 recommendations, which are designed to help local businesses capture the almost $400 million that Mount Vernon residents spend outside the city each year, as well as generate new revenue.
“The Master Plan builds on Mount Vernon‘s strengths,” Mayor Thomas said. “We have the talent — arts and culture have long been part of Mount Vernon’s DNA — and we have the location — more affordable than New York City but just minutes away. Combine that with the right incentives and you create a new cultural destination that grows our economy now and into the future.”
Planning Commissioner Chantelle Okarter emphasized that an “incentive community input process.” which included surveys and large and small group conversations and meetings, went into developing the recommendations. She thanked CJAM Consulting for spearheading the effort and the New York State Council on the Arts for funding the initiative.