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THE [[script]] Algonquin [[/script]]

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42nd STREET E.T.C.

"We are not an advocacy group. We take no position on the Times Square Redevelopment Project. Ours is an enhancement program. We want to make others-and ourselves - aware of the finer things in the 42nd Street area. We do this with product, with project."

So said Marjorie W. Longley, Director of Public Affairs of The New York Times Company. She was speaking of 42nd Street E.T.C. (Education, Theatre, Culture), a three-year-old civic organization of which she is chairman and of which The League of New York Theatres and Producers is one of a number of contributing members.

42nd Street E.T.C. is an "umbrella" group which embraces the large and small business interests that line either side of this historic street, the surprisingly numerous educational institutions, the theatres, and the communications and other cultural enterprises. Through 42nd Street E.T.C. they all contribute time and talent to make the public (and themselves) more aware of the riches to be found along this cross-street river to river.

As Marjorie Longley indicated, the group seeks to create awareness with projects and events rather than with exhortation and argument. Since the organization was convened under the leadership of Pat Koch Thaler, the sister of the Mayor, a data-filled maroon pamphlet has been produced, richly detailing the principal buildings and institutions along the entire length of 42nd Street. The pamphlet is an eye-opener. In an introduction, Brendan Gill writes:

"Between two rivers, one headlong, the other grandly tranquil (and neither of them, to tell the truth, a river at all), this short, broad, vehement cross-street is sure-


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An organization that focuses attention on the finer things in this historic area...

ly the most intense of the innumerable urban experiences that confront and seduce us daily in the greatest of cities."

Citing chapter and verse, the pamphlet helps particularize and define the almost infinite variety of experiences to be found along 42nd Street. To celebrate the brightness and random pleasures implicit in those experiences, the organization ran a competition among the students of one of the street's schools, the Parsons School of Design, to create a distinctive banner. The winning banner, multiplied, was fixed to the lampposts from one end of the street to the other. Next spring, a new set of banners will be designed and hung.

42nd Street E.T.C. has commissioned artist Brookie Marshall to create a sculpture of the street with will be displayed in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in January and later elsewhere in the district. Starting in October, 42nd Street E.T.C. will publish a Monthly Bulletin Board, a sheet of events and continuing attractions to be found in the neighborhood. Marjorie Longley regards this publication as an extension of the pamphlet, which is given away at such public gathering points as the New York Public Library and the Whitney Gallery branch in the Philip Morris Building.

Through efforts such as these, this voluntary membership group, which operates without staff of any kind but relies on direct individual effort and contributions, seeks to focus public attention on a street that is too easily written off because of its blemishes and faults. Too many people, including all of us in the theatre, have too great a stake in the health of 42nd Street not to applaud-and give out best support to-42nd Street E.T.C.

Playbill is pleased to make this space available to The League of New York Theatres and Producers. The opinions reflected herein are those of The League and not necessarily those of Playbill.

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[[script]] Top of the Sixes[registered symbol]] [[script]]]]

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