The NYC Parks Department has clarified the rules that apply to those selling paintings, prints, or providing entertainment in exchange for a fee or donation.
Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions according to the Parks Department Website:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why did Parks need to clarify the rules?
Based on questions raised in litigation not involving Parks, the Agency in spring 2012 determined it was necessary to temporarily suspend enforcing the rules against performers and clarify that the rules apply to performers and entertainers. The clarification provides clearer information to both the general public and expressive matter vendors.
Q. Are the rules changing for vendors of paintings, prints, photography, reading materials, and sculpture?
In the four parks with designated vending spots (Union Square, Battery Park, High Line, and certain portions of Central Park), performers, like all other expressive matter vendors, will need to sell or solicit donations from the designated spots, which are marked with Parks medallions on the ground.
Outside of the areas with designated vending spots, the rules primarily impact expressive matter vendors using a display table to sell their items. The rules restrict the size of display tables and their proximity to curbs, bus stops, park furniture, monuments, fountains, and public art installations. It is important to reiterate that these proximity restrictions, which include a prohibition on vending within fifty (50) feet of a monument or within five (5) feet of park furniture, ONLY apply to vendors using a display table to sell items. Because performers do not typically use display tables, the rules should not impact the majority of performers and buskers in parks without designated vending spots. There are general rules that apply to all vendors (including entertainers and performers) on Parks property. For example, no one is permitted to vend in playgrounds or pools. There are also general requirements for performances and events in parks that are expected to draw large
Q. Who must follow these rules?
The complete rules are available here on the Parks Department website.