Building Community Capacity FY2016
Under Mayor de Blasio, several City agencies, including City Planning, HPD, and EDC, have begun to collaborate on a strategy for the equitable development of several priority-need neighborhoods. In a similar manner, the City’s One New York Plan includes DCLA, with the goal of increasing cultural programming in underserved areas of the five boroughs. Recognizing the role cultural organizations and the arts can have in community development, the Department of Cultural Affairs’ (DCLA) Capacity Building Unit has developed the Building Community Capacity (BCC) initiative to leverage culture as part of these interagency collaborations.
The BCC’s goal is to ensure that these neighborhood organizations are able to increase their cultural programming and integrate into community-development efforts in a manner that is sustainable. Through this eighteen-month program, neighborhoods develop more effective and healthier leadership, enabling organizations to better serve their constituents. Through strengthened infrastructure, these groups are able to focus more of their time on delivering relevant, quality arts experiences to their target audiences. Additionally, the program fosters meaningful networks between local arts nonprofits, and City agencies, senior centers, libraries, schools, small businesses, Local Development Corporations (LDCs), and Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) to create coalitions of stakeholders that use the arts to collectively benefit the entire community in a long-term, sustainable way. This network-building explicitly ties the cultural organizations’ capacity-building to the City’s cross-agency community-development efforts in these neighborhoods. Through these efforts, the BCC helps ensure that culture is a key component in the creation of healthy and thriving communities.
The Capacity Building Unit is supported, in part, by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program.