Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York

Archive News and Press Releases

Archive News

The Department of Cultural Affairs Announces Fiscal Year 2011 Budget
On June 30, 2010, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg presented New York City’s adopted budget for FY2011 (July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011).  This budget is determined by the Mayor, the City Council, and the Borough Presidents.  

The FY11 budget for the Department of Cultural Affairs currently contains:
  • $149.8 million in expense funding for non-profit cultural organizations, including
    • $28.9 million for the Cultural Development Fund
    • $110.2 million for the Cultural Institutions Group
    • $5.8 million for the Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) program 
  • $550 million in capital funding for design, construction, and capital equipment purchases at non-profit cultural organizations.

Organizations that requested capital funding for FY11 will be notified directly about the outcome of this year’s process by mid-July.

Organizations that applied for FY11 Cultural Development Funds will be notified directly about the outcome of this year’s process by the end of July. 

Mayor Bloomberg Announces the 4th Annual Make Music New York Festival and “Play Me, I’m Yours”
Mayor Bloomberg was today joined by Cultural Affairs Commissioner Levin and other officials to announce the 4th Annual Make Music New York, a one-day festival featuring more than 1,000 free musical performances at locations in all five boroughs, and “Play Me, I’m Yours,” a two-week citywide music program featuring 60 public pianos in public spaces throughout New York City.  “Play Me, I’m Yours” begins on Make Music New York day, Monday, June 21, and will run through July 5. For further information about these public art projects, call 311 or visit, or
Read the press release.

Times Square Alliance Seeking Proposals for Art Projects and Events in Times Square
The Times Square Alliance seeks letters of interest from arts organizations and artists across disciplines to present contemporary art projects and art events in the public spaces in and around Times Square. Applicants can propose a single project or series for anytime between September 2010 and December 2012. Projects should address the unique nature and rich history of Times Square, and organizations, curators and artists are encouraged to consider how their projects will affect the 350,000 daily Times Square visitors. Letters of Interest are due on July 15, 2010 and should not exceed 500 words. 

Information sessions and walk-throughs of applicable public spaces will be held on Thursday, June 24, 2010, 4 PM and Monday, June 28, 2010, 11 AM. RSVP with date and time and contact info at
More information about the Times Square Public Art Program.

Theater Subdistrict Council Grant Program
The Department of City Planning and the Department of Cultural Affairs are pleased to provide information on the second round of a grant program designed to recognize the vital role that theater plays in the overall economic and social well-being of New York City.  The Theater Subdistrict Council Grant Program is open to organizations and/or consortia that:
  • offer theater-related cultural programs based in and operating in the five boroughs
  • are incorporated in New York State
  • have been in existence and providing public services for at least two years
  • had an operating income of $200,000 or more in FY09
No more than 15 - 20 awards are expected to be made in this second round; awards will be for $50,000 or more.  Intent to Apply forms must be postmarked by April 9, 2010.  Respondents to the Intent to Apply will be notified in mid-June if they will be invited to submit a full application; a decision regarding which projects will be funded in the second round of the program will be announced in September, after a review of the full applications.

Download the following TSC documents here:
Overview of the Application Process
Intent to Apply Form
Map of the TSC Boundaries

Third Annual Arts in Schools Report
On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, the Department of Cultural Affairs hosted the announcement of the third Annual Arts in Schools Report.  The report provides a comprehensive analysis of arts education in New York City public schools and includes citywide data on student participation in arts programs during the 2008-09 school year. In 2007, the City developed ArtsCount to provide greater accountability and transparency for arts education. The report’s findings will be used by administrators and school leaders to continue supporting arts instruction in City schools.
Read the press release

The 2009 Mayor's Awards for Arts and Culture
Handel Medallion Presented to Jessye Norman
On Tuesday, October 6, 2009, Mayor Bloomberg presented the 2009 Mayor’s Awards for Arts & Culture at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens.  Awards recipients included the Big Apple Circus, Jaynemarie Capetanakis, H.T. Chen, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Vernon Reid, and the Thalia Spanish Theatre, in celebration of their outstanding contributions to New York City’s cultural life. The Mayor also presented the 2009 NYC Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest award for achievement in the arts, to Jessye Norman.  The event was co-hosted by Bye Bye Birdie star John Stamos, and featured live performances by Dance Theatre of Harlem, Dee Dee Bridgewater, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Musical Theater Ensemble, Cajun Cellist Sean Grissom, and Picaso, Jr. of the Big Apple Circus. Special guests included Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson of Carnegie Hall and actor Avery Brooks.
Read the release

Mayor Bloomberg Announces New Cultural Partnerships Creating Work Spaces for Artists and Providing Arts Programming for Older New Yorkers throughout the Five Boroughs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced Age-Friendly NYC: Enhancing Our City’s Livability for Older New Yorkers, a new initiative promoting active aging in New York City.  At the announcement, Mayor Bloomberg introduced new partnerships of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of the Aging with the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Queens Council on the Arts, and the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island, to place visual artists in studio spaces at targeted senior centers throughout the 5 boroughs.  In addition, NYC Performing Arts Spaces (a program of Fractured Atlas) will select two musicians in the ConEdison Composers/Musicians Residency Program to be placed in residencies at a Department for the Aging-funded senior center in Queens.  For more information about Age Friendly NYC, visit  To find cultural programming across New York City for individuals of all ages, visit
Read the All Ages Artist Residency Program Press Release
Read the Age-Friendly NYC Press Release

Mayor Bloomberg and Meryl Streep Present the 2010 Mayor's Awards for Arts and Culture
On Monday, November 8, 2010, Mayor Bloomberg and Meryl Streep presented the 2010 Mayor’s Awards for Arts & Culture at Alice Tully Hall. Awards recipients included Amy Fischetti-Boncardo, Bill Cunningham, the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Deborah Effinger, and Sandy Ground Historical Society, in celebration of their outstanding contributions to New York City’s cultural life. The Mayor also presented the 2010 NYC Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest award for achievement in the arts, to dancer and choreographer Judith Jamison. The event featured live performances by Arturo O’Farrill and members of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Ailey School, and Chinese Theatre Works. Special guests included Wynton Marsalis, actor and singer Darius de Haas, Grandma from the Big Apple Circus and a voiceover recorded by Alec Baldwin. Read the press release

Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayors Office of Film Theater and Broadcasting Announce that the “Made In NY” Cultural Credit Program has donated more than $600,000 to NYC Cultural Organizations
On Monday, October 5, 2009, Cultural Affairs Deputy Commissioner Margaret Morton and MOFTB Commissioner Katherine Oliver announced that, through the "Made in NY" Cultural Credit program, NYC-based films and television series have donated more than $600,000 to local cultural organizations. The announcement took place at the premiere of Lifetime Television Network's new sitcom Sherri. This innovative public-private partnership brings together the film industry and New York City's cultural field, reinforcing the linkages between nonprofit groups and the commercial creative sector.
Read the press release

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Five New Initiatives to Help Strengthen NYC’s Cultural Sector
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Seth W. Pinsky today announced five initiatives to support artists and cultural organizations in New York City, as part of the Five Borough Economic Opportunity plan.  Through these initiatives, the City will strengthen the arts workforce, promote cultural districts, and make more City-owned space available for creative projects. 
For more information about these initiatives and their corresponding RFPs
Read the press release

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Levin Open the New Museum of Chinese in America
Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Levin and Museum of Chinese in America officials today unveiled the Museum’s new venue at 215 Centre Street in Manhattan. The 14,000-square-foot venue, designed by Maya Lin, dramatically enhances the Museum’s programming space.  The official opening was marked by a traditional “Eye Dotting Ceremony”, in which officials painted the pupils of a festive Chinese dragon to symbolically bring life and good fortune to the Museum’s new home. 
Read the press release

Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin and NYC Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Announce the FY10 Cultural Development Fund Awards
The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the NYC Council, today announced the results of the Fiscal 2010 Cultural Development Fund (CDF) Awards.  The CDF will support 884 cultural organizations in every borough.  Awards are granted for public programs that range from exhibitions and performances, to classes and workshops, to public lectures and publications, to subsidized work space for artists and technical assistance.
Read the press release
For a listing of FY10 CDF awards