FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES 30th ANNIVERSARY OF DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS DURING WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, November 5, 2006
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Over the past 30 years, New York City has been the site of some of the most memorable achievements in the history of arts and culture - from the exhibitions displayed in our museums to the public art on our streets and in our parks to the first-class concerts and shows performed on stages in every borough. Even a musical called Chicago made it big in New York.
"And this year, as the City's Department of Cultural Affairs celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is more active than ever. The Department is the single largest public funder of the arts in the entire country, and those dollars are not just going to Broadway and Museum Mile. Cultural organizations in all five boroughs are thriving.
"Since 2001, we have almost doubled the number of building projects we are funding outside of Manhattan - with nearly $400 million in capital dollars going to the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. In October, we celebrated the completion of the Bronx Museum of Art. And soon there will be a new visitor center at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, an expansion of the Queens Museum of Art, and a newly renovated Reptile Wing at the Staten Island Zoo.
"There isn't another city in the world that can top New York's incredibly diverse cultural offerings. Right now, we're home to roughly 500 art galleries, 420 theater companies, 330 dance companies, 150 museums, and 96 orchestras.
"But you don't need to be an artist or even an art lover to appreciate the tremendous impact these institutions have on city life. Arts and culture is a vital part of New York's economy. Our 1,400 nonprofit arts organizations pay some $2.2 billion in annual wages, create over $5 billion in economic benefits for the City each year, and drive billions and billions of dollars into the commercial sector.
"City investment in these organizations helps to create jobs, attract visitors, and strengthen neighborhoods. In once-neglected communities like Long Island City, Red Hook, and the South Bronx, artists and cultural organization have helped spark a rebirth.
"And where our artists go, tourists follow. Last year, we welcomed a record 42.6 million visitors to New York City, and nearly 50% of them visited museums, exhibitions, performances, or other cultural sites. And that's not even counting the thousands of visitors who come to see large-scale events like the Latin Grammys - which, last week, for the first time ever, was held right here in New York City. ¡Fantastico!
"People from all over the world come to the five boroughs to experience our diverse cultural offerings, and some, to pursue their own artistic dreams. We want them to keep coming. And to make sure that they do, we will continue to invest in the organizations that support our artists and performers, educate and inspire our children, and help make New York City the arts and culture capital of the world.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address