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Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams Invest Over $22 Million in Cultural Organizations as Administration's Strong Fiscal Management Improves City's Budget Outlook

April 22, 2024

WATCH: Mayor Adams Announces Investment of $22+ Million in City’s Cultural Institutions 

$18.3 Million Allocated Over Next Three Fiscal Years to Cultural Institutions Group, Supporting 34 Cultural Organizations Operated on City-Owned Property 

$4.3 Million Allocated Over Next Two Fiscal Years to Cultural Development Fund, Supporting Over 1,000 Cultural Nonprofits Across the City

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams today announced that, thanks to strong fiscal management, the city will make multiple investments in New York City’s cultural sector by allocating more than $22 million over the next three fiscal years for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) as part of the city’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Executive Budget. The investment includes $18.3 million over the next three fiscal years for the 34 members of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG). These institutions — including museums, performing arts centers, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens — operate on city-owned property and serve as community anchors and economic engines for neighborhoods in all five boroughs. Over the next two fiscal years, the FY25 Executive Budget will also allocate $4.3 million to the Cultural Development Fund (CDF), which supports over 1,000 cultural nonprofits across the city annually, investing in a wide range of groups that represent the backbone of the city’s remarkable cultural community.

“Our people, arts, and culture are the heart and soul of New York City, and they are the cornerstone of our economic rebound,” said Mayor Adams. “New Yorkers, alongside tourists from every corner of the globe, enjoy our world-class museums, theaters, performing arts centers, and more. Our strong fiscal management has enabled us to put money back into the cultural organizations that do so much for us, and with this investment of more than $22 million we are reaffirming our commitment to this vital sector.”

“New York City must invest in the success of our cultural institutions if we are to remain the cultural capital of the world — continuing to benefit from the estimated $110 billion in annual activity the cultural economy generates for our city,” said Speaker Adams. “Today’s joint announcement with Mayor Adams is an important down payment for our cultural sector in the Executive Budget that establishes a foundation to build upon for the final city budget. Our arts and cultural institutions are essential pillars of our city's communities that the Council has consistently championed adequate funding to support. We look forward to our continued work with the administration and all stakeholders to deliver a budget that invests the necessary funds for a healthy and robust cultural sector.”

mayor adam is speaking at the camera

Mayor Adams announces an investment of more than $22 million in the city’s cultural institutions.

“Thanks to our city’s sound fiscal management, we are able to invest in our city’s invaluable cultural groups, ensuring that New York City remains a vibrant hub of creativity, diversity, and expression for all New Yorkers,” said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. “Our cultural institutions are the lifeblood of New York City, reflecting our city’s diversity and we are proud to continue to support these organizations with a $22 million investment.”

“Art and culture are what make our city unique, driving our economy and strengthening our communities,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Thanks to strong fiscal stewardship across city government through the unprecedented challenges we've faced, I'm thrilled to announce an investment of more than $22 million for the thousands of creative organizations across the five boroughs. This funding will strengthen organizations of all sizes and will ensure that our vibrant artistic community continues to thrive, inspire, and unite us all.”

“Culture is the heartbeat of New York City, and the cultural institutions that my agency supports across the city are where the real work happens — incubating artists, engaging audiences, and creating community,” said DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “We had to tighten our belts along with our fellow agencies in light of the fiscal challenges our city has faced, but we're overjoyed for today's announcement that we'll be able to invest a significant portion of this funding in this year's budget, and in the upcoming years. Culture in New York City is a public-private partnership, and we're proud to remain the largest funder of art and culture in America. We look forward to continuing to work with and investing in our remarkable cultural organizations.”

“Investing in culture and supporting arts organizations and individual artists is a key driver of New York City’s economic vitality,” said “New” New York executive director B.J. Jones. “This funding by the Adams Administration helps protect and elevate New York’s indelible creative spirit that infuses every borough.”

By stabilizing the city’s budget and fiscal outlook, the Adams administration has been able to invest city and state recurring dollars and protect $22.6 million for cultural institutions. Cultural organizations continue to engage New Yorkers and attract visitors to New York City, as the city boasted its fourth highest year for tourism in 2023 and projects even more visitors in 2024. According to the Mayor’s Management Report, attendance at CIG-member institutions increased more than 60 percent in FY23 over FY21.

Mayor Adams, DCLA Commissioner Cumbo, and other members of the administration have collaborated on many new initiatives to support the city’s vibrant cultural sector and bring the arts to all New Yorkers. In February, DCLA announced more than $52 million in grants for 1,031 nonprofits through the CDF, which is part of this budget investment for FY25 and FY26. With support from Mayor Adams, the City Council, and borough presidents, DCLA also announced more than $222 million in new funding for cultural capital projects across the city, in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

Under the Adams administration, the city has also announced new initiatives to support artists and bring arts programming to residents in every corner of the city. Mayor Adams convened the city’s first-ever Live Performance Industry Council to address issues facing this industry. The new City Canvas program will transform unsightly sidewalks sheds, construction sheds, and scaffolding into platforms for creative expression. The revived She Built NYC program will honor remarkable women from New York City history with monuments in all five boroughs. A new, interactive map launched as part of the 40th anniversary of the city’s Percent for Art program makes the city’s public art collection more accessible than ever before. And efforts to bring temporary art installations into City Hall and other public buildings have, most recently, included an exhibition at City Hall that explores “the Greatest Day in Hip-Hop.” Today’s announcement also aligns with the “‘New’ New York: Making New York Work for Everyone” plan, which includes recommendations to invest in culture, as well as supporting artists, artist spaces, and artist organizations — including through increased support for cultural organizations.

“New York City is synonymous with art, culture, and creativity," said New York City Councilmember, Justin Brannan, chair, Finance Committee. "From the Coney Island Aquarium to El Museo del Barrio, our cultural institutions are the heart and soul of this city, while the cultural economy generates an estimated $110 billion in economic activity every year and employs nearly 85,000 New Yorkers. It’s because of these incredible non-profit museums, performing arts centers, schools, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens that New York City holds the undisputed title of cultural capital of the world. The restorations announced together with the administration today are a positive step in the right direction. From the Met to the Bronx Zoo, smaller community-based institutions and everything in between, investing in New York City’s non-profit arts and cultural organizations is simply smart policy that we must realize in the city budget.”

“New York City’s vibrant culture supports a unique arts scene that in turn sustains a strong local economy,” said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, chair, Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee.We are home to iconic institutions and creative spaces dedicated to raising consciousness and advancing meaningful expression and engagement, which generate an outsized return on investment of $110 billion in economic activity. The budgetary commitment made by the Adams administration today is an important step that demonstrates the city’s support for a diverse and resilient arts sector that makes our city one of a kind.”

“Today’s restorations to the Department of Cultural Affairs is a positive step forward in the city’s support of their cultural anchors and economic engines like The New York Botanical Garden,” said Aaron Bouska, Vice President of Government and Community Relations at New York Botanic Garden. “Thank you, Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer, and Commissioner Cumbo, for restoring critical operating support that employs hundreds of Bronxites serving their communities. Thank you to Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Council Finance Chair Justin Brannan, and Cultural Affairs Chair Carlina Rivera for their early advocacy leadership and support of our cultural community.”

“We wholeheartedly thank Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer, and Commissioner Cumbo for the full restoration of the January budget cuts to culture,” said Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall. “This is a significant step toward making our sector whole this year, and we look forward to working with the Administration to ensure both the full restoration of November’s cuts and full investment in the health and vitality of New York City’s arts and culture community in next year’s budget.”

"The hundreds of cultural groups who received cuts this year are deeply grateful that the mayor has reversed a good portion of them," said Lucy Sexton, executive director, New Yorkers for Arts & Culture. "The continued investment in cultural centers, dance studios, small theater companies, musical groups of all types, art programs for youth and seniors, and so much more is critical to building a vibrant safe city and a thriving economy!"

“Today, we are pleased to see that our advocacy efforts, and the efforts of our partners in government, labor, tourism, workforce development and the greater cultural community, have resulted in arts investment in the mayor’s planned Executive Budget,” said Coco Killingsworth, chair, Cultural Institutions Group and vice president, creative social impact, BAM. “We want to thank Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for heeding our calls and for acknowledging the important place arts and culture have in the fabric of our great city. As a result of these restorations, our small, medium and large institutions in all five boroughs will be able to stave off further cuts. We urge the mayor, the City Council and our advocacy partners to continue to fight to restore cuts and baseline arts funding moving forward. Today is a great day for arts and culture. Let’s make sure tomorrow, next year, and the decades to follow are even greater.”

“New Yorkers can celebrate a step forward in the restoration of funding for arts and culture in the city’s executive budget," said John F. Calvelli, executive vice president, public affairs, Wildlife Conservation Society. “We applaud Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for supporting non-profit cultural organizations, both large and small, and their understanding of the economic impact this sector has on the city. We thank the many champions for culture on the City Council including Speaker Adrienne Adams, Chair Carlina Rivera and Chair Justin Brannan. This support from the city directly helps WCS’s Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium provide millions of New Yorkers each year with a great educational and fun experience.”

“The heartbeat of New York City culture can be heard louder today, as we show our gratitude to Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for their show of support of New York City culture with the restoration of $22.6 million to the culture budget,” said Jessica B. Phillips, chief operating officer, Historic Richmond Town. “Specifically, the $7.43 million restoration exemplifies a shared dedication to enriching our community through arts and culture. Together, we will continue to ensure our great city remains the cultural capital of the world.”

“The Met is pleased that the administration is taking this important step to restore $22.6 million to the Department of Cultural Affairs,” Max Hollein, director and chief executive officer, The Met's Marina Kellen French Director. “This critical funding allows cultural organizations to continue serving as both key economic drivers and as sites of solace and inspiration for communities across the five boroughs, and we are deeply grateful for the support.”

“The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to learn of the partial restoration of cuts to the cultural sector,” said Stephanie Hill Wilchfort and Ronay Menschel, director and president, The Museum of the City of New York. “The cultural sector is an economic backbone of the city, representing 13 percent of our economy and generating $110 billion for our neighborhoods and communities. At MCNY, this support is helping us to launch the first major exhibition about Shirley Chisholm in June, allowing us to share an important New York story. Thank you to Mayor Adams and the administration for supporting our sector and the many New Yorkers who depend on our institutions for their livelihoods, inspiration, and wellbeing.”

“New York City Ballet was thrilled and relieved to learn of Mayor Eric Adams’ restoration of cuts to the Department of Cultural Affairs’ budget,” said Katherine Brown, executive director, New York City Ballet. “We are deeply grateful to the mayor for recognizing the importance of the arts for all New Yorkers. We would also like to thank Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Council Member Carlina Rivera, and Council Member Justin Brannan for their tireless work in advocating for culture.”

“LMCC is thrilled to learn that prior cuts to DCLA's budget are getting restored and that the mayor is prioritizing funding for arts and culture,” said Craig T. Peterson, president, LMCC. “As we have always known, artist communities are a vital economic driver in New York City. This budget restoration is an investment in our city's future that will pay dividends in the years to come. As the arts council for the borough of Manhattan, we are grateful to know that this funding will be invested in creative communities and projects across the city.”

“On behalf of the staff and communities served, Brooklyn Children’s Museum is thankful to Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo in this tremendous victory for the sector,” said Atiba T. Edwards, president and CEO, Brooklyn Children’s Museum. “This reversal of the January PEG cuts and also the FY25 and FY26 planned cuts allows for BCM to continue to invest in providing great opportunities for our youngest stewards of our future, families, school groups and a broader community. Arts and culture provide tremendous opportunities to enrich general lives and advance academic achievement across New York City. Thank you to Speaker Adrienne Adams, Chair of the Committee on Culture Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Finance Justin Brannan and the many other elected officials for advocating for the needed support and growth in support of culture.”

“On behalf of the board, staff, and almost 1 million visitors to Brooklyn Botanic Garden, we thank Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for this significant restoration of the cultural affairs budget,” said Adrian Benepe, president and CEO, Brooklyn Botanic Garden. “We are also grateful to City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Finance Committee Chair Justin Brannan, and Cultural Affairs and Libraries Committee Chair Carlina Rivera for their advocacy on behalf of arts and culture in New York City. We look forward to working with the administration and council on building back toward full funding for culture in the face of many years of diminished investment in this vital aspect of New York City’s social and economic health.”

“The restored budget cuts will have an immediate impact for Queens Theatre, increasing our capacity to bring programming to the communities we serve, and we are tremendously grateful to Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer and Commissioner Cumbo,” said Taryn Sacramone, executive director, Queens Theatre. “This is an important step toward funding New York City cultural institutions at a level commensurate with the sector's importance to the economic and social health of the city. We are also thankful for the consistent support of Speaker Adams, Councilmember Rivera and Councilmember Justin Brannan, as reflected in their strong advocacy for culture funding in their Budget response.”

“I would like to thank the mayor for the reversal of the January PEG cuts to culture, Lisa Gold, executive director, Asian American Arts Alliance. “New York City culture is the envy of the world and we need support from the city to ensure our artists and arts organizations are able to thrive. I am so grateful to the mayor for recognizing the importance of culture to the city — not just to the millions of tourists who flock here annually to catch Broadway shows and world-class museum exhibitions, but also the millions of New Yorkers who take pride in seeing their culture and communities represented in dance, film, theater, and more!” said

“On behalf of the hundreds of immigrant students and professional artists we work with, we are grateful the Mayor has reversed the January peg cuts for the Department of Cultural Affairs," said Mino Lora, artistic executive director, People’s Theatre Project. “Culture in our city is vital! We know neighborhoods across our city are able to thrive when New York City invests in cultural groups across the boroughs and across artistic disciplines and applaud the mayor for this announcement.”

“We are heartened by the restoration of major funding to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, a crucial initial stride towards nurturing New York City's vibrant cultural landscape,” said Anne Pasternak, director, The Brooklyn Museum. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mayor Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner Cumbo, and the City Council, particularly Speaker Adrienne Adams, Finance Committee Chair Justin Brannan, and Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Carlina Rivera, for showing the importance of prioritizing our city's cultural institutions for generations to come.”

“We are thankful to Mayor Eric Adams for the significant cultural sector restoration of funds that will help New York City communities thrive,” said Regina Bain, executive director, Louis Armstrong House Museum. “Art and culture are critical to the success of our neighborhoods. Thank you as well to Commissioner Cumbo, Speaker Adams, Chair Rivera, Council Member Moya, and to arts and culture colleagues throughout the city who are preparing to bring this important work to the students, seniors, travelers, and families we serve.”

"When NYC's creative industries thrive, NYC thrives, and these investments into our cultural institutions will ensure people from around the world  continue to visit, work and live here," said Mayor's Office for Media and Entertainment Commissioner Pat Swinney Kaufman. "Along with the work being done by the city's first ever Theatre and Live Performance Industry Council, the funding announced by Mayor Adams will help guide NYC’s theatre and live entertainment industry on its path to a full recovery.”

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