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Mayor Adams Celebrates $53 Million Investment for City's Cultural Institutions, Totaling Record High $254 Million in Budget to Support Over 1,000 Cultural Nonprofits Citywide

July 9, 2024

Announcement Follows On-Time, Balanced, and Fiscally-Responsible $112.4 Billion Adopted Budget That Invests in Future of New York City 

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today celebrated a historic investment in the city’s cultural institutions as part of an on-time, balanced, and fiscally-responsible $112.4 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Adopted Budget that addresses the city’s affordability crisis head-on and invests in the future of the city and the working-class people who make New York the greatest city in the world. The FY25 Adopted Budget ensures cultural institutions will have what they need to engage New Yorkers and attract tourists and other visitors, as a critical part of the city’s economic and social wellbeing. After making multiple investments in New York City's cultural sector, including by restoring more than $22 million to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) for the city's Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) and Cultural Development Fund (CDF) in Mayor Adams’ Executive Budget proposal, Mayor Adams and the City Council went even further in the FY25 Adopted Budget by restoring an additional $53 million. DCLA now has a record high budget of $254 million that will support over 1,000 cultural nonprofits citywide.

Last month, the City Council voted to pass the FY25 Budget. After the budget handshake announcement, New Yorkers from across the city, including multiple cultural institutions and organizations, praised the budget for its wide-ranging investments that help protect public safety, rebuild the economy, and make New York City more affordable and livable.

“Cultural institutions are the beating heart of our city,” said Mayor Adams. “Our cultural institutions break down barriers, teach us about the world around us, and make New York City the globe’s cultural hub. Thanks to our cultural institutions, our economy is thriving, and tourists are returning to our city to explore the best in arts, culture, and entertainment. Today, our administration is doubling down on our commitment to culturals and investing an all-time record high to ensure that the sector continues to thrive and that both New Yorkers and visitors have affordable places to learn, explore, and have fun.”

“In every corner of New York City, our cultural community creates world-class programming that drives our local economy, attracts visitors from across the globe, strengthens our communities, and helps us express who we are,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “With Mayor Adams’ historic investment in the Department of Cultural Affairs, we demonstrate our deep commitment to this crucial sector. Investing in culture means investing in New Yorkers. We are grateful to everyone who advocated for our cultural community, and proud that we were able to deliver for them thanks to our strong fiscal management.”

“Once again, the Adams administration is showing up for our cultural community with a historic investment that will put people to work, deliver extraordinary cultural programs in every corner of our city, and make New York a safer, stronger, more vibrant place for all of us,” said DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “I want to give a shout out to the advocates, artists, cultural workers, and others who showed up at hearings, rallies, and other engagements to make the case for culture to their fellow New Yorkers. We know that culture inspires individuals, strengthens communities, and drives the economy. Now, with another record city investment in this important sector, we in local government are ready to continue partnering with our remarkable cultural community to continue delivering these benefits to residents in all five boroughs.”

Cultural institutions are a critical part of New York City's social and economic fabric, which New Yorkers depend on for education, community building, and the overall vibrancy of the city. The $53 million will go to support public programming at more than 1,000 cultural nonprofits citywide through DCLA’s Cultural Development Fund and Cultural Institutions. These funding streams invest in cultural groups across all disciplines, in all shapes and sizes, working in every corner of the five boroughs. The wide range of free summer cultural programs highlighted by DCLA earlier this year is just one example of the range of cultural programming that receives city support.

Thanks to the Adams administration’s ongoing strong fiscal management, which was bolstered by better-than-expected revenue growth, the administration overcame unprecedented challenges in this budget cycle to stabilize the city’s financial outlook and close a $7.1 billion budget gap in January. Now, because of steady, decisive decision making, this adopted budget allows the Adams administration and the City Council to reinvest in initiatives and programs that make New York City more affordable and that address the three things that cost New Yorkers the most — housing, child care, and health care — and that invest billions of dollars of city resources in critical areas, including early childhood education, cultural organizations, parks, public safety, housing, health care, and more.

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 $209 million in new funding for cultural capital projects across the city included in the FY24 budget in the BronxBrooklynManhattanQueens, 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” and celebrates LGBTQIA+ artists for Pride Month.

“We are grateful for the full $53 million restoration to culture in the Fiscal Year 2025 Adopted Budget. Thank you to Mayor Adams, City Council, and our advocacy partners for recognizing the important role culture plays in making our city great,” said Coco Killingsworth, chair, Cultural Institutions Group. “Arts and culture are the lifeblood of New York City. Not only do they drive tourism in New York City and provide thousands of jobs, they make our communities vibrant and more livable by providing safe, peaceful public spaces, and enriching programs and experiences that bind together New Yorkers of all ages.”

“The Museum of the City of New York is delighted to learn of the restoration of cuts to the cultural sector,” said Stephanie Hill Wilchfort, Ronay Menschel director and president, Museum of the City of New York (MCNY). “This support will allow MCNY to open seven days a week starting on July 1. The museum's exhibitions exploring history, popular culture, and art will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first time since the pandemic. City support also allows the museum to operate as a cooling center, open at no charge to anyone who seeks relief from warm weather. Free admission is provided to children under the age of 18 at all times. Thank you to Mayor Adams and his administration, Speaker Adams and the City Council, and DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for their commitment to arts and culture in New York City and to our museum’s work.”

“New Yorkers can celebrate a huge victory in the full restoration of funding for culture and art in the FY25 Adopted Budget. We applaud Mayor Adams, First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo for supporting cultural organizations, both large and small, and their understanding of these anchor institutions and the economic impact this sector has on the city,” said John F. Calvelli, executive vice president, public affairs, Wildlife Conservation Society. “We thank the many champions for culture on the City Council, including Speaker Adrienne Adams, Finance Chair Justin Brannan, and Cultural Chair Carlina Rivera. This support from the city directly helps organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium remain economic engines for the city and continue to educate and inspire millions of New Yorkers to become stewards of nature.”

“We are so grateful to come out of a tough year with this welcome investment in our city's cultural ecosystem — city grants help more than 1,100 cultural groups across the city to make work and serve our communities! This budget demonstrates the city's belief in the power of culture and arts to transform lives, create strong communities, and fuel our economy,” said Lucy Sexton, executive director, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts. “Together, we can continue to heal and create a thriving vibrant New York City with culture for all!”

“Thank you to the Adams administration and the City Council for recognizing the importance and vibrancy of arts and culture in New York City,” said Dr. Raymond Codrington, president and CEO, Weeksville Heritage Center. “This funding is a critical source of support that will help us continue to actively engage our visitors, audiences, and the city as a whole. Today is a clear win for arts and culture in the greatest city in the world.”

“New York City's arts community delivers on jobs, holds our shared cultural legacy, supports a robust economic ecosystem, and is the vibrancy that attracts local residents, visitors and tourists. Our museums, live performing arts, gardens, and more are why people come and why so many of us have chosen to raise the next generation of New Yorkers in our incredible city,” said Leah C. Johnson, executive vice president, chief communications, marketing & advocacy officer, Lincoln Center. “I applaud Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams and the City Council for restoring funding in the FY25 budget and encourage continued investment in the arts as a critical piece of public infrastructure. This is a conversation we look forward to continuing. The exponential benefits of making the arts accessible to all New Yorkers is core to strengthening our city.”

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art is grateful to Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams for their tireless work and leadership in delivering a comprehensive budget that recognizes the immeasurable value and impact cultural institutions have across this city,” said Marina Kellen French Director and Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art Max Hollein. “With this allocation, nonprofits big and small can continue to serve as both vital economic engines and creative safe havens that all New Yorkers can rely on.”

“On behalf of the New York Botanical Garden, I applaud Mayor Eric Adams, Speaker Adrienne Adams, and their leadership teams for restoring funding to the Department of Cultural Affairs and cultural anchors in all five boroughs,” said Jennifer Bernstein, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. president, New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). “NYBG is the backyard of many Bronx families, providing free critical access to nature and the myriad physical and emotional benefits it offers. Cultural anchors like NYBG keep kids engaged, focused, curious, and excited about their natural world; and we help produce the scientists, scholars, businesspeople, artists, and well-rounded adults of tomorrow. None of this would be possible without funding from the City of New York, and we deeply appreciate the restorations agreed upon here today.”

“The Public Theater is incredibly thankful to the City Council and the Adams administration for all the work that went into reaching a positive outcome for arts and culture in the 2025 New York City budget,” said Patrick Willingham, executive director, The Public Theater. “The Public Theater is grateful to Mayor Eric Adams, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Finance Chair Justin Brannan, DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo, our city council member and Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations Carlina Rivera, and all those who advocated tirelessly for the restoration of budget cuts and addition of $53 million in the fiscal year 25 budget. The public would not be able to continue its mission to provide free and accessible live performing arts programming that reflects the entire city without this continued investment into arts and culture.”

“New York City Ballet was thrilled and grateful to learn of the mayor’s renewed commitment to culture — a key economic driver in this city that helps make it the vibrant community and tourist destination that it is,” said Katherine Brown, executive director, New York City Ballet.

“New York City is home to world-renowned actors, playwrights, directors, designers, and producers,” said Risa Shoup, co-executive director, the Alliance of Resident Theatres New York. "Our vibrant, inclusive, and dynamic theaters are why millions of people choose to live in, work in, and visit our great city each year. The majority of these theater companies have historically received crucial support from the Cultural Development Fund, and we are grateful to Speaker Adams, Councilmember Carlina Rivera, and all our colleagues in the City Council, as well as Mayor Adams and his administration, for this historic addition of $53 million for arts and culture in the Fiscal Year 25 budget. We need the creativity and the power of theater to bring us joy, to encourage empathy, and to support us in building more just, more inclusive, and sustainable communities at a moment in history when the world is torn by violence, climate disasters, and historic inequity. Thank you for this investment in our health and our future.”

“On behalf of the audience members we reach, the artists we present, and the students of all ages who take part in our education programs, I want to thank Mayor Adams and the City Council for recognizing the importance of New York City's cultural sector to the economic and social health of the city,” said Taryn Sacramone, executive director, Queens Theatre. “Thank you to Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer and DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. Thank you as well to the City Council's unwavering champions of culture: Speaker Adrienne Adams, New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, New York City Councilmember Justin Brannan, and their colleagues.”

“Arts organizations and cultural institutions are a necessity for strong, vibrant communities,” said Gina Duncan, president, Brooklyn Academy of Music. “Thank you to Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams, and the City Council for investing in a brighter future for all New Yorkers!”

“We extend our deepest gratitude to Mayor Adams and the City Council for recognizing the vital role that cultural and enrichment activities play in the lives of Staten Island’s children and their caregiver,” said Dina Rosenthal, executive director, Staten Island Children's Museum. “Restoring these budget cuts ensures that the Staten Island Children’s Museum can continue to serve our local community, providing essential services and programs for families, schools, and at-risk children. Your support underscores the importance of investing in our future through culture and education, enriching the lives of those who need it most in our borough.”

“Mayor Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, and Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo all intimately understand the direct connection between New York City’s thriving arts and cultural community and its economic, educational, and social well-being,” said Sean M. Decatur, president, American Museum of Natural History. “We applaud the administration for adopting this budget that restores critical funding to our sector, enabling the museum to continue its scientific mission, attract visitors from around the world, and provide educational and workforce development programs for New York City’s students.”

 “We are profoundly grateful to Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams, DCLA Commissioner Cumbo, and the entire City Council for their support and advocacy for arts and culture,” said Michael S. Rosenberg, president & CEO, New York City Center. “This landmark investment underscores the profound significance of one of the city’s most vital industries and reaffirms our city's dedication to fostering creativity and ensuring accessibility to the arts for everyone. Support from the Department of Cultural Affairs is instrumental in enabling us to fulfill our founding mandate to be 'the people’s theater' for all New Yorkers, reinforcing the cultural vibrancy that makes our city unique.”

“With our peer organizations across the five boroughs, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is grateful to Mayor Eric Adams, Speaker Adrienne Adams, Finance Chair Justin Brannan, Culture and Libraries Chair Carlina Rivera, and the entire budget negotiating team for this forward-looking city budget, which restores $53 million in cultural funding and recognizes the key role that our sector plays in our city — from educating and inspiring our communities to attracting tourism and driving $110 billion annually in economic impact,” said Jessica Baker Vodoor, president and CEO, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.  “We are deeply grateful for this significant investment in New York City culture and look forward to partnering with the administration and City Council in the coming year to serve our constituents.”

“We are deeply thankful that this budget acknowledges the crucial role of culture in our community,” said Minerva Tantoco, interim president and CEO, New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). “This support not only enhances our cultural landscape, but also fosters creativity, innovation, diversity, and community engagement. Investing in culture, and in the cultural institutions groups like NYSCI, is an investment in the very essence and future of our city. We commend Mayor Adams, City Council Speaker Adams, Finance Chair Brannan, Cultural Affairs and Libraries Chair Rivera, DCLA Commissioner Cumbo, and the rest of the New York City Council for their commitment to preserving and nurturing culture, ensuring we have the resources to thrive and continue making New York City the cultural capital of the nation.”

“In every borough and in every neighborhood, cultural institutions are key to the economic, social, and emotional well-being of our communities,” said Aziz Isham, executive director, Museum of the Moving Image. “We applaud the mayor and city council for reaching an agreement that affirms this. This budget will provide a critical base of support and ensure that culture is always one of the reasons why New York City is on the rise.”
“Our restaurants and nightlife share a symbiotic relationship with our cultural institutions, as they are both essential to the fabric of New York City, so we applaud our elected leaders for fully restoring their critical funding in the city’s budget,” Andrew Rigie, executive director, New York City Hospitality Alliance.


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