News and Press Releases

For Immediate Release: June 22, 2018

Contact:; 212-513-9323 


From 12PM-1PM on June 22, the Department of Cultural Affairs and 18 participating cultural facilities in all five boroughs will turn off the lights in sunlit spaces to conserve energy

The observance builds on CreateNYC cultural plan recommendations for promoting a more sustainable cultural sector

#DaylightHour | @NYCulture

New York – On Friday, June 22, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) will join with 18 cultural institutions on City-owned property for the annual Daylight Hour campaign. For one hour, participating groups will shut off the lights in day-lit spaces from noon to 1pm to highlight the simple actions that can help reduce overall energy usage throughout the city. Daylight Hour is a worldwide annual social media campaign hosted by the Building Energy Exchange meant to raise awareness about the use of natural daylight in lieu of electric lighting in day-lit offices. Facilities around the city are encouraged to turn off lights for one hour and share their involvement through posts on social media using #DaylightHour. In New York City, the campaign is organized by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ (DCAS) Building Energy Management program.

“The City’s CreateNYC cultural plan doubled down on DCLA’s commitment to cultivating a greener cultural sector,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “The Daylight Hour campaign is a great way to demonstrate how actions both big and small can have a tremendous impact on energy conservation. From tapping into geothermal energy to installing efficient LED lighting, we encourage all members of the cultural community to highlight how they’re helping to foster a healthier, more sustainable city.”

“The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) is proud to join in the global celebration of Daylight Hour. This year, DCAS has upped its commitment with 31 participating buildings using natural daylight,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “Simple steps, like turning off lights and using daylight, can have a significant impact toward saving energy and reducing emissions, especially during the hot summer months when energy is in high demand.”

The full list of cultural institutions participating in 2018 Daylight Hour includes:

American Museum of Natural History


Bronx River Art Center

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Museum

Harlem Stage

Mabou Mines

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum of the City of New York

New York Botanical Garden

New York Hall of Science

New York City Center

Performance Space New York

Queens Botanical Garden

Queens Museum

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

Theater for a New Audience


NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

  • Materials for the Arts

DCLA and DCAS have worked with cultural institutions to drive dramatic improvements in energy usage. DCAS’s Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency Program (ACE) provided over $1.8 million in FY18 to cultural institutions on City property greatly reduce energy consumption through investments in LED lighting upgrades, HVAC retrofits, and other improvements. For instance, in just one year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, City funding for energy upgrades allowed for the retrofit of over 4,000 light fixtures to high efficiency LED lamps, leading to an estimated 876,829kWh of energy reductions and $91,230 in annual cost savings. And the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has reduced freshwater consumption in its water features by almost 96% from 22 million gallons to 900,000 gallons per year.

The CreateNYC cultural plan included several recommended actions to reduce the environmental impact of cultural institutions and better integrate art and culture into the city’s sustainability and equity planning. Over 25% of DCLA’s support to cultural organizations goes to fund energy costs and, according to Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC sustainability plan, New York’s nearly 1 million buildings account for nearly three quarters of all emissions in the city.

To begin to address these issues, DCLA is creating a new staff position specifically to work with cultural organizations to help them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable city. The energy specialist will identify ways that cultural organizations can reduce carbon emissions, and will work with the organizations and DCLA’s Capital Projects Unit to expand the use of DCLA resources to reduce energy consumption.


About Daylight Hour

Daylight Hour is an annual social media campaign organized by the Building Energy Exchange to raise awareness about using natural daylight in lieu of electric lighting in offices. Launched in 2014, this simple and engaging campaign asks offices to turn off non-critical lights in day-lit spaces from noon until 1 pm on the Friday nearest the summer solstice.

About the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA)

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life.  DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves nonprofit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. Visit for more information.