Announced in May 2021, the New York City Artist Corps was a historic investment in artists by the City of New York. The $25 million program was created to provide relief to the City's hard-hit arts community and reinvigorate arts and culture as part of the City's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to giving New Yorkers opportunities to experience a diverse range of free cultural programming across the boroughs, City Artist Corps ensured that more than 3,000 working artists were supported in their own right, recognizing their labor as critical to the City's recovery.
Through a number of partners, City Artist Corps provided thousands of grants and support to artists in all disciplines across New York City:
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City Artist Corps Grants
City Artist Corps Grants (CACG) supported NYC-based working artists who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with unrestricted relief grants. Lead partners Queens Theatre and New York Foundation for the Arts worked with more than a dozen re-grant and art services organizations to distribute $5,000 grants to 3,000 artists. As part of the program, CACG members presented workshops, exhibitions, performances, installations, murals, and much more-free and open to all New Yorkers– from July through October. For more information, visit NYFA's website.
See below for more information about the 3,000 artist grantees.
|Heavy-Hit ZIP Code||1699|
|Disability & Low Income||62|
|ZIP Code & Low Income||155|
|ZIP Code & Disability||224|
|Disability, Low Income, & ZIP Code||30|
|Asian/East Asian/South Asian/Southeast Asian||15.33%|
|Native American/Alaska Native/Indigenous/FIrst Nations||0.73%|
|Native Hawaiin or other Pacific Islander||0.60%|
|Prefer not to disclose||7.33%|
|Prefer to self-describe||2.23%|
|Southwest Asian (Middle Eastern)/North African(SWANA/MENA)||2.63%|
Explore over 7,000 Instagram posts about City Artist Corps grantees' work.
City Artist Corps Showcases
In October 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the culmination of the New York City Artist Corps program with showcases at several arts and cultural venues throughout NYC. City Artist Corps members held public workshops, installations, and performances at venues including Chelsea Market via non-profit partner StreetLab, Queens Museum, Queens Theatre, Laguardia Performing Arts Center, The Clemente, and Open Streets. Queens Theatre served as organizing and venue partner. Learn more about the showcases.
City Canvas: Bridging the Divide
Through the support of City Artist Corps and the City Canvas pilot initiative, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the nonprofit ArtBridge commissioned 60 artists to install temporary public murals and other artwork on sidewalk sheds and construction fencing throughout the City's public housing system. The program built on ArtBridge's Bridging the Divide program, in which artist fellows based at NYCHA engaged with residents through workshops to create artworks that reflected their lives, histories, and aspirations.
NeON Arts: Beautify NYC
Under the Beautify NYC program, young people across New York City engaged in creative public arts projects, including mural-making, photography workshops and exhibits, Kombit urban farming, and more. The 21 Beautify NYC projects took place in 7 neighborhoods across the boroughs, with input from community stakeholders. The collaborative arts program was administered by the NYC Department of Probation, via its NeON Arts program, in partnership with Carnegie Hall. Learn more about NeON Arts.
City Artist Corps provided funds for 560 artists to provide robust arts education opportunities at 227 elementary, middle, and high schools beginning in the summer and through fall 2021. Artists engaged more than 22,000 students in exciting, dynamic projects, including mural-making, musical and dance performances, and cultural workshops. With a wide reach in communities across the boroughs, the transformative partnership allowed students to hone their skills in a variety of disciplines, while presenting their work publicly for their communities to enjoy.
The People's Festival
With City Artist Corps' support, approximately 100 artists participated in The People's Festival during the summer of 2021. The Festival was created by the Civic Engagement Commission and Public Artist in Residence (PAIR) Yazmany Arboleda, centering around The People's Bus, a decommissioned city bus transformed into a mobile community center. At six stops across all five boroughs, artists and Festival partners led musical and dance performances, held know-your-rights workshops and participatory budgeting trainings, and directed residents to a broad range of other City resources. Learn more about The People's Festival.
Artists' Testimonies on City Artist Corps Grants