News and Press Releases

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2017

Contact: Ryan Max,; 212-513-9323 (Cultural Affairs)
             Cathy Hanson, (Citywide Administrative Services)


For one hour on June 16, the Department of Cultural Affairs and 19 participating cultural facilities will turn off the lights in sunlit spaces

Since 2008, City investments in over 100 energy efficiency projects at cultural groups have reduced energy use by 113,000 MMBTU’s and greenhouse gas emissions by 12,000 metric tons  – the equivalent of over 2,500 passenger vehicles driven for one year

#DaylightHour | @NYCulture

New York – On Friday, June 16, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs will join with 19 cultural institutions on City-owned property to shut off the lights for one hour from noon to 1pm, working by daylight to highlight the simple actions that can help reduce overall energy usage throughout the city. Daylight Hour is a worldwide annual social media campaign 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. In addition to the participating cultural facilities, 22 DCAS-controlled facilities will take part in the 2017 Daylight Hour in New York City.

“Cultural institutions are cornerstones of communities in all five boroughs, so it’s important that we lead by example when it comes to being responsible stewards of our environment,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “Together with our partners at cultural organizations and at DCAS, we’ve made tremendous strides toward reducing energy usage in museums, botanicals gardens, theaters, and other cultural spaces in all five boroughs. Daylight Hour is a great opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made and how much more we can do as we work toward a greener future.”

“For the third year in a row, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) is proud to join in the global celebration of Daylight Hour. This year DCAS has increased its participation and will be turning off the lights in 20 buildings and using natural daylight,” said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo. “We are especially pleased that several of the City’s cultural institutions will also be participating in Daylight Hour. Simple steps, like turning off lights and using daylight, can have a significant impact toward saving energy and reducing emissions especially in hot summer months when energy is in high demand and at its most expensive.”

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

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • BRIC
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Clemente Soto Velez
  • David H. Koch Theater
  • Harlem Stage
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • New York City Center
  • Queens Botanical Garden
  • Queens Museum
  • Staten Island Children’s Museum
  • Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Theater for a New Audience
  • UrbanGlass
  • Weeksville Heritage Center
  • Department of Cultural Affairs
    • 31 Chambers Street, Manhattan
    • Materials for the Arts, Queens

DCLA and DCAS have worked with cultural institutions to drive dramatic improvements in energy usage. For instance, the American Museum of Natural History has lowered its electricity usage by 26% over the last ten years. 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. Brooklyn Botanic Garden has reduced freshwater consumption in its water features by almost 96% from 22 million gallons to 900,000 gallons per year.

Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC sustainability plan has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by the year 2050 (80x50). To reach 80 x 50 the City must reduce 43 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, including nine million metric tons from power production. The investments made in energy efficiency at these iconic cultural institutions are emblematic of the efforts it will take to achieve this ambitious goal.

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 participating offices to turn off their lights in day-lit spaces for one hour on the Friday before 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.

About DCAS
The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) ensures that all City agencies have the critical resources and support needed to provide the best possible services to the public. We do this in part, through working with City agencies with needs in recruiting, hiring and training; providing facilities management for 55 public buildings; purchasing, selling and leasing city property; purchasing over $1 billion in supplies and equipment annually; and implementing conservation programs throughout City facilities. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.