NYC to Invest $22+ Million in Cultural Organizations




NYC Percent for Art 40th Anniversary Map. Image credit: DCLA

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.

“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.”

A page from the Member Spotlight of Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine (2021) with artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez and his sculpture ‘Growth’, which was the first Percent for Art installation in NYC in 1985 in Harlem Art Park.

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.

City celebrates the 40th anniversary of the NYC Percent for Art program at Gracie Mansion. Photo by Matthew Lapiska/NYC DDC.

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 programmakes 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.

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