NYC City Hall (via Wikimedia Commons)

Today the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) announced the largest-ever New York City budget for culture: a record-breaking $198.4 million. The 2019 fiscal year allocation supports organizations across the five boroughs, with $43.9 million designated for cultural programming grants. New York City cultural officers gathered this morning at Flushing Town Hall to announce the news.

“The economic, educational, and cultural importance of New York City’s museums, theaters, and other cultural institutions cannot be overstated,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “When the arts thrive, New York City thrives — which is why this year we’ve made the largest-ever financial commitment to Cultural Affairs in our NYC history.”

977 cultural organizations throughout New York City will benefit from the $43.9 million in grants. In 2014, the DCLA provided $31.3 million for cultural programs — 2019 represents a 40% increase. This year’s resources allow for $3 million in grants for individual artists and smaller organizations ineligible for direct city funding — a tremendous uptake compared to $1 million in 2015.

The groundbreaking fiscal budget offers support for the city’s CreateNYC cultural plan, established in 2017 to provide greater funding equity for culture across the city using data from the Art Project’s 2017 report “Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City.”

“Investing in culture brings tremendous benefits to our city at all levels, from a vibrant economy, to healthy neighborhoods, to transformative experiences for individuals,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “It enables us to support the important work of over 1,000 cultural organizations throughout the city, as well as provide unprecedented levels of funding for individual artists in all five boroughs. Building on CreateNYC’s emphasis on sustainability, diversity, and equity in all aspects of the arts, we are proud to work alongside our colleagues in City government and in the cultural sector to make these historic investments on behalf of all New Yorkers.”

Jasmine Weber is an artist, writer, and former news editor at Hyperallergic. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

One reply on “NYC Allocates $198.4M for Largest Ever Cultural Budget”

  1. This is good news. I hope a large amount is going to the umbrella organizations that support hundreds of small organizations, and to individual creators.

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