The City of New York will put some artists to work this summer with a $25 million program inspired by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). Announced yesterday, May 6, the recovery program will pay hundreds of local artists to beautify and activate public spaces across the city with murals, public artworks, performances, and more.
The new program, called City Artist Corps, is expected to create jobs for more than 1,500 artists in NYC, a fraction of more than 56,000 artists living in the city (as of 2015). At a news conference yesterday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio named the depression-era WPA as a direct inspiration for the initiative.
“We’re going to take inspiration from that model and bring it to today,” de Blasio said. “The City Artist Corp is going to employ artists as part of the comeback of New York City.”
New York’s arts sector was hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the state comptroller in February. The report found that two-thirds of arts, entertainment, and recreation jobs in the city evaporated in 2020. An ever deeper crisis faces immigrant artists in the city, who report diminished livelihood sources with little to no aid from local authorities.
Gonzalo Casals, the city’s recently appointed Cultural Affairs Commissioner, called the NEW program a “historic investment in local artists.”
“A recovery for all has to include culture, which is such an important part of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods,” the commissioner said in a statement. “Building on efforts to lift up all residents and spur New York’s recovery, the City Artist Corps will bring public spaces to life in all five boroughs and make sure the Summer of New York City is a Summer of Art.”
The action could disrupt public access to the museum as workers campaign for higher wages and better labor conditions.
Over 500 scholars signed an open letter to reinstate the exhibition, which was postponed in consideration of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
This week, artist studios in the streets of Manhattan, a Texas high school, a Brooklyn apartment, and more.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including Ed Ruscha, Nina Katchadourian, Luis Camnitzer, Martha Edelheit, and more.
Join the New-York Historical Society on February 10 for a virtual conversation about our changing relationship to the natural world with Julie Decker, John Grade, and LaMont Hamilton.
Asawa’s life masks do not keep count of past or future losses.
At San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, Mobina Nouri took scissors to her own strands and invited others to do the same.
Amid a worsening inflation crisis, Sergio Guillermo Diaz’s banknote artworks are a poignant symbol of Argentinian resilience.
Theatres of Melancholy: The Neo-Romantics in Paris and Beyond highlights a group of artists who found acclaim and patronage only to fall back into obscurity.
Presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum and McCormick School of Engineering, this new exhibition seeks empathy at the boundaries of life. On view in Evanston, Illinois.
Jean Renoir’s newly restored 1939 classic proves that lawless wealth — then as now — makes a marvelous farce of us all.
Hamburg’s Antisemitism Commissioner disparaged photographer Adam Broomberg for his support of the BDS movement.