The Uncertain Road Ahead for Culture in New York City


Cover of the CreateNYC Cultural Plan

By Michelle Coffey, Kerry McCarthy, and Michele Kumi Baer of the New York City Cultural Agenda Fund in The New York Community Trust



"With the unveiling of CreateNYC, New York City joins Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Louisville, and Madison as American cities with cultural plans. The New York plan (pictured above) is meant to be a powerful tool to, as it says, make sure “culture is for everyone.”

We had hoped that CreateNYC would not just propose strategies to follow this pledge but also commit to carrying them out. On the second point, the city falls short.

Thanks to the hard work of cultural advocates, community organizers, and the Department of Cultural Affairs staff, more than 188,000 New Yorkers participated in this unprecedented cultural planning process."

 Continue reading the article on the Huffington Post, here.

CreateNYC, New York City's First-Ever Cultural Plan


this first-ever plan is a collaboration of many many partners: City Council, the Mayor's Office, Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), the Citizen's Advisory Council, multiple city agencies, many non-profit cultural organizations, and the NYC Cultural Agenda Fund that helped develop, support and encourage the advocacy efforts of the artist-centered cultural organizations and arts funders. 

"The City of New York released CreateNYC, New York City’s first-ever cultural plan. Nearly 200,000 residents, from every corner of the city, stepped up to share their priorities, concerns, and ideas about how we can make sure that–here in New York–culture is for everyone.


Keep the conversation going among friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors and ensure that the coalitions brought together by CreateNYC continue to push our cultural community forward. Speak up on social media using #CreateNYC."

Visit the CreateNYC website.
Download the plan here.

Additionally, the People’s Cultural Plan, an alternative plan for NYC’s arts and cultural sector grounded in an equity approach, is also available online.

Will The City’s Cultural Plan Walk The Talk Of Equity?


El Puente Dance Ensemble performing at WEPA! Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

By Kerry McCarthy and Michelle Coffey

"In May 2015, New York City decided to create its first cultural plan to direct the City’s policies on arts and culture, from generating affordable live/work spaces for artists to determining where arts education dollars are spent. Soon thereafter, the field buzzed about ways to change the City’s outdated funding model to rebalance its investment in arts and culture.

When the planning process began last fall, initial conversations were about dedicating more City money to the arts, so that everyone—large performing arts centers, community museums, neighborhood culturally explicit arts groups, individual artists, and public school children—would benefit. But the 2016 presidential election changed things. With the federal administration expected to make cuts to programs New Yorkers care about—affordable housing, healthcare, and climate resilience, for example—we should expect significant cuts to both the State and City’s budgets. This does not bode well for an expansion of the City’s investments in cultural affairs or arts education. The Department of Cultural Affairs’ piece of the pie is likely to shrink, not get bigger." -Huffington Post

Continue Reading.