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 Soon thereafter, the field buzzed about ways to change the City’s outdated funding model to rebalance its investment in arts and culture.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

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