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Department of Cultural Affairs press conference on August 1. Photo credit: Matthew Lapiska / NYCDDC.
Department of Cultural Affairs press conference on August 1. Photo credit: Matthew Lapiska / NYCDDC.

New York City Announces Record $212 Million Cultural Budget for 2020

New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) announced that $212 million have been allotted for the 2020 fiscal year budget for the arts. The sum, which is the highest amount ever awarded to the cultural sector, is $13 million more than last year’s record of $198.4 million and is $57 million more than the National Endowment for the Arts’ annual budget for the entire country.

At a press conference at Materials for the Arts in Queens on Thursday, August 1, city officials and cultural stakeholders convened to celebrate the second anniversary of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s comprehensive CreateNYC plan, which was released in 2017, and to introduce a streamlined action plan, which aims to provide greater transparency about the progress the DCLA and its partners have made in achieving the plan’s goals.

A portion of the 2020 budget will directly support the initiatives outlined in CreateNYC, which has five objectives: to increase equitable funding in the arts, implement inclusive practices, address the affordability crisis, and provide quality arts education across the boroughs. According to the DCLA, the plan has so far been a success. Since its launch, CreateNYC has increased support for the cultural life of low-income communities and underrepresented groups, expanded access to the arts for people with disabilities, and backed sustainability projects.

“Since 2017, we’ve made major strides in fostering a more equitable, diverse, and vibrant cultural sector that offers broad access to transformative cultural experiences,” said cultural affairs commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “With the CreateNYC Action Plan, we’re putting a new tool in the hands of residents so they can better understand the work we’ve done to date, and where we’re headed next. We’re committed to making investments that sustain the progress we’ve made so far, and continuing to work with our partners toward a cultural community that serves all New Yorkers.”