On June 14th, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson agreed on $92.8 billion budget aimed to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers; protect those in need; and safeguard New York City’s future wellbeing. On Wednesday, June 19th, the New York City Council voted to adopt the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, which included more than $50 million in funding to the cultural community in the city budget.

The following statement was released by John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group in New York City:

“Vital city cultural organizations in New York City will see an increase of $27 million, which includes the administration’s restoration of almost $3 million in reductions that it had originally cut from both the Cultural Institutions Groups (CIG) and the small cultural organizations. This partnership with the City Council will allow the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) to support more than 900 cultural organizations.

“The cultural and arts organizations supported by this funding provide creative and innovative programming that strengthen the diverse fabric of the city. Working throughout the five boroughs, they strengthen communities, help educate our kids, enrich the lives of our seniors, and enliven our city. Whether with world-class zoos or world-class theater, NYC’s culture and arts venues attract visitors, increase spending at local businesses, and create jobs. In short, culture makes New York City great. The council’s funding ensures that the arts remain a central feature of civic and economic life in the city.

“This is a huge, historic win for the cultural community and the millions of people who depend on them. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, Council Member Dromm, Council Member Van Bramer, and all the Council Members for their support for culture and art in New York City. You made it happen.

“In addition, Weeksville Heritage Center was made a member of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), the first organization to be added in more than 20 years.

“We look forward to continuing to advocate alongside the 34 CIG members, New Yorkers for Culture & Arts, and the countless cultural/art leaders in the city to ensure that this community remains viable and a resource to New Yorkers and tourists alike.

“Congratulations to all of you in this budding cultural coalition---we are stronger together.”