New York City – April 12, 2017 – New York City’s culture and arts organizations applauded the New York City Council for their response to Mayor De Blasio’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018.  In their response, councilmembers acknowledge the need to increase operating support for the more than 1,500 culture and arts organizations that serve as an educational and economic resource for New Yorkers in five boroughs.

“As funding for arts and culture are under attack at the federal level, it is even more essential that the City strengthens support for cultural organizations to maintain New York City’s status as the cultural capital of the world,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Investing in arts and culture has real economic returns for our city and supports over 300,000 jobs locally. Last year, I’m proud that the City allocated a record $320 million in funding to our city’s museums, performance spaces, cultural organizations and arts groups. And as the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries, I proudly support the NYC Inspires Campaign in calling for increased operational funding for cultural organizations in New York City to build on last year’s record support.”

New York City is home to more than 1,500 non-profit cultural organizations and millions of cultural audiences. New Yorkers and tourists alike are inspired every day by the city’s cultural offerings.

Said Andrea Louie, Executive Director, Asian American Arts Alliance and Co-Chair, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts: “Especially in this political climate, local public support of arts and culture is more important than ever. More than 65 percent of New York City residents are people of color, and every single Council District receives funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs. This enables all New Yorkers to have diverse access to arts and culture, including New York's most vulnerable – youth, seniors, veterans, and immigrant communities.”

Said John Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, WCS and Co-Chair, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts: “These organizations help make New York City a cultural capital of the world. They provide all New Yorkers opportunity to learn about and experience a vast array of cultural disciplines including dance, music, art, film, history, wildlife and more that serve as inspiration in life and career. A funding increase would help ensure New York’s cultural community can provide continued, even increased, access and educational programing to all of the communities and neighborhoods they serve.”

Said Carl Goodman, Executive Director of the Museum of the Moving Image who is also the current Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group: “We are proud that the Council recognizes the importance of New York City's thousands of cultural organizations, and that there is a critical need for more resources so that we can maintain and expand programs that serve each and every resident of the City, including immigrant communities, public school students, residents of public housing, seniors, and people with disabilities.”

Council is asking for a $40 million increase to funding for the Department of Cultural Affairs which provides operating support for the city’s cultural and arts organizations – large and small, in every borough.

The culture and arts community and supporters of culture are in agreement and have reinitiated the NYCInspires campaign that highlights cultural organizations of all kinds across the city and the means by which they have inspired their audiences. It tells the stories of individuals that were so inspired by culture as children that they have devoted their lives and careers to pursue a life that reflects those beginnings – bettering the city, their communities, and future generations of artists, musicians, performers, educators, curators, conservationists, scientists, and more.

The campaign is encouraging everyone who has ever been inspired by culture to share their stories on social media using the hashtag #NYCinspires or to visit the website at to send a message to City Hall in support of culture.

Accessible culture provides educational opportunities for families and communities. It drives tourism and economic activity to New York City neighborhoods. It provides inspiration and muse to the next generation of New Yorkers.

An investment in culture is an investment in New Yorkers. These organizations and individuals create jobs, attract customers to merchants, and generate revenue for small businesses. They stimulate the minds of the citizens and tourists and provide vital supplemental education to millions of New York City students. New York City's cultural community is a broad spectrum that includes performing arts centers, art galleries, dance troupes, orchestras, non-profit theater companies, museums, community arts programs, zoos, botanical gardens, and more.

Visit for more information and to send a message of support.

Media Note:  Members of the media interested in speaking with a representative(s) from New York City’s cultural community should email to schedule an interview.