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Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2016

Op-ed: City’s New Arts Funding Should Be Shared More Fairly

The city's recent budget agreement includes a $10 million boost for the Department of Cultural Affairs. In an op-ed for City Limits, CUF's Adam Forman argues that this welcome influx can be spent most effectively by prioritizing individual artists and small and mid-size organizations whose continued presence in the city is in jeopardy.

by Adam Forman

Tags: artists culture dcla budget creative economy

Although the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) has strongly advocated for equity in the arts, the agency's granting programs could do more to bolster the small and local organizations that are under threat. By targeting grants toward individual artists and small and mid-size organizations throughout the five boroughs, the DCLA can more strategically and equitably allocate its funding.

In this op-ed for City Limits, CUF Senior Researcher Adam Forman commends the budget boost and calls on the city to spend it where it's needed most: to support small organizations and individual artists. Forman also offers three specific ideas to help DCLA and the administration achieve their goal of a more vibrant, inclusive, and diverse cultural ecosystem.

Read the op-ed.

The op-ed builds on Creative New York, a 2015 CUF report that identifies the creative sector as one of New York City’s most important economic assets, while recognizing that the city’s working artists, nonprofit arts groups, and for-profit creative firms face a growing number of challenges.

Photo: Hrag Vartanian