On Tuesday, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) unveiled that its cultural funding budget for fiscal year 2019 will be its highest ever at $198.4 million. For comparison’s sake, the National Endowment for the Arts budget for 2018 is $152.8 million.As part of the DCLA budget for 2019, 977 organizations around the city are receiving grants totaling $43.9 million to support their public programs, and the 33 members of the Cultural Institutions Group—which includes many of the city’s largest art museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, the Queens Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem—will also see their support from the city increase. The budget will also support the city’s cultural plan, CreateNYC, which was unveiled in 2017.
In a statement, DCLA Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl said that investing in culture
enables us to support the important work of over 1,000 cultural organizations throughout the city, as well as provide unprecedented levels of funding for individual artists in all five boroughs. Building on CreateNYC’s emphasis on sustainability, diversity, and equity in all aspects of the arts, we are proud to work alongside our colleagues in City government and in the cultural sector to make these historic investments on behalf of all New Yorkers.
The DCLA’s 2019 funding amounts to an increase of more than $10 million from fiscal year 2018, when its budget was $186.3 million. That sum, in turn, represented a bump up from 2017, when New York City’s cultural budget was $177.6 million.