Supporting Cultural Groups in New York City: Resources for Inclusion and Equity

Across the country, donors are making efforts to increase equity and inclusion when distributing resources. The Seattle Office of Art and Culture has made a formal commitment to racial equity that includes capacity-building programs, space, and grants in line with the city's Race and Social Justice Initiative. Los Angeles County has undertaken a cultural equity and inclusion initiative. And the San Francisco Arts Commission continues its decades-long commitment to cultural equity through its grant programs.

In New York City, art and culture are for everyone. The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is committed to providing resources for different cultural groups looking for support. From grants provided by local government agencies such as OneNYC or DCLA's sister agencies across America; materials from Materials for Arts Program; or even emergency response teams like CERT or CERT NYC; there are many ways for these communities to get help. Like OneNYC and DCLA's sister agencies across the country, one of CreateNYC's main goals is to promote a more inclusive and equitable cultural ecosystem in New York City. Equity and inclusion were the top priorities expressed through the participation of the CreateNYC community.

More than three-quarters of residents who participated in a telephone survey conducted by the University of Siena Research Institute said they would like to be able to attend more artistic and cultural activities. According to respondents, location and cost are what stand in their way the most. Likewise, barriers to equitable, accessible and inclusive art were also identified throughout the participation process. New York City is brimming with creativity, and New Yorkers overwhelmingly value the arts and culture in their lives. However, for many artists and cultural workers, there is a need to expand access to creative opportunities.

Underrepresented communities continue to face historical and persistent patterns of exclusion, both as independent artists and as cultural workers at all levels of institutions. In the future, the City is tasked with prioritizing expanding support to diverse art forms and cultural groups, such as arts for the disabled and people with disabilities. CreateNYC provides an opportunity to support disability art and ensure that it is widely recognized as an art discipline that uses disability as a tool and a source of creativity. In addition, it presents an opportunity to recognize and highlight disability as an area of identity among artists, staff, leaders, and boards of directors. Looking ahead, New York City's cultural ecosystem can grow in ways that allow a diversity of individuals and groups to thrive. Through its Materials for the Arts Program, DCLA provides free supplies for use in art programs offered by non-profit groups and public schools in New York City.

CreateNYC provides a new opportunity to increase equitable funding for cultural organizations in New York City. Department of Cultural Affairs Art Percentage Program The New York City Art Percentage Act requires that one percent of the budget for eligible construction projects funded by the City be spent on public works of art. This commitment to substantial, long-term public investment in these groups has helped them become cornerstones of New York's cultural life. The New York City Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and the New York City Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT of New York City) are dedicated volunteer groups that help prepare their neighbors and communities for different types of disasters. This plan enshrines equity as one of its fundamental values and, for the first time in a sustainability plan of this kind, it includes access to culture as one of the essential components of an equitable city. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the City added a dozen new members to the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), the first deliberate expansion of its kind in the history of the IGC.

This is particularly alarming because the study also shows that those cultural resources are correlated with better health, safety, and education outcomes. With little fanfare, this innovation opened up an important new source of public funding to hundreds of non-profit cultural organizations throughout New York City. The DCLA, led by Commissioner Henry Geldzahler, and the nonprofit Cultural Council Foundation played key roles in managing the larger program. Most community groups in the United States that date back to that time began to work intensively with the support of CETA. In conclusion, NYC is committed to providing resources for different cultural groups looking for support; from grants provided by local government agencies; materials from Materials for Arts Program; or even emergency response teams like CERT or CERT NYC; there are many ways these communities can get help.