The $1.5 million initiative will support programs and activities in the 5 boroughs providing immigrant cultural services

City Hall, NY- Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito along with City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair on the Committee on Cultural Affairs, and Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Finance Committee today announced the expansion of cultural funding and the development of new cultural initiatives. This new program, The Cultural Immigrant Initiative, is aimed at providing cultural programming targeting immigrant groups throughout the five boroughs. The initiative will provide an effort to help bolster cultural funding to New York City’s diverse immigrant communities.

“We as a Council are strongly committed in making sure that our cultural institutions reflect the diversity of this city,” said Speaker Mark-Viverito. “This funding initiative will focus on continuing to provide the best arts and culture this city has to offer and that every New Yorker has access to quality cultural engagement. I want to thank Council Member Van Bramer and Council Member Julissa Ferreras in working together in making sure that these programs reach our most underserved communities.”

“The New York City Council has provided dynamic new funding streams to work with immigrant organizations and groups that are often overlooked in the cultural funding process of our City,” said Majority Leader & Cultural Affairs Chair Jimmy Van Bramer. “Everyone in every corner of our City, regardless of their economic or ethnic background should have access to the world class culture that is a large part of what makes New York City so great. These new and increased funding streams show that the New York City Council is committed to making this goal a reality.”

“It is important, as New York City progresses, to help our immigrant communities adjust and learn about the history and diversity of their new home while still helping them keep their identities. The New York City Council had the foresight to fund the Cultural Immigrant Initiative for 2015 knowing change was near, and I’m proud we did so,” said New York City Council Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras

The $1.5 million allocation will support emerging arts groups in immigrant communities as well as initiatives that will expand access for youth, immigrants and school children. This programming will include programs that present or represent the traditions, cultures and experiences of immigrant communities in New York City.

The programming will be provided by cultural organizations to immigrant communities throughout the five boroughs of New York City between January 1 and June 30, 2015. The funding will be administered by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Furthermore, the City Council’s capital addition to the FY15 Cultural budget was $70.9 million and through the advocacy of Council Member Van Bramer, Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, and with the leadership of Speaker Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council secured over $309 million in funding to expand the footprint of the City’s cultural institutions and organizations, support emerging ethnic theater companies in all boroughs, develop a new initiative aimed at building emerging groups in immigrant communities and enhance partnerships with science-based organizations and schools.

New cultural funding includes:
• $1 million enhancement for the Coalition of Theaters of Color to support emerging theater companies
• $1 million increase to the Urban Advantage Program which partners science-based cultural organizations with middle schools to bring to life the wonders and importance of science and math and help students excel at STEM-related requirements
• $2 million increase to the popular Cultural After-School Adventures Program
• $100,000 for the Family Science Program to expand access to the American Natural History Museum in NYCHA communities.