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For many New Yorkers, the arts are a central feature of civic, social and economic life in our City. The City Council under Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s leadership is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life.

“The funds received through the Immigrant Cultural Initiative helped us to accelerate our growth and reach a broader audience.”
Esau Chauca, Ayazamana

In the last budget, the Council provided a total of $15.7 million for cultural initiatives, including three new ones focused on seniors, young filmmakers and gun violence prevention. Through the newly-introduced Immigrant Cultural Initiative, we also allocated $3,187,500 to support cultural organizations providing programming focused on the history and traditions of the City’s immigrant communities.

Within that same budget, we were able to get the Administration to restore library funding to 2008 levels. This resulted in a historic increase of $343 million in expense funding for the City’s library system, ensuring citywide six-day service.

Legislatively, the Council required the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs to prepare a comprehensive cultural plan for the City that analyzes our City’s current cultural priorities and assesses how to improve on the delivery of cultural resources.

We also passed a local law that aimed at strengthening community outreach and increasing public participation in the Percent for Art program.

Finally, the Council passed a series of resolutions recognizing significant cultural cornerstones, including one declaring January 15th-22nd of each year as Peace Week in the City of New York; one commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps; and one praising Pope Francis for his lifelong pursuit of peace among all peoples and commending him on his historic visit to New York City.