This morning I had the pleasure partnering with Mayor Bill de Blasio and DCLA announcing The Artist Corp, a multimillion dollar investment in local artists throughout NYC. New York City has achieved such great wealth in part because of its artistic residents. Clearly, funding the arts is a great fiscal investment. The money injected into the arts world has a multiplying effect on the economy.

Council Member Cornegy leading effort for Weeksville CIG status

The Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights communities I represent have seen a multiplicity of benefits from those investments. I appointed an ambassador for arts and culture, devoting attention as a Council office to the vibrant arts community in central Brooklyn. Due to our collective efforts and advocacy, Weeksville Heritage Center is a City Cultural Institutions Group member now, and we have built strong partnerships with artistic pillars like the Billie Holliday Theatre and Restoration ART.

As a City Council representative, it is my fiscal duty to be a sound steward of our budget. But there is an even more uplifting reason to make this investment. Our City has been through an emotional trauma that is not over. Are we going to grow from these experiences or be re-traumatized?

I chose to rise up through our grief and our stress and our isolation, and find new ways to inspire the world. I chose to find new ways to inspire ourselves. I chose to support the Artists Corp. Today we are not only making a financial investment. We are investing in hope. We are investing in beauty. We are saying that our humanity as New Yorkers is worth celebrating.