The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs or DCLA announced this week that in time for the holiday season, Cultural Development Fund grants totaling $51.4 million are being allocated to nonprofit organizations related to culture all over the city. According to the organization, this is the most significant financial gift in the organization’s history, and the allocated funds can’t come soon enough for a sector that was nearly decimated and hugely challenged by the coronavirus pandemic. The $51.4 million in funds will translate to support for arts education programs, disability and language access programming and significant investment in underserved communities. Additionally, City Council funds will award 258 grantees for a wide spate of cultural programming.
“As the Chair of the Committee of Cultural Affairs and Libraries for the past 12 years, there are few things I’m more proud of than the record amount of funding we’ve been able to allocate to cultural groups across the city,” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement. “It’s only fitting that we’ll end this year with the largest Cultural Development Fund allocation in the agency’s history – one that will impact over 1,000 nonprofit organizations with targeted support that will keep them flourishing well into the future.” The n+1 Foundation, the Asia Society and the Museum of Food and Drink are among the organizations receiving funds.
Early on in the pandemic, funders like Artist Relief banded together to offer $5,000 grants to artists whose lives had been cratered by the economic and personal challenges of that moment in time, but over 55,000 people applied for the grants in barely over 2 weeks, illustrating just how widespread and deeply urgent the financial need was across the board. Since then, the need has been clear for more comprehensive, widespread financial support for New York City creatives specifically.
“Artists were hit hard when the pandemic upended New York nearly two years ago, and their recovery remains on-going,” State Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell added. “While the state has led the charge to rebuild a vibrant arts scene – introducing historic funding for grants and other assistance – we must continue the work to ensure that no one is left out of relief efforts.”