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New York’s first “cultural plan” aims to make arts more diverse and affordable


New York mayor Bill de Blasio has launched CreateNYC, a major “cultural plan” for the city, together with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The 180-page document outlines the results of a survey of 200,000 New Yorkers, which examines New York’s arts and culture, aiming to celebrate its history and plan a more “representative” future.

In his statement the mayor says that every New Yorker deserves access to the “incredible cultural life” that has long defined the city, and a significant part of CreateNYC will be to increase access to “cultural opportunities”. This spans from creating arts programmes that better reflect the diversity of the population, to spreading funding to all corners of the city, with increased resources for organisations in neighbourhoods “that haven’t historically received equitable support,” he says. “New York has the largest local budget for culture of any city in America. Now, we also have a strategic plan to help the arts and culture grow across the five boroughs.”

Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, chair of the Cultural Plan Citizens’ Advisory Committee, states: “With CreateNYC we are putting forth a set of strategies designed to increase equity in the City’s support for culture, support for artists and cultural workers from underrepresented groups, and investment in our neighbourhoods.”

The major report covers eight sections, including equity and inclusion, covering equal funding distribution; social and economic impact in communities; and affordability, looking to protect cultural spaces under threat and create new spaces for artists and cultural bodies to live, work and present. It also covers arts and culture in public space and creative education within and beyond the public school system.

The full report and plan can be read here.