BREAKING NEWS: In response to the mayor’s preliminary budget, the City Council has called for an increase in arts and culture funding by $40 million. Let’s keep the momentum going!


Inspired By Culture


Museums, performance venues, arts groups, botanical gardens, zoos, and more — New York City's cultural organizations are the lifeblood of the city. Serving communities across the five boroughs, they've been an inspiration to generations of New Yorkers from artists and musicians to scientists and historians. They create jobs, attract visitors to local businesses, provide educational opportunities, and enrich our lives. They make New York City great.

Operating support from the city helps make it possible. But more can be done. Tell City Hall that you place a high value on these organizations and artists and that communities, students, seniors, and local businesses will benefit from an increased investment of $40 million in New York City's 1,500+ cultural organizations in all five boroughs.

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Are you inspired by New York City culture? Speak up for increased operating support for the Big Apple's cultural organizations by spreading the word on social media.

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I Am NYC Culture

The People and stories behind New York City's cultural organizations

"I was born and raised in Brooklyn where I have been involved in a community education program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for over ten years; first as a student and volunteer, later as an intern, and finally as an employee. I had the opportunity to grow-up in a living museum surrounded by a multitude of flora that changes with every season and among educators that have a passion to teach youth from across the five boroughs about environmentally sustainable living practices. BBG has inspired a little boy from Brooklyn to give back to the community and to pass on the torch of knowledge to those that will come after"

-Chidi Duke. Children's Garden Interim Assistant Coordinator/Intern, Government and Community Relations

"When you see yourself on the walls and your story is told, you can’t help but be inspired and want more. Access to cultural programs fills my soul, I am grounded and have wings at the same time. Cultural programming open doors and tell a necessary global story.”

-Debbie Quiñones. Vice-Chair, Community Board 11

"I grew up in New York, and in its cultural institutions. I didn’t know what a curator was then, but I knew that I loved cultural expression; I loved history; I loved people; I loved to be compelled and moved, by beauty or complexity or pure heart; and I loved creativity, whether in myself or others. I knew that I wanted to live my life surrounded by these things, and that I wanted to contribute to increasing their impact and frequency in the world. As a curator, this is what I get to do every day."

-Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum

"The support and perspective of LMCC, Figment and others [helped with] expanding my perspective and artistic vision, and I have been working now as a Professional Theater Director for over 15 years. As an Interactive Artist and Theater Director, I believe deeply that all people are creative and get them to play in theatrical contexts to give them an opportunity to see that in themselves. NYC arts organizations have transformed my practice and given me the chance to dream big by allowing me to increase my impact on the community of NYC. We are all here to inspire and empower each other."

-Mahayana Landowne, Artist, FIGMENT

"When I was 14, I was a summer intern at the Bronx Zoo, tending to the small animals in the Children’s Zoo and caring for (and getting spit on by) the camels in their barn. Ever since then, I’ve wanted my work to have meaning, to give something back to the world. I feel so lucky that my career is about helping to protect the planet’s amazing animals."

-Julie Kunen, ‎Executive Director, Latin America and Caribbean Program, WCS

"Growing up in Spanish Harlem and the Bronx, I dreamed of living in a museum. As I got older, the goal changed to simply working in one. After interning at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The American Museum of Natural History while I was a student at the New York City Museum School, I was inspired to become an art history major at Baruch College (CUNY). It paid off. Today, I get to work with an eclectic collection of artifacts relating to film, television, and digital media that everyone can relate to."

-Daniel Silva, Registrar, Museum of the Moving Image

More Stories


Sign your name in support of New York City’s 1,500+ cultural organizations.

The Petition

Dear City Hall,

New Yorkers from all walks of life are inspired by New York City arts and cultural organizations in a myriad of ways. To support these organizations, I am writing today to respectfully request that you increase funding for arts and culture in New York City by $40 million.

New York City's arts and cultural organizations, including both the Cultural Institutions Group and Program Groups, are essential to the fabric of this City -- they enrich the lives of New Yorkers in all five boroughs, provide significant economic impact through jobs and support for local neighborhoods, and help make the City's diverse communities more vibrant.

Arts and cultural organizations would use this funding to increase lifelong arts and cultural education, expand access to arts and cultural opportunities, and support workforce development and diversity in the arts and cultural sector. These new funds could support increased funding for arts and cultural organizations, including underfunded groups, arts councils administering grants to individual artists and local cultural organizations, and a more diverse array of new grantees.

I strongly encourage the City to recognize the important, unique, and essential role that arts and cultural organizations, as well as individual artists, play in the lives of New Yorkers.

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Thank you for your support of NYC Culture


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