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Arts Funding in the Wake of Covid-19


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I thought I'd kick of a new Covid-19 topic with a bit of good news from yesterday's New York Times: New York City Cultural Groups Awarded More Than $47 Million in Grants

"In a year filled with layoffs and budget cuts, New York City’s cultural institutions got some good news on Tuesday: The Department of Cultural Affairs announced that it would award $47.1 million in its newest round of grants, which this year will go to more than 1,000 of the city’s nonprofit organizations."

Here's a link to the list of arts organizations that have received funding: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Fiscal Year 2021 Cultural Development Fund Awardees. There are lots of dance companies, dance schools, performing arts companies, performing arts presenting organizations, and performing arts venues of all sizes on the list. 

Many of these organizations do receive regular grant funding from NYC's Department of Cultural Affairs' Cultural Development Fund (CDF), but it's heartening to see that the City has kept this year's CDF funding roughly equivalent to that of prior years and that it's added some new organizations to the list as well despite overall Covid-19 driven cuts to arts funding. 

Via the CDF, the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) makes direct grants to non-profit arts organizations to support their programs and activities. It provides arts funding through other channels as well: capital grants, the Cultural Institutions Group (which includes NYCB), and various programs that support artists (rather than arts organization). The DCLA's total budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (July 1, 2020 - June 30 2021) is $189 million, a significant reduction from last year's budget of $212 million.

Here are some other articles re the grant awards:

Broadway World: NYC Department of Cultural Affair Announces $47.1 Million in Grants, and New Measures to Support Cultural Organizations

Hyperallergic: NYC Awards $47.1 Million in Grants and Pandemic Relief to Arts Organizations

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I was very glad to see this too but puzzled that I couldn’t find NYCB or ABT on the list of groups receiving $47.1MM in grants, although other dance companies(Ailey, Mark Morris etc) are there. The list includes some of the larger arts organizations such as the NY Philharmonic and most of the museums. What am I missing?

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3 hours ago, Peg said:

I was very glad to see this too but puzzled that I couldn’t find NYCB or ABT on the list of groups receiving $47.1MM in grants, although other dance companies(Ailey, Mark Morris etc) are there. The list includes some of the larger arts organizations such as the NY Philharmonic and most of the museums. What am I missing?

SAB was awarded a grant in the $50,000 - $99,999 range.

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20 hours ago, Peg said:

I was very glad to see this too but puzzled that I couldn’t find NYCB or ABT on the list of groups receiving $47.1MM in grants, although other dance companies(Ailey, Mark Morris etc) are there. The list includes some of the larger arts organizations such as the NY Philharmonic and most of the museums. What am I missing?

ABT did get a grant in the $100,000+ category. Search under Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc., which is the legal name of the non-profit via which ABT operates.

NYCB is a member of New York City's Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) and therefore likely receives NYC/Department of Cultural Affairs funding through a different channel. There are 33 CIG members; NYCB is the only performing arts company among the group now that New York City Opera is defunct. (The Theater Formerly Known as State was home to both, as was, prior to that, New York City Center.) Here's a link to the CIG website.

Here's the CIG list

Brooklyn
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Children's Museum
Brooklyn Museum
Wildlife Conservation Society / New York Aquarium

Bronx
Bronx County Historical Society
Bronx Museum of the Arts
New York Botanical Garden
Wave Hill
Wildlife Conservation Society / Bronx Zoo

Manhattan
American Museum of Natural History
Carnegie Hall
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
El Museo del Barrio
Museum of the City of New York
Museum of Jewish Heritage
New York City Ballet
New York City Center
Public Theater
Studio Museum in Harlem

Queens
Flushing Town Hall
Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
Museum of the Moving Image
New York Hall of Science
MoMA PS 1
Queens Botanical Garden
Queens Museum
Queens Theatre

Staten Island
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Staten Island Children's Museum
Staten Island Historical Society
Staten Island Museum
Staten Island Zoological Society

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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Met Opera Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin has written to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to ask not only for support of the arts, but for a cabinet-level position for Arts and Culture:

(The letter is in the Tweet.)

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17 minutes ago, Helene said:

Met Opera Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin has written to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to ask not only for support of the arts, but for a cabinet-level position for Arts and Culture:

(The letter is in the Tweet.)

As a former employee at NEH (LONG ago), I am not crazy about this idea. The two Endowments managed to stay off the radar screen for the last four years and did pretty well with Congress in funding. Elevating them to cabinet status makes them an easy target in future administrations, if not for abolition then massive cuts. 

I'm also not happy that "Humanities" are not named in the proposed cabinet position. If you study the interesting history of NEA and NEH since their  founding in 1965, there have been fascinating shifts in focus. At the beginning, the credibility of the humanities was able to bring the arts along. Later, when NEH got into some trouble (e.g., over their state humanities councils) the arts dragged the humanities along for survival. When the Mapplethorpe controversy emerged in the late 80s, NEH dragged the arts along for funding and survival. Etc., etc.

Please also note that there are actually programs funding art and humanities scattered all over the government -- cultural programs at the State Department, arts education programs at the Department of Education, and many more. There would be pressure to consolidate all into the new cabinet agency and that just makes them easier to cut and more difficult to administer.

I would like to see a return to recognition of the importance of both the arts and humanities in the Biden administration and I think we'll see it.  

European countries typically have a "Ministry of Culture," which the Endowments have sought to avoid and which also played a role in their founding and continuation. So I'd avoid the word "culture" in naming anything.

Well, enough. 

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The Colorado Arts Relief Fund for businesses and organizations awarded $5,985,500 for general operating support grants to 123 arts, culture, and entertainment organizations in 33 counties across Colorado.

https://oedit.colorado.gov/colorado-arts-relief-grant#awardees

  • Colorado Ballet: $75,000
  • Boulder Ballet: $12,000
  • Vail Valley Foundation: $125,000
  • Cleo Parker Robinson: $20,000
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Things looking dour in the UK...

Scrapped Plans for London Concert Hall Sour Mood for U.K. Musicians

The decision comes as classical musicians struggle to deal with the impact of the pandemic and Britain’s departure from the European Union.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/arts/music/london-concert-hall-scrapped.html

"A British musician who wanted to play a concert in Spain would have to pay 600 pounds, or about $840, for a work permit, she said, adding that this would make such a trip unviable for many. She called upon the government to negotiate deals with European countries so cultural workers could move around more easily.

Parrott said he expected many British classical musicians would retrain for other careers, or move outside Britain for work, if the rules were not changed."

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