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Metro Creative Connection

NYS Council on the Arts announces unprecedented $100 million investment in nonprofit arts & culture organizations

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Thu, Apr 22nd 2021 04:45 pm

Funding will reimagine, rebuild & renew New York’s creative culture following year of devastation

The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) announced that it will provide over $100 million in funding in support of the state’s effort to rebuild and bolster the nonprofit arts and culture sector in the post-COVID-19 era.

Part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fiscal year 2022 enacted budget, NYSCA funding will spearhead the state’s $40 million Recovery Grant Program for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, along with $20 million for new capital grants.

A press release stated, “Combining this new funding with the state's annual $40 million arts grant program, NYSCA’s funding will provide critical support to meet an array of urgent needs across the sector, ensuring that New York’s vibrant creative economy can continue to reopen safely.”

NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus said, “New York is the heart of the country’s cultural ecosystem, and the state’s historic investment of $100 million illustrates the vital role that the arts will play in reopening and rebuilding in the months ahead. We are incredibly grateful to Gov. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for their leadership and responsiveness to the sector.

“The devastation to arts and culture cannot be overstated. Prior to the pandemic, the sector accounted for $123 billion of the state’s economy and over 504,000 jobs in the non- and for-profit fields (Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2019 Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 2019). Over the next 12 to 24 months, this critical funding will help ensure arts organizations can reopen safely. As NYSCA has done since the onset of the pandemic, we will continue to be responsive in addressing the needs of our grantees and the field at-large in all 62 counties, with streamlined guidelines, applications and reporting processes to create greater access to NYSCA funding.”

Over the past year, research has estimated the impact of COVID-19 on the vast creative field has resulted in a loss of almost 280,000 jobs and $26.8 billion in revenue (“Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s devastating impact on American’s creative economy,” by Richard Florida and Michael Seman, published August 2020 by the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institute).

“This staggering impact, coupled with the ongoing need for restrictions to ensure the safety and well-being of artists, workers and the community as a whole, illustrates the urgent need to provide significantly increased funding directly to arts and culture organizations,” NYSCA Chair Katherine Nicholls said. “Arts and culture are a driving force within the state’s tourism industry, which has been profoundly affected by the pandemic. When arts venues are shuttered, countless professionals working behind the scenes are also impacted, and that includes the restaurant, hotel, transportation and sanitation sectors, in addition to countless main street businesses, steps away from New York’s cultural attractions. Every dollar spent by local audiences and tourists is an act of vital economic development, and NYSCA is committed to ensuring that the arts and culture sector has the support it needs to reopen safely and once again be a catalyst for our economy.”

Additionally, support for New York’s vast arts and culture business sector will be provided through the $1 billion Small Business and Arts Relief and Recovery Assistance Program, which includes $800 million for the state’s COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program that’s providing funding for small businesses including for-profit arts and cultural institutions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, NYSCA distributed over $40 million in grants across all of New York’s 10 regions. As such, 1,225 arts and cultural organizations and nearly 150 artists received critical NYSCA support. Additional information about the FY2022 NYSCA application process and guidelines will be available in late spring.

For more information on NYSCA, visit www.arts.ny.gov, or follow NYSCA's Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts

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