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UALP Update May 8, 2018


CreateNYC is the first-ever comprehensive cultural plan for the City of New York. Studied and produced over two years and released in July 2017, the plan "is intended to serve as a roadmap to a more inclusive, equitable, and resilient cultural ecosystem, in which all residents have a stake."

The New York City cultural plan transcends diversity. The plan is deeply inclusive. Inclusion refers to the degree to which individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds are able to participate fully in all elements of an organization, agency, or system. You might have a diverse staff, but is a diverse group actually involved in your organization’s decision-making processes? An inclusive group is, by definition, diverse. But a diverse group is not necessarily inclusive.

When you get right down to it, inclusivity within the arts sector is directly connected to equitable funding practices. The information is compelling. Here are some quotes from the New York City cultural plan.


In 2015, a DeVos Institute of Arts Management study, entitled Diversity in the Arts: The Past, Present, and Future of African American and Latino Museums, Dance Companies, and Theater Companies, revealed that arts organizations whose mission is to serve people of color and low-income communities report a median of only 5% of contributed revenue from individual donors. These networks of big donors have often been unavailable to low-income communities, which instead rely on government funding. This makes it an even greater imperative that public funding is allocated with an eye toward historic inequities.

Across the country, funders are making efforts to increase equity and inclusion when distributing resources… One of the main goals of CreateNYC is to promote a more inclusive and equitable cultural ecosystem in New York City.


This is not the first time that New York City has made changes to more equitably fund cultural organizations. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the City added a dozen new members to the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), the first such deliberate expansion in the history of the CIG. These new members were primarily located outside Manhattan and focused on traditionally underserved communities, including the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Studio Museum in Harlem, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and El Museo del Barrio. This commitment to long-term, substantial public investment in these groups has helped them become cornerstones of New York’s cultural life.

Another major move toward equity came in 2008, when the City re-directed substantial amounts of capital support, funding provided to organizations for construction, renovations, and equipment… read more

Things are Moving in Baltimore Too…


By Kibibi Ajanku

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