NYC arts groups concerned as city targets new funding plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio is rethinking the City's cultural funding plan, which could have an impact not only on major institutions like the Met and the Lincoln Center, but also on the smaller arts organizations in the borough.

Large organizations, many based in Manhattan, are concerned about getting less money for their programming, while grassroots groups, particularly those working in low-income neighborhoods, are hoping to gain more Funding with the changes proposed by the mayor.

The city allocates $ 178 million annually for its arts budget, so the funding comes from a very large pie. Especially in the face of the National Arts Foundation's cuts, changes in the city, the New York Times reports, "could be the theater of a version of the art world of class warfare, with cultural giants and Their well-kept bosses Against smaller, less glamorous institutions that focus primarily on serving a racially and economically diverse local audience. "

At present, the Metropolitan Museum of Art gets $ 26 million, the largest single grant to nearly 15% of the budget, while the Bronx Historical Society gets less than $ 200,000 from the city. The Cultural Institutions Group, a coalition of 33 arts organizations, receives 63 per cent of the budget and the rest is distributed through grants.

To date, 20,000 residents have weighed on funding and why. These results will be published in summary next week, while the team of the Mayor of Blasio will have until July 1 to submit a cultural plan to the city council for review.

"There will be something that says some parts of New York City are underfunded, and this will be something we want to address," said Tom Finkelpearl, the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs. "He will also say that there is great recognition on the part of this administration as to the value of the main cultural institutions. These are very important, not only for tourism - which we care - but also for the Spirit of the city ".

Some practitioners believe that it is time to expand the basin, invest more in arts and culture so that all institutions, large and small, can sustain themselves and their missions. To this end the city added $ 10 million last year for its arts budget and set this money aside for small businesses in particular and granted larger groups a six percent increase.