NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Will Distribute $52.2 Million in Grants to More Than 1,000 Cultural Non-Profits Citywide

Grants will be distributed through the annual Cultural Development Fund.

By: Feb. 22, 2024
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Will Distribute $52.2 Million in Grants to More Than 1,000 Cultural Non-Profits Citywide
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The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) has announced more than $52 million for 1,031 cultural organizations across New York City, distributed through its annual Cultural Development Fund (CDF) grant making program. Amid fiscal challenges facing the city, this round of CDF grants represents continued significant investment in NYC's cultural community, and a recognition of the incredible value that arts and cultural activity brings to New York's diverse neighborhoods. Building on an ongoing effort to foster greater equity and fairness in the CDF process, this marked the first year that more than half of recipients – 646 organizations – received a renewal grant as part of a multi-year commitment. Previously, only larger organizations were eligible for multi-year grants, which guarantees a base level of support for groups in a renewal cycle and offers them greater stability. In all, the vast majority (76%) of eligible applicant groups received a CDF award, maintaining DCLA's commitment to supporting as many organizations across the five boroughs as possible.

“New York City is the cultural capital of the world, and the Adams administration's contribution of more than $50 million demonstrates our commitment to making this critical sector thrive,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Housing, and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “We are thrilled to support more than 1,000 creative nonprofits across all five boroughs and I want to thank DCLA for all their hard work to bring the arts to all New Yorkers.”

“Culture is the heart of New York City, and what keeps it beating are the hundreds of city-supported cultural organizations whose programming inspires and engages audiences in all five boroughs," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. "Despite the challenging fiscal environment, we fought hard to sustain our part of this vital public-private partnership. This major investment in our cultural community shows that we are committed to supporting this indispensable part of what makes our city thrive. Alongside funding for capital projects, free supplies through Materials for the Arts, and the many other ways DCLA supports our arts and culture sector, these CDF awards will foster a healthier, more vibrant city where all New Yorkers have opportunities to connect with cultural programming."

DCLA's Cultural Development Fund is an annual, application-based process for distributing city funds in support of publicly oriented cultural programming. Applications are reviewed by panels consisting of members of NYC's cultural community. Under recent reforms, hundreds of groups receiving funding awards are in a multi-year grant cycle, something previously available only to larger organizations. Multi-year awards offer new stability to groups who can count on city support for more than one year at a time and reduces the time and capacity required to submit annual applications. This also marks the second year in which the minimum CDF grant was doubled from $5,000 to $10,000 – the first such increase since the CDF process was instituted in 2008. Additional reforms were also implemented, including streamlining the application process through a fully digital application; creating an additional round of panelist review before scoring applications; and expanding the number of budget bands to provide a greater range of awards for groups of varying sizes.

In light of the city's budgetary constraints, DCLA had to undertake a Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) along with all city agencies to reduce expenses. DCLA continues to fund the vast majority of eligible applicants – 76% this year, in line with the historical target of 75% - 80%. Despite the reductions, the total CDF amount of $52.2 million – which includes $7 million in City Council discretionary member items - remains a substantial investment in the diverse pool of awardees that make up the fabric of New York City's arts and cultural community. In light of the funding adjustments, new digital application and reporting processes, and other changes, DCLA's program officers are available to all applicants and grantees to answer questions regarding FY24 awards, and to work toward the upcoming FY25 CDF cycle.





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