Advocacy Updates
BACK TO SCHOOL – ARTS IN EDUCATION UPDATES
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 12:00 AM

I hope you’ll take a moment to read the information below! Many thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, New York City School Chancellor Carmen Fariña and all of our friends at the New York City Council including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the Committee on Libraries, Cultural Affairs and International Intergroup Relations, and Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education for prioritizing funding for arts education in the recently approved budget for New York City’s 2015 Fiscal Year. Their advocacy resulted in $23 million in new City funding dedicated to increasing access to the arts in NYC public schools through professional development, hiring additional arts teachers and expanding opportunities for cultural partners to work with public schools.

In addition, we thank the NYC Council for their leadership in expanding the Cultural After School Adventure (CASA) program by providing funding for cultural partnerships at over 100 additional New York City schools in the 2014-2015 school year. And a special shout out to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for releasing the Arts Forward report, which played an important role in advocating for the $23 million included in this year’s budget for arts education and for hosting an upcoming opportunity for arts leaders to meet with educators who very much want and need our support at an Arts & Education Mixer at El Museo.

I. FY15 Cultural After School Adventures (CASA) Update

We understand that many of you are endeavoring to secure FY15 CASA funding from theNYC Council for cultural programming at NYC public schools. We understand that NYC Council Finance has asked each Council Member to submit a list of the seven cultural organizations that have been selected to partner with schools in their Council District by September 17. Each cultural organization selected will receive $20K through the CASA initiative for programming at the partnering schools. It is anticipated that the Council will officially approve CASA funding allocations at the Stated Meeting currently scheduled for Tuesday, September 23. Please note, these dates are not official and are subject to change or extension. We will keep you apprised of any new or updated information we receive

regarding this funding.

 

If you have any further questions regarding the Arts Mixer or CASA funding, please let us

know.

 

II. MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT ARTS AND EDUCATION MIXER

On September 30th, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will host an Arts Mixer at el Museo del Barrio (1230 Fifth Avenue) from 4pm-6pm. The Borough President is hosting this event to encourage partnerships between public schools in Manhattan and cultural organizations. All cultural organizations are welcome to attend, as are Manhattan public school teachers and administrators. Your organization can RSVP for this event by calling (212) 669-4039. RSVPs are requested.

 
New DCA Commissioner
Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 AM

 

I. Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of the Queens Museum to become Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs

 

Mayor de Blasio, First Lady Chirlane de Blasio, Tom Finkelpearl, Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer & Laurie Cumbo. Photo by

From left to right: Marta Moreno Vega, Council Member Laurie Cumbo, First Lady Chirlane de Blasio, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Tom Finkelpearl, Maj. Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Melody Capote. Photo by Michael Hickey, Man-About-Town.org 

As most of you probably read in the press, on April 7th, Mayor de Blasio appointed Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of the Queens Museum, as Commissioner for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the event, which was held at the newly renovated Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Park. The feeling in the room was one of great unity, from small community-based groups to Queens Theater in the Park’s Managing Director Taryn Sacramone, to Arnold Lehman of the Brooklyn Museum. 

To read more about the ways Tom Finkelpearl transformed the Queens Museum, visit Gallerist NY

Tom turned the renovation of the Queens Museum into an opportunity to transform what it means to be a museum in the 21st Century. In 2006, he hired Naila Rosario, a community organizer who had spearheaded political campaigns, to find out what the Corona community wanted and needed. There are 138 languages spoken in Queens, more than in any other borough of New York City, and more than in any other City in the United States!  By spending seven years deeply engaging with the diverse people and communities of Queens, Finkelpearl changed the paradigm for what it means to be a museum.

Tom Finkelpearl will assume his Commissioner duties in May, and we already have a request out to him, inviting him to a reception at A.R.T./New York’s South Oxford Space where he can meet our diverse and dynamic community!

All of us at A.R.T./New York congratulate Tom Finkelpearl on his appointment, and look forward to working with him.

 

II. City Council Approved Legislation Extending NYC Charter Mandated Dates Related to the City’s Executive Budget

Given the City Council’s actions, the following dates have changed:


III. NYSCA Budget Passes - $35.6M

 

On March 31st, the State Legislature allocated $35.6M in grant funds for NYSCA. $4M of these funds are allocated for the Regional Economic Council grants. While we had hoped for an increase, we are grateful that NYSCA’s funding was not cut. We are also glad that a proposal, which had been inserted into the budget language less than 3 weeks ago, was withdrawn. It read:

“The Senate proposes to redistribute Council on the Arts local assistance grants to achieve regional balance statewide.”

Neither the Assembly nor the State Arts Committee was responsible for this proposal. I joined members of the New York City Arts Coalition in writing my elected officials and protesting this recommendation, pointing out how much it would hurt not only the arts but those industries we support: restaurants, printers, graphic designers, caterers, local stores, etc. Thanks to this effort, this language was taken out, but as arts advocates we need to be aware of the fact that this idea is out there.

Please write thank you notes to Speaker Sheldon Silver, your State Senator and State Assembly Member. Sheldon Silver’s address is:

LOB 932
Albany, NY 12248

To find out the name of the State Senator where you perform regularly or have an office visit: www.nysenate.gov . To find out your State Assemblymember, visit: assembly.state.ny.us.

 

IV. One last request 

Please distribute the survey we sent in a previous Advocacy Alert to every staff member. We are trying to determine how many theater artists/workers live in each of New York City’s 52 City Council Districts. This is very important for advocacy purposes. If each theater would like their individual data, we can work on getting it for you.

Please ask each of your staff members to find out what their City Council voting district is with this tool: http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml

Then have them let us know by completing the A.R.T./New York Member Employee City Council District Survey: https://artny.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_163271

Please do this as soon as possible. 

 
DCA Budget Update and a SPECIAL REQUEST
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 12:00 AM

 

Baseline DCA Budget FY14 Per November Plan

Historically, previous Mayors have presented a preliminary City budget that only includes a portion of the funding required for DCA to operate in the upcoming year; this is commonly known as the “baseline funding” and the remainder of DCA’s funding is restored by the Council and Administration after extensive negotiations. This year, Mayor de Blasio kept the overwhelming majority of Council restorations for DCA in the FY15 Preliminary City budget, thereby increasing the BASELINE from which future DCA budgets will be negotiated.

FY15 DCA Budget Breakdown

City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, who also Chairs the Committee on Cultural Affairs, urged the Agency to appeal for more funding. A.R.T./New York will seek full restoration of $7.9M to the DCA budget in FY15.

IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL, WE NEED YOUR HELP!

While we are thrilled that DCA funding has not been seriously cut, we are dealing with a new City Council, and many of them are anxious to know about the cultural activity in their districts. While there may not be a theatre in every City Council district, we know that our community lives throughout New York City. Each A.R.T./New York member should be able to tell members of the City Council the number of employees (full- and part-time) who live in various Council Districts and Boroughs. And as your representative, A.R.T./New York needs to let each Council member know how many of our members and their staff live in each Council District. This is critical data, and we need you to help us collect it.

Please ask each of your staff members to find out what their City Council voting district is with this tool: http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml

Then have them let us know by completing the A.R.T./New York Member Employee City Council District Survey: https://artny.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_163271

 
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