City Council Announces $1.5 Million Cultural Immigrant Initiative

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito along with City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair on the Committee on Cultural Affairs, and Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Finance Committee announced last week the expansion of cultural funding and the development of new cultural initiatives. This new program, The Cultural Immigrant Initiative, is aimed at providing cultural programming targeting immigrant groups throughout the five boroughs. The initiative will provide an effort to help bolster cultural funding to New York City’s diverse immigrant communities.

“We as a Council are strongly committed in making sure that our cultural institutions reflect the diversity of this city,” said Speaker Mark-Viverito. “This funding initiative will focus on continuing to provide the best arts and culture this city has to offer and that every New Yorker has access to quality cultural engagement…”

“Everyone in every corner of our City, regardless of their economic or ethnic background should have access to the world class culture that is a large part of what makes New York City so great…” Van Bramer said.

Ferreras said, “It is important, as New York City progresses, to help our immigrant communities adjust and learn about the history and diversity of their new home while still helping them keep their identities.”

The $1.5 million allocation will support emerging arts groups in immigrant communities as well as initiatives that will expand access for youth, immigrants and school children. This programming will include programs that present or represent the traditions, cultures and experiences of immigrant communities in New York City.

The programming will be provided by cultural organizations to immigrant communities throughout the five boroughs of New York City between January 1 and June 30, 2015. The funding will be administered by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The New York City Council secured over $309 million in funding to expand the footprint of the City’s cultural institutions and organizations, support emerging ethnic theater companies in all boroughs, develop a new initiative aimed at building emerging groups in immigrant communities and enhance partnerships with science-based organizations and schools.

New cultural funding includes:

$1 million enhancement for the Coalition of Theaters of Color to support emerging theater companies

$1 million increase to the Urban Advantage Program which partners science-based cultural organizations with middle schools to bring to life the wonders and importance of science and math and help students excel at STEM-related requirements

$2 million increase to the popular Cultural After-School Adventures Program

$100,000 for the Family Science Program to expand access to the American Natural History Museum in NYCHA communities.