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Diversity at the Top of the Agenda as New York Lays Out Detailed Plan for Culture

Publish Time:2017-08-01 10:38:32Source:http://travelweekly-china.com

【Introduction】:New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has outlined the US city s first ever plan for culture, linking future funding for museums and arts groups to the diversity of their staff.

(Source: Travel Weekly China)

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has outlined the US city's first ever plan for culture, linking future funding for museums and arts groups to the diversity of their staff.

A blueprint to guide the future of arts and culture in the city, called CreateNYC was built from extensive public engagement, collating the conversations of more than 200,000 New York residents from every borough and background to create a programme of with targeted investments to address underserved communities across the city.

A 2017 study by the Cultural Affairs Department found that in New York, 67 per cent of its residents identify as a minority. Only 38 per cent of employees at cultural organisations belong to these groups.

Speaking at a news conference, de Blasio said that the city will now collect data on the makeup of its staff in terms of things such as race, religion and gender, with the city's major cultural institutions required to submit "meaningful goals" to diversify workforces in their respective organisations.

"This will be a factor in funding decisions by the city going forward," said the mayor. "We do this because we believe in fairness."

The plan retains funding levels for New York's most popular museums, with less prominent arts organisations also to receive increased city subsidy. It also addresses a "north-south division" between Brooklyn and Staten Island, with a pledge to make access to culture for low-income residents easier.

The report also calls for increased funding to support individual artists, while new money and resources will be used to train minorities for cultural jobs, improve interpretation services for visitors whose first language isn't English, and improve cultural access for people with disabilities.

The city's budget for 2018 – finalised before CreateNYC's release – sees arts funding increased to US$188.1m (€161.5m, £144.6m), an increase of US$18.5m (€15.9m, £14.2m) on 2017's figures. Some of this funding will be used to start facilitating these changes.

"Residents, from every corner of the city, stepped up to share their priorities, concerns, and ideas about how we can make sure that here in New York culture is for everyone," said the report.

"Arts and culture in New York have always been moved forward through grassroots energy, by individual actors tapping into the collective energy of New York's diverse neighborhoods. And while the innovations and energy of small groups and individuals are essential to the process, no one can achieve great things alone. It's only together as one city that we CreateNYC."

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