New York City is synonymous with the art, culture, and tourism that give it it’s vibrancy, it’s energy and it’s heart. Our city is home to the greatest, most diverse collection of art and artists anywhere in the world, and right now, both are under siege. While many industries were impacted by the pandemic, none were hit harder than our tourist, arts and culture sectors.
Arts institutions have remained closed for over a year. Theatres have gone dark and museums were forced to shut their doors. Conserative studies estimated that more than 90% of artists and creators found themselves out of work due to the pandemic — thousands of actors, designers, musicians, chefs, curators, dancers and so many more, along with the thousands of New York businesses and workers who depend on a vibrant arts scene for their own livelihoods, from local artisans, restaurants and bars, to gift shops, bookstores and beyond.
The cultural impact and the economic impact have been severe, leaving our city a quieter, lonelier, less expressive and less prosperous city than ever before. Maya Wiley knows that any discussion of our economic recovery—not to mention our moral and cultural recovery—must begin with supporting the artists and arts work in our city. It’s time to reopen our city safely and reclaim our place as the international destination for arts and culture.
To accomplish this, a Wiley administration will:
- Ensure Recovery for Creative Workers and Cultural Institutions.
- Call on the Current Administration to Stage a Grand Re-Opening.
- Make New York City a Better Place for Artists and Others in the Cultural and Tourism Industries to Live and Work.
- Enhance Open Culture & Open Street Programs and Create Parks For the People.
- Ensure Equity Within our Arts and Culture Sectors.
To Ensure Recovery for Creative Workers and Cultural Institutions, we will:
- Invest $100 million dollars in a Creative Economy Recovery Program to put arts and culture workers back to work and help cultural institutions to recover.
- Provide direct grants to artists and performers to get them back to work and to cultural organizations, arts-related small businesses and artisans who are essential to the industry, and institutions for operating expenses.
- Invest $1 billion in capital spending to support the arts and culture. This program will help put the City’s artists, performers and cultural workers back to work by providing performance and studio spaces, and through other capital expenditures that support arts and culture in the City.
- Prioritize communities that are underrepresented in these industries and institutions, serving communities most impacted by the pandemic, as well as small, community-based organizations.
To Stage a Grand Re-Opening, Maya is calling on the current administration to:
- Work in partnership with Cultural Affairs, Nightlife and Media & Entertainment, as well as local businesses, local artists, and local communities to throw a major Grand Reopening festival.
- The Grand Reopening festival will take place throughout the week of Labor Day, and feature both indoor and outdoor activities, adhering to public health and safety guidelines to ensure COVID responsibility.
- The festival will incorporate elements of San Genaro, Mardi Gras, and the World’s Fair, taking place in all boroughs, highlighting the performing arts, art exhibitions, culinary diversity, and our world class green spaces.
To Make New York City a Better Place for Artists and Others in the Cultural and Tourism Industries to Live and Work, we will:
- Protect performing artists against wealthy venues and artistic institutions attempting to scale back wages, benefits and protection in the wake of the pandemic, publicly advocating for labor agreements that maintain pre-pandemic wages and protections.
- Expand opportunities for artists of color and women by partnering with organized labor, cultural institutions, the Department of Cultural
- Affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, as well as outside partners to launch a major diversity workforce initiative.
- Address affordability by working to expand artist-specific housing and seek innovative solutions through land use and community development to expand our city’s affordable housing stock overall.
To Enhance Open Culture & Open Street Programs and Create Parks For the People, we will:
- Expand Open Culture and Open Street programs to provide more performance opportunities for artists while advocating for established safety procedures and better pay and protections for artists and arts workers working in non-traditional spaces.
- Partner with relevant unions and arts organizations to establish rules on wages and protections within Open Culture and Open Street programs.
- Invest in a major expansion of our Parks for the People, which will boost tourism while simultaneously expanding the public spaces available for cultural life and recreation.
- Work to achieve The Trust for Public Land’s goal of 100% of residents living within 10 minutes of a park and close the park equity gap in high-need underserved neighborhoods.
To Ensure Equity Within our Arts and Culture Sectors, we will:
- Launch the Council on Arts Revival with Equity (CARE), a council of arts and culture workers, advocates, community leaders, independent businesses and artisans, and other relevant experts, who will provide ongoing advice, council, and recommendations on the City’s artistic recovery.
- Ensure all arts-related relief and programs apply an equity lens to ensure resources and support are going to the communities that need it most.
- Champion and expand existing campaigns run by organized labor to push the industry to hire a more diverse workforce by providing paid internship programs that introduce students to opportunities in the industry, creating more opportunities in the Summer Youth Employment Program that introduce young people to arts jobs, and supporting innovative approaches to diversifying the industry.