The People's Cultural Plan


Since 2017, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs has allocated over $1 billion to support the city’s arts and culture sector. During a press conference on August 1st, Tom Finkelpearl, New York City’s Cultural Affairs Commissioner, announced continued support by outlining a 2019 action plan for CreateNYC, the city’s extensive cultural plan, with record-breaking investments into programs that focus on building a more equitable arts economy that works for everyone, especially historically underserved communities.

Increased funding and a strong emphasis on cultivating inclusive practices in the cultural sector; strengthening connections between the cultural sector and government; addressing affordability crises for the cultural community; and providing high-quality arts education for all NYC public schools students comes, in part, as a result of The People’s Cultural Plan. Initiated by an independent group of artists and culture workers, The People’s Cultural Plan is a direct criticism of NYC’s previous Cultural Plan from 2017, which touted a “cosmetic and feel-good narrative” without concrete funding commitments. Take a look at The People’s Cultural Plan here and NYC’s new and improved 2019 action plan for CreateNYC by clicking here or on the image below.


Looking at a concrete example of how artist-led advocacy translates into funding dollars brings up a few questions we can ask about what we expect from ourselves here in Omaha and what we expect from our city government. For example, how can we collectively organize to build cross-sector support for a city-wide cultural plan? How would centering conversations about diversity, inclusivity, and equity in that plan change the way we think about funding arts programs? Would a more equitable arts economy contribute to economic growth outside of the arts sector? Let us know what you think by sharing your comments below.