As New York City’s arts and culture sector seeks to rebound from the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic, the Department of Cultural Affairs announced on Thursday that it would award $51.4 million in grants to more than 1,000 nonprofit arts organizations.

The grants, for the 2022 fiscal year, represent the largest-ever allocation for what is known as the Cultural Development Fund. Some of the grants will broadly increase funding for organizations that need a financial shot in the arm; other grants will offer more targeted support of disability arts, language access, arts education and more.

Officials also said that a chunk of the money — about $5.1 million — is being sent to more than 650 groups working in underserved communities that were hard hit by the pandemic.

“This improved funding will encourage artists, creators and producers across the city to continue to express their insights and stories on their own terms,” Vicki Been, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, said in a statement.

A survey of the effects of the coronavirus commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs in the spring of 2020 found that overall, about one in 10 arts organizations thought they would not survive the pandemic. Smaller organizations in particular were some of the hardest hit, according to the survey.

Some of the grants, of less than $10,000, have been awarded to small theater companies, choirs and museums. And to further help ensure that modestly sized groups and even individual artists receive a share of the funding, almost $3 million will be given to five local arts councils serving each borough. Those councils, in turn, will distribute the money to local constituents, city officials said.

But large organizations will also benefit. Some of the city’s most recognizable arts institutions like the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 92nd Street Y are among the organizations that will receive some of the largest grants, in excess of $100,000 each.

The grants — $45.5 million in mayoral funds and $5.9 million in City Council member items — are part of what officials said was a roughly $230 million annual budget for the Department of Cultural Affairs.

“Culture is essential to healthy, vibrant neighborhoods, and there is no recovery for New York City without our cultural community,” Gonzalo Casals, the city’s cultural affairs commissioner, said.

Sarah Bahr contributed reporting.



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