Fort Greene

City pumps $64 million into cultural institutions

Cumbo says $9.5 million coming into her council district

July 26, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (at podium), council members and representatives of arts community celebrate the city’s nearly $64 million investment in cultural institutions. At left is Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Photo courtesy of Cumbo’s office

Many of the city’s best-known cultural institutions, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), will be getting a financial shot in the arm thanks to a new funding initiative announced by City Council leaders.

BAM will be getting $8 million in capital funding from the city under a plan announced on July 21 by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and other councilmembers.

The city is providing nearly $64 million in capital funds to more than 20 cultural institutions in the five boroughs.

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Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene-Clinton Hill) said that nearly $9.5 million will be dispersed among cultural entities in her council district. The $9.5 million total includes the $8 million going to BAM.

“I am proud to bring nearly $9.5 million to the 35th Council District, also known as Brooklyn’s Cultural District,” Cumbo said in a statement. “From portraits and sculptures to film, music and dance — art transcends time, language and culture by capturing the transformative moments that will be shared for generations.  Brooklyn’s Cultural District, which I proudly represent, is home to more than 50 organizations that not only educate and inspire us daily, but also support our city’s economic development through job creation and tourism.”

Cumbo is the founder of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn.

The new funding will support various capital projects aimed at the upkeep of the cultural institutions.

“I’m proud that we were able to make this investment our city’s arts and cultural institutions and provide the opportunity for positive self-expression and education for all New Yorkers,” Mark-Viverito stated.

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“Our cultural institutions are the pulse of this city. It’s important we support these institutions so they can continue creating jobs, attracting tourists from all over the world and enriching our lives,” said Councilmember Jumaane Williams (Flatbush-East Flatbush-Flatlands). “I want to pay special recognition to the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music for adding to the cultural vitality of the borough.”  

“Our theaters, zoos, museums, galleries, studios and other cultural spaces are where New Yorkers come together to learn, collaborate, create and be inspired,” said New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “The de Blasio administration is proud to join with the City Council in making substantial investments in these spaces, ensuring that every resident has access to the extraordinary range of cultural activity that takes place here in New York.”

Representatives from the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Historical Society, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music were on hand for the big announcement.

Here’s a list of the Brooklyn arts institutions that will receiving funding:

  • BAM — $8 million

  • Coney Island — $800,000

  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum — $1.3 million

  • BK Museum — $500,000

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden — $560,000

  • Brooklyn Historical Society — $514,000

  • Dancewave Inc. — $400,000

  • Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAB) — $200,000

  • Theater for a New Audience — $200,000

  • Spaceworks NYC Inc. — $150,000

  • Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music — $100,000

  • Original Music Workshop — $37,000

  • International Studio and Curatorial Project — $20,000


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