In a year filled with layoffs and budget cuts, New York City’s cultural institutions got some good news on Tuesday: The Department of Cultural Affairs announced that it would award $47.1 million in its newest round of grants, which this year will go to more than 1,000 of the city’s nonprofit organizations.
The grants include $12.6 million in new investments, nearly $10 million of which is designated for coronavirus pandemic relief and arts education initiatives. Funding will increase over the prior year for grantees, including larger increases for smaller organizations, the department said.
The allotment includes a $3 million increase for 621 organizations in low-income neighborhoods and those most affected by the pandemic, and $2 million for five local arts councils that will distribute the funds to individual artists and smaller nonprofits. Twenty-five organizations providing arts education programming will receive a share of $750,000 allotted for that purpose.
The Apollo Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Chinese in America will be among the 93 organizations to receive some of the largest grants, in excess of $100,000 each. Both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic, which recently made headlines for negotiations with their unions, will receive grants over $100,000. The funding will go to 1,032 nonprofits in total.
The department also made changes to its process that will make it easier for organizations to receive multiyear grants, which had previously only been available to groups with annual budgets of more than $250,000. Nearly all of the groups that received funding for the fiscal year ending in June 2021 will receive support at a comparable level for the year ending in 2022, pending the adoption of the city’s budget, the department said.
A Covid-19 impact survey the department commissioned this spring found that smaller organizations were some of the hardest hit by the pandemic and that, at the beginning of May, 11 percent of arts organizations over all did not think they would survive the pandemic. Smaller organizations generally lack the endowments and wealthy donors that offer a safety net, to some degree, for larger institutions.
“We can’t address the enormous challenges that lie ahead alone, but we’ve focused on providing long-term stability to the smaller organizations that are most vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19,” Gonzalo Casals, the Cultural Affairs Commissioner, said in a statement.