Apollo Theatre Amatuer Night, Manhattan

As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision for a more equitable city, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs launched a major initiative in January 2015 to promote and cultivate diversity among the leadership, staffs, and audiences of cultural organizations in New York City. In our role as a public agency and supporter of art and culture, we pledge to bring to this conversation a deeper understanding of where our community stands and where we hope to go when it comes to welcoming New Yorkers of all backgrounds to our organizations.

The goals of this initiative are:

  • To identify and share successful strategies for cultivating workforce, leadership, and audience diversity for adaptation by cultural organizations; and
  • To initiate new partnerships and programs aimed at building a pipeline for the next generation of leaders in the cultural sector that reflects the city it serves.

Progress on these goals is going to require commitment and collaboration from New York’s entire cultural community.

We want to hear from you. Do you have examples of successful programs, helpful resources, or critical areas for further investigation? Speak up to help us build a more equitable cultural landscape.

Thank you to our colleagues in the cultural field for dedicating their expert knowledge and time to advising on this survey and ongoing initiative.

  • Liz Alsina, Program Associate, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • Caron Atlas, Director, Art + Democracy, Naturally-Occurring Cultural Districts NY
  • Gonzalo Cassals, The HighLine
  • Jennifer Wright Cook, Executive Director, The Field
  • Alessandra DiGiusto, Chief Administrative Officer, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
  • Kimberly Drew, Metropolitan Museum
  • Teresa Eyring, Executive Director, Theater Communications Group
  • David Harrell, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
  • Katie Hollander, Acting Director, Creative Time
  • Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, The Laundromat Project
  • Terri Jackson, Brooklyn Museum
  • Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Vice President, Education, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Sharon Jensen, Executive Director, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
  • Hoong Yee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Council on the Arts
  • Leah Krauss, Program Officer, Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Arnold Lehman, former Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum
  • Andrea Louie, Executive Director, Asian American Arts Alliance
  • Kerry McCarthy, Senior Program Officer, Arts & Historic Preservation, New York Community Trust
  • Dafina McMillan, Theater Communications Group
  • Sam Miller, Executive Director, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
  • Ellen Pollan, Deputy Director, Bronx Council on the Arts
  • Betsy Richards, Opportunity Agenda
  • Katy Rubin, Director, Theater of the Oppressed
  • Gus Schulenburg, Theater Communications Group