With one of longest run foundations, New York City spends more money on the arts than any other city in the United States, and has been doing so since the 19th century. With an arts budget that exceeds the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City, for the first time, extensively explored the financial scope of their work. In an effort to better understand these spending habits, the city created a comprehensive report entitled, "CREATENYC: A Cultural Plan for All New Yorkers". The 180-page document laid out the future plans of the city to budget greater funds towards neighborhoods that were previously ignored. Although the city does not lack in cultural projects or arts organizations, there is further promotion and participation to be done by the city to ensure the entire city's success in creating art opportunities.
The plan features specific items such as aid to help institutions reduce their carbon footprint through restoration and updates. The plan includes these initiatives to aid the larger organization, but also has a focus on the individuals involved. The program would provide further aid to people with disabilities, as well as a professional development plan for people of color in their occupational efforts within art institutions, providing more opportunity for diversity on museum boards and other higher level positions.
Their cultural strategy was founded on interaction with the local residents of the city and included workshops that took place over the past year and involved information and feedback from 200,000 New Yorkers. These workshops and their parallel efforts, brought forth differing opinions from residents. Controversy has risen about whether or not to have a plan in general, what the disbursement of funds will mean for larger organizations such as The Met, and that the plan doesn't include solutions for the growing affordability crisis for artists and studio space. Some claim that the plan does not address the economic crisis that neighborhoods are experiencing because of the arts, forcing property values to raise and leaving no where to go.
Unwilling to place a definitive price tag on the future initiatives, residents are nervous to discern the potential possibilities for the city and their existing art culture. While many can agree that the elitism and one-percent wealth is running the show and creating an ever-increasing financial gap, they are not positive that this plan will help. The City of New York is planning to continue their surveys of institutions and individuals alike in their efforts to finalize and fix the larger issues arising. Considering a recent trend in cities creating Culture Master Plans in an effort to connect with communities and create identity, New York City as one of the most populated cities on the planet, has its work cut out.