Learn the Issues

The Alliance for the Arts has been a leading researcher and advocate for the cultural community in New York for over 32 years. Our work pertains to the arts on the local, state and national levels. We strive to educate our audience about a broad range of issues, which you can explore here.

Economic Impact of the Arts

The popular understanding that the arts are essential to the economy of the city and state of New York is founded on a 25-year history of research by the Alliance. In the past quarter century, remarkable growth has occurred in all of the major components of the arts industry in New York City. The economic value of the arts has increased by 86 percent in real terms since 1983, and by 61 percent since 1993. The nonprofit sector has doubled in two decades. Broadway and film production are setting records, and arts-motivated tourism is surging. New York City has become the global capital of the art market. Data gathered from both the commercial and nonprofit sectors, as well as from arts-motivated visitors, also indicate a substantial recovery from the terrorist attacks of September 11.

In New York State, a strong and widespread nonprofit arts sector provides cultural opportunities while also creating jobs and generating taxes. These nonprofit institutions attract visitors from surrounding communities and from outside the state. New York State benefits significantly from the concentration of motion picture and television production, commercial theaters and art galleries in New York City.

The arts are a complex industry in which the commercial and nonprofit sectors enjoy a close relationship with talent, product and capital flowing from one to the other. To learn more about the economic impact of this industry and the beneficial relationship between the arts and New York City and State, read our report, Arts as an Industry: Their Economic Impact on New York City and New York State (2007).

When the cultural institutions of a great city are themselves actively building new and expanded facilities, these capital investments also have an impact on the economy and are an important measurement of the vitality of cities. Such is the case in New York City now and for the past two decades. The cultural organizations are leading this phenomenon themselves, but they are the beneficiaries of unprecedented financial support from the private sector and from the municipal government. The largest source of funding for this construction activity is the private sector--individuals, corporations and foundations. But an important factor is a newly active public sector. To learn more about the benefits of cultural activity, access relevant past newsletter items [link to capital construction tagged items] or read our report, Culture Builds New York: The Economic Impact of Capital Spending at New York City's Cultural Institutions 2003-2010 (2007).

View Report

Arts Education

NYCkidsARTS is the most widely used publication and Web site with information about educational programs for young people in the arts and sciences in New York City. The Alliance is dedicated to encouraging arts education in the schools through our informational services for teachers and parents. Teachers can use the material in class to enrich lesson and curriculum plans and to design field trips throughout the city. The site also provides information for parents to help their children discover their own creativity in the arts and sciences.

Along with its information for teachers and families, the Alliance for the Arts conducts research on arts education programs. For more information about arts education, please see our previous news articles from our journal [link to arts education tagged items] and our reports, Crisis & Opportunity - A Report to the Chancellor and the Board of Education on the Role of the Arts in New York City Public Schools; Board of Education Task Force: Arts and Education Policy in New York City (1991), and Opening Young Minds to the Arts and Sciences: Establishing an Information Baseline About Arts Education Service Delivery in New York City (2005).

View Report

Seniors and the Arts

The Alliance for the Arts has compiled the most complete directory of discount tickets and programs for seniors offered by cultural organizations. This source includes SM(ART)S programs, which bring together 57 cultural organizations and more than 150 senior centers, and other private and public services. For more information, visit the Department for the Aging or the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Another one of the many resources for seniors, Hospital Audiences, provides a great deal of information on access to culture, including arts workshops, discount tickets and physical access to cultural institutions. For more information, visit http://www.hospitalaudiences.org.

Alliance for the Arts Testimony to New York City Council

  • Oversight Hearing on the Impact of the Arts on New York City's Economy, Feb 24, 2003
  • Department of Cultural Affairs Budget for FY 2004, March 24, 2003
  • Queens Delegation on the FY 2004 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 3, 2003
  • Manhattan Delegation on the FY 2004 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 24, 2003
  • Assessing the State of New York's Recovery Two Years After 9/11, Sept 3, 2003
  • FY 2004 Cultural Affairs Budget, April 24, 2004
  • Oversight Hearing On Arts Education, April 4, 2004
  • Bronx Delegation on the FY 2004 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 8, 2004
  • Brooklyn Delegation on the FY2004 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 12, 2004
  • General Hearing on FY 2004 Executive Budget, May 27, 2004
  • Joint Hearing Regarding Lower Manhattan Arts Development Strategies, June 9, 2004
  • Hearing on Resolution No. 330 Calling upon the New York State Legislature to enact A.7018/S.3109-A, the New York State Cultural Development Areas Act Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations New York City Council, June 22, 2004
  • Testimony to New York City Council on Cultural Affairs, Libraries & International Intergroup Relations on the Department of Cultural Affairs Budget for FY 2006, March 14, 2005
  • Manhattan Delegation on the FY2006 Cultural Affairs Budget, April 29, 2005
  • Bronx Delegation on the FY2006 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 3, 2005
  • City Council Finance Committee Department of Cultural Affairs Budget for FY 2006, June 6, 2005
  • Resolution 829 Honoring the life and achievements of actor and activist Ossie Davis, June 10, 2005
  • Bronx Delegation on the FY2007 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 5, 2006
  • In Search of a Blueprint for a Cultural Community: Exploring the Availability of Business Development Services for Cultural Organizations, September 20, 2006
  • Queens Delegation on the FY2007 Cultural Affairs Budget, May 8, 2006
  • Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and Intergroup Relations jointly with the Committee on Aging New York City Council, February 29, 2008
  • Hearing on the Preliminary Cultural Affairs Budget for FY2009, March 24, 2008
  • Cultural Tourism Initiative to Stimulate Economic Development, March 31, 2008
  • Hearing on Proposal to Re-zone the 125th Street Corridor, April 1, 2008
  • Hearing on Encouraging Self-Sufficiency and Better Business Practices for Artists and Cultural Groups, January 29, 2009
  • Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries and Committee on Finance on the FY2010 Preliminary Budget, March 13, 2009

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  •  Advocacy Newsletter
  • (Periodic newsletter with information about the cultural sector)
  •  NYCkidsARTS
  • (Weekly highlights of events listed on NYCkidsARTS.org)
  • (Weekly highlights of events listed on NYC-ARTS.org)


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