Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City —2014-2017

(Original Post) 8 March 2017

From 2014 to 2017, building on their work in Philadelphia, SIAP with Reinvestment Fund undertook a study of culture and social wellbeing in New York City. The project involved development of a 10-dimension social wellbeing framework—beginning with construction of a cultural asset index—for every neighborhood in New York City’s five boroughs. Integration of cultural assets into a multi-dimensional index of social wellbeing allows us to assess the contribution of culture and the arts to neighborhood ecology and their relationship to broader community vitality.

NYC’s social wellbeing tool enabled a variety of analyses: the distribution of opportunity across the City; identification of areas with concentrated advantage, areas with concentrated disadvantage, as well as “diverse and struggling” neighborhoods with both strengths and challenges; and analysis of the relationship of neighborhood cultural ecology to other features of community wellbeing. Qualitative neighborhood studies—with a focus on Fort Greene in Brooklyn and East Harlem in Manhattan—helped the research team interpret and elaborate the findings of the quantitative analyses.

The final research report (March 2017) and accompanying briefs (Feb 2016, Feb 2017) document the conceptual framework, data and methodology, findings and implications of the three-year project. Since release of the March 2017 report, the research team has completed four working papers on New York City that further explore the relationship of neighborhood cultural ecology to social wellbeing—the concepts that have animated the research—and expand our understanding of the dynamics of neighborhood change as the context within which cultural ecosystems evolve. Two papers discuss new methods, developed by SIAP and Reinvestment Fund, to assess rapid neighborhood change in light of citywide patterns of geographic mobility and displacement risk among residents.

The Culture and Social Wellbeing in New York City project was undertaken with support by the Surdna Foundation, the New York City Cultural Agenda Fund in the New York Community Trust, and the University of Pennsylvania. The research was conducted between 2014 and 2017.

Read more about the report HERE

"New Yorkers for Culture & Arts" Is Launched as a New Advocate for Thriving Communities - New York City Arts Coalition and One Percent for Culture Merge to Forge a Vibrant New Entity

(Original Post) 28 February 2017

The following is a joint statement from interim co-chairs of the newly established New Yorkers for Culture and Arts, John F. Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Andrea Louie, Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance:

“The New York City Arts Coalition and One Percent for Culture are announcing that they are merging to form a new organization – New Yorkers for Culture & Arts.

“For the past several years, The New York City Arts Coalition and One Percent for Culture have working in close collaboration to advocate for the arts and cultural communities in New York City’s five boroughs. New Yorkers for Culture & Arts will leverage the resources of both organizations to advocate for strong policies and secure public funding for arts and culture while advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion to help ensure a vibrant future for New York City.

 “The time has never been more critical to establish a dynamic, robust cultural advocacy organization that will benefit all New Yorkers. Culture and arts are the means by which we break down barriers, begin acknowledging and redressing historical injustices, heal our wounds, and explore our shared humanity.”

An interim Board of Directors will oversee the new organization's key programmatic activities this year, including advocating for increased City funding for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in the FY18 budget, ensuring that candidates in the upcoming City election hear from the cultural community, and contributing to the City’s first-ever Cultural Plan.

 Interim Co-Chairs are John Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Wildlife Conservation Society and Andrea Louie, Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Alliance.