O’Donnell Champions Investment in the Arts in the 2021-22 Budget

New York — Today, Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan) highlighted funding commitments to the arts in the New York State Assembly’s One House budget proposal, which represents the Assembly's vision for the coming fiscal year. The Assembly voted to approve the One House on March 15th.

Assembly Member O’Donnell said: “This year’s budget proposal is among the most consequential in our state’s history. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all industries, but none more so than the arts. Broadway has been closed for a year now; museums are operating at limited capacity; and many iconic establishments are not set to reopen until the summer. Even as we begin the process of re-opening, these shutdowns continue to devastate artists, who have faced the greatest employment decline among all the State’s economic sectors.

Now is the time for creative funding solutions. I am proud to have helped secure funding and support for artists in the Assembly One House budget proposal. Our spending plan would invest $100 million in a new Arts Recovery and Revitalization Program to assist with reopening, which includes financial support for venues to convert to outdoor performance spaces. It further allocates $57.2 million in funding for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), which awards substantial grants to support artists in every corner of our State and will deliver support to small and midsize arts organizations and those serving marginalized communities. This represents the first significant increase of NYSCA funding in many years — a $15 million increase compared to last year’s allocation.

We won’t experience a full COVID-19 recovery without fully funding the arts. As Chair of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports, I know the substantial impact that these investments will have on artists who have been out of work for months. We need the arts, both to rebuild our economy and to give us the hope and cultural enrichment to weather this pandemic.”

The One House Budget Proposal is a statement of budgetary priorities for the Assembly in budget negotiations that start this week and are expected to culminate in a final budget agreement by the April 1 deadline.