Arts & Culture

Under Mike Bloomberg, New York City became the largest funder of arts and culture in the United States, with more than $3 billion invested in the industry between 2002 and 2013. The arts industry helped form the backbone of the City’s economy and supported more than 320,000 jobs across the five boroughs.

Under Mike Bloomberg, New York City became the largest single arts funder in the United States.

In 2013, the overall creative sector generated $21 billion in economic activity annually and employed more than 320,000 people.

Funded more than 500 public art installations including The Gates, The New York City Waterfalls, and Discovering Columbus.

Largest Arts Funder in the United States


The Bloomberg administration allocated $1.8 billion to fund arts organizations citywide and $3 billion in capital investment for construction projects throughout the five boroughs, creating 1 million square feet of new cultural space.

Economic Impact

Creative Sector

As of 2013, the overall creative sector generated $21 billion in economic activity annually and employed 320,000 people.


As of 2013, Broadway shows contributed $11 billion to the economy and Off Broadway shows contributed $96 million to the economy.

Film Industry

The number of people employed by the film industry grew from 100,000 in 2004 to 130,000 in 2013, and generated an economic impact of $7.1 billion.

Fashion Industry

Fashion NYC2020 is a set of initiatives to attract talent and support the City’s position as world’s fashion capital. In 2012, fashion companies generated $55 billion in sales and $10 billion in wages. Under Mike Bloomberg, New York City had more fashion houses headquarters than Paris.


Of the City’s 52 million tourists in 2012, 24.5 million came for culture.

Public Art Installations

Public Art Installations

Under Mayor Bloomberg, NYC hosted nearly 500 temporary art projects including the Christo and Jeanne Claude’s The Gates (2005), Olafur Eliasson’s “The New York City Waterfalls,” and Paul Ramirez Jonas’ Key to the City (2010).

Economic Activity

“The Gates,” generated $254 million in economic activity. Similarly, “The New York City Waterfalls” brought 1.4 million visitors to the waterfront and generated $69 million in economic activity.

Funding Reforms

New Competitive Grant Process

The Bloomberg administration changed the way funding was distributed by creating a competitive peer-panel process emphasizing excellence, access and equity. As a result, there was a 20% increase in applicant pool for DCA grants.

Cultural Capital Grant

A new procurement strategy was adopted to expedite the time required to approve capital grants managed by arts organizations, an average of 8 months.


DDC Design + Construction Excellence

This initiative was launched to make it possible for the City to attract world-class architects and designers to work on civic projects.

Signature Theater

3 theater centers designed by Frank Gehry

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Renovation designed by Rafael Viñoly

Museum of Chinese in Americas

Expanded new home designed by Maya Lin

Alliance of Resident Theaters/NY

Service organization for NYC’s 300+ non-profit theaters will have permanent shared theater complex designed by Toshiko Mori

Queens Museum of Art

Expansion designed by Nicholas Grimshaw

Brooklyn Museum

Façade renovated by Polshek Partnerships that created iconic neighborhood destination

Lincoln Center

Campus-wide redevelopment designed by Diller Scofidio+Renfro to modernize iconic facilities and improve access for more than 5 million annual visitors

Whitney Museum

New facility by Renzo Piano will anchor the High Line


Sustainability became a key component in public design. The Queens Botanical Garden was New York City’s first LEED-platinum building.

Revitalizing Neighborhoods

Revitalizing Neighborhoods

Arts and cultural organizations helped revitalize neighborhoods such as Red Hook, Downtown Brooklyn, the Lower East Side and Far Rockaway, Long Island City and Manhattan’s Far West Side.

Free Materials

The Bloomberg administration provided 17.4 million pounds of reusable goods worth $65 million in past 10 years provided to 4,500 member organizations including cultural nonprofits, public schools and civic groups with arts programs.