Here, Here, NYC Department Of Cultural Affairs And Partners Announce City Artist Corps

June 7, 2021

The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and partners today announced details for City Artist Corps,

Including how it will support local artists and provide opportunities for New Yorkers to engage with cultural programming starting this summer.

This historic $25 million investment in artists, announced by Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Gonzalo Casals in May, will contribute to the city’s ongoing recovery and offer New Yorkers opportunities to engage with cultural programming in all five boroughs.

“As New York City begins to re-open, we are seeing more and more people out on our streets, rediscovering what made them fall in love with our city in the first place. The talent lent to us by the City Artist Corps will further beautify this place we call home,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “With murals designed by local artists spread throughout the five boroughs and performers permeating our streets with their talent, our city’s recovery will be more palpable and personal than ever before.”

“The arts and artists across our city play a critical role in building a recovery for all of us,” said Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. “The Mayor’s investment in the City Artists Corps is key to propelling the economic and social impact of our City’s incredible cultural community and we are proud to support the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in the rollout of this historic program.”

“The City Artist Corps will put artists to work in communities across the city, giving them a source of much-needed relief and connecting New Yorkers to extraordinary cultural experiences,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s visionary recognition of the value of artists to our city, and in collaboration with our cultural partners, we encourage local artists to apply for these opportunities to be a part of our city’s comeback.”

City Artist Corps will support artists through the following program partners:

  • City Artist Corps Grants will support NYC-based working artists who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. With New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) as lead partner working with more than a dozen re-grant and art services organizations, City Artist Corps Grants will distribute one-time $5,000 grants to more than 3,000 artists to help them sustain their practice and engage the public across New York City’s five boroughs this summer and fall, beginning in July. Artists working in any discipline are eligible to apply. Applications for the first cycle of funding open Tuesday, June 8; applications for additional cycles will come online later this summer. More information is available on NYFA’s website.
  • City Canvas: through City Artist Corps, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the nonprofit ArtBridge will commission 60 artists to install temporary public murals and other artwork on sidewalk sheds and construction fencing throughout the city’s public housing system. ArtBridge will build on their program Bridging the Divide, which consists of artist fellowships at NYCHA developments throughout the city in which artists design temporary public artworks that reflect the lives, histories, and aspirations of NYCHA residents. Artworks will be affixed to construction fencing and sheds that are currently up at each of the locations, as made possible through DCLA’s City Canvas pilot initiative. Applications are due June 28. Learn more and access the application.
  • Summer Rising Mural and Performing Arts Partnerships: the Department of Education, in partnership with local school leadership, will work with more than 400 artists at over 200 schools to engage Summer Rising students in collaborative mural making and performing arts activities that enrich summer programming. Learn more about Summer Rising.

Additional City Artist Corps initiatives will be announced in the coming months. Updates will be made available on and through DCLA’s e-newsletter.

City Artist Corps Grants will activate our artists and put arts and culture at the center of our recovery efforts as we work to rebuild the creative capital of the world,” said the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Anne del Castillo. “We are pleased to join with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs to support this historic program that will help the resurgence of New York City’s creative community.”

“We’re thrilled to work with our agency and community partners on this initiative which will bring arts programming to thousands of students across the City as part of Summer Rising,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “Now more than ever, our students need an enriching summer experience with outlets to express themselves and just have fun – that’s what this partnership is all about.”

“The City Canvas program has brought engaging public art and cultural programming to thousands of public housing residents across New York City,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We are excited to see this initiative expand to more campuses – and look forward to the artistic collaborations that will be fostered between the city’s creative community and NYCHA residents through this invaluable support.”

“The City Artist Corps will allow us to dramatically increase the scale and impact of ArtBridge’s Bridging the Divide program, which empowers local artists to amplify the diverse voices of NYCHA’s 400,000 residents,” said Stephen Pierson, Executive Director of ArtBridge. “Over the next six months, we will work with 60 artists at 30 NYCHA sites in all 5 boroughs, producing more than 200 engagement events between artists and residents, paying 140 NYCHA residents to facilitate this engagement, and ultimately creating more than 45,000 square feet of public art. The program will empower hyper-local artists to be community-builders, supporting the voices of NYCHA residents city-wide.”

“NYFA is honored to partner with the Department of Cultural Affairs in spearheading this extraordinary gift to NYC’s independent artists by Mayor de Blasio. The City Artist Corps will deservedly raise up the importance of creative diverse voices for all New Yorkers to engage and celebrate with,” said NYFA Executive Director Michael Royce.

“A recovery that does not center and support New York’s artists is no recovery at all,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “The City Artist Corps is a wonderful idea that will bring beauty and entertainment to every corner of our city while supporting the artists who have struggled so much this past year. I’m grateful New York City has a Mayor’s Office committed to keeping our city as the arts capital of the world.”

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality.

The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs.

DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs.

For more information, visit

Photo credit: Faction art Harlem.

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