NY Mayor Considers Cutting Funds from Cultural Institutions for Lack of Diversity
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering slashing the funds of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and dozens of other cultural institutions if they fail to meet his staff diversity criteria, according to the NY Post. De Blasio warned in 2017 that diversity “will be a factor in funding decisions,” claiming, “we do this because we believe in fairness.” Though, at the time, he did not set any clear diversity targets for the cultural institutions. Based on a survey of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that receive city funding, a report found that the city's cultural workforce is 61.8% white and 35.4% -- including 15.1% African American, 10.5% Latino, 7.4% Asian, and 2.1% mixed race -- while the city itself is 33% white and 67% people of color. The report also found that diversity within arts and cultural groups decreases as the size of the organization increases, and with seniority -- whites make up 74% of senior staff, 68% of mid-level staff, and 55% of lower-level staff. The Mayor said that the city will collect data on the makeup of the staffs and boards, and require these arts organizations to submit “meaningful goals” for making their ranks more diverse. In addition to being located on city-owned land, each institution receives taxpayer money to fund its operations and subsidize energy costs. The nonprofits now receive a total $117.2 million in taxpayer cash, and de Blasio has proposed trimming $1 million from that amount as part of his budget cuts for fiscal 2020, which begins July 1st. More here.