One Percent for Culture

Statement from John F. Calvelli, Chair, One Percent for Culture Steering Committee


New York, NY - September 18, 2013

On behalf of One Percent for Culture, which includes a coalition of 544 organizational and business partners, 59 prominent culture advocates on the campaigns Advisory Council, and more than 25,000 supporters, I congratulate the winners of the New York City primary election.

With 31 New York City Council candidates currently signed on to the campaign, and several candidates running unopposed, more than 50 percent of all New York City Council members will support One Percent for Culture following the general election.

New York City mayoral candidates have stated support for culture. On July 30 at a Columbia University Teachers College mayoral forum on arts, education and culture hosted by One Percent for Culture and our partners, mayoral candidates Joe Lhota and Bill DeBlasio stated support for culture.

Joe Lhota said:
If we could afford [1% to the arts] we should set it as a target we should find the money for art cultural institutions Theyre critical to the lifeblood of New York. Theyre critical to creating jobs. Its critical to allowing people to expand their focus on everything.

Bill DeBlasio said:
I think this is a city profoundly determined by our artistic and cultural life. I think theres a lot we can do to protect and enhance it. theres a lot we can do in the here and now and especially over a few years of build out to enhance the cultural life of this city I think we can do a lot more to protect the culture sector here including the artists, musicians, etc who are not high income which is the history of New York City, creative people who brought their energy and creativity here but did not have a lot of resources.

(To see their complete comments, go to

New York City is home to more than 1,300 cultural organizations and thousands of artists. New York City's cultural community is a broad spectrum that includes performing arts centers, dance troupes, orchestras, non-profit theater companies, museums, community arts programs, zoos, botanical gardens, and more. Both candidates represent a strong future for non-profit culture in New York City and have noted the importance of increasing the funding to the cultural community that makes up the fabric of the city.

Non-profit culture creates more than 120,000 jobs and generates $8.1 billion in economic activity. More than 24 million tourists are drawn to the citys world-class cultural offerings each year.

Over the past three years, One Percent for Culture has continued to grow and generate support for an increase in funding to New Yorks nonprofit cultural organization to one percent of the municipal expense budget annually. These organizations, although vital to the economic health of the city, currently receive less than one quarter of one percent (0.22).

About One Percent for Culture: One Percent for Culture is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that does not support, oppose or endorse candidates for elective office

One Percent for Culture is a nonpartisan, grassroots, five-borough campaign whose mission is to demonstrate the value of culture to New York City. The campaign will generate support for an increase in the city's financial commitment to the nonprofit cultural community, including artists of all disciplines, to a full one percent of the municipal expense budget.

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