Arts and Cultural Development

fourth arts block dancers on stageWhen we look at the conversation about resilience and livability across the globe, the highest-ranking cities boast a rich, vibrant and diverse cultural life. New York City is no exception.

Arts and culture have been central to the MAS mission since its founding in 1893 by architects, painters, sculptors and civic leaders to create murals and monuments for New York’s public spaces. This thread of cultural activity has been carried through the Adopt-a-Mural and Adopt-a-Monument programs, our tours, our collaboration in PlaceMatters with City Lore, advocating for good design over the years, and presenting, with Creative Time, Tribute in Light, a spectacular public art project now incorporated into the annual programming of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

As MAS addresses our city’s resilience in all of its work, we have put the arts—and their vibrancy, resilience and sustainability—at the core of our work. In 2011 the MAS forged a new collaboration with the Alliance for the Arts that continued the strong legacy of research, advocacy and convenings stewarded by that organization. MAS’s arts activity now includes convenings through its Arts Forum series and the arts panel at our Summit for New York City, as well as a growing body of research that illuminates our understanding of the resilience and sustainability of the arts community, and its contributions to our city’s livability. We focus not only on the city as a whole, but also look at communities as building blocks, exploring community anchors and their roles in neighborhoods as well as identifying key ways that culture can act as a catalyst for vibrancy in communities like Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Photo courtesy of 4th Arts Block

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Kate Slevin
Vice President, Policy and Planning
kslevin[at]mas.org

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