The People’s Cultural Plan

The Art Handlers Alliance worked, in coalition, to help draft The People’s Cultural Plan. Read below for more detailed insight pulled directly from the website.


Unpaid labor is not only an issue of exploitation—it is an issue of exclusion. Without guaranteed remuneration at the very points of entry that should be most open and inclusive, the current structure excludes artists and cultural workers who cannot afford to work for free.

Download the People’s Cultural Plan
77% of NYC’s cultural funding went to 33 institutions and 23% went to the remaining 1000 organizations funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs in 2015  (link to source)
If you’ve already read the People’s Cultural Plan and you’re ready to ENDORSE
Uniting around shared demands helps create a constituency for them, and provides a base for organizing.
did you know that: Manhattan gets $45.88 per capita in cultural funding
10x the per capita funding in Queens ($4.58 per capita) and almost 5x the per capita funding in Brooklyn ($8.87 per capita) ​(link to source)
Paris provides $3.3 Billion annually for culture or roughly $1,470 per capita ​(link to source)
In 2016, the median housing price in Queens reached 83% of the median wage, and the median housing price in Brooklyn reached 123% of the median wage, making it the most unaffordable location in the country ​(link to source)
Rents rose by at least 32 percent from 2000 to 2012
In the ten community districts most closely associated with art and creativity, compared with a median rent increase during that period of 23% ​(link to source)
So-called “affordable housing” schemes
Such as the MIH rezonings actually spur more luxury development and displacement ​(link to source)
In NYC, 67% of the population identifies as People of Color, and just 33% as white.
Yet the staff of non-profit cultural institutions is 62% white, 74% of leadership staff is white, and board members are 78% white. ​(link to source)

When adjusted for the city’s high cost of living, the median hourly wage for creative workers and artists in NYC is less than the median for the country.
(link to source)

Artists can no longer accept the crumb of ‘affordable housing for artists’ that allows further luxury development, resulting in higher costs of living for everybody else. instead, we demand policies to insure all new  yorkers can afford to stay where they live.

Without adequate resources, the cultural and artistic practices of communities of color cannot thrive, and they are forced to assimilate to the dominant culture, which continues to erase and appropriate their lives and cultures.

We support the following organizations and demands:

American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA)
“Cultural Equity Recommendations for NYC”

Art Handlers Bill of Rights

Artists Co-creating Real Equity (ACRE) Platform
Artists of Color Bloc

Artist Studio Affordability Project
Asian American Arts Center
Carribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
Disability/Arts/NYC Task Force
En Foco
Fair Wage on Stage
Loisaida Center / Loisaida Cultural Plan
 Museum Hue
NYC Artist Coalition & a repeal of the 1926 Cabaret Law
Occupy Museums
People Power Movement – Movimiento Poder Popular
People’s Housing Plan created by Decolonize this Place
Picture the Homeless
South Bronx Unite’s “Principles for Private Development”
Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.)
Zoned Out! (2016)  – policy recommendations p. 162

The People’s Cultural Plan