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Cultural Groups Roll Out Campaign to Increase New York City Arts Funding

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Cultural organizations launched a bold new initiative at the West Indian Day parade on Monday: the "One Percent for Culture Campaign." The goal of the initiative is to increase city funding for the arts to one percent of the budget by 2015. Right now, funding for the arts is less than one quarter of one percent of the municipal budget.

A committee of arts executives from across the city are organizing the project. Norma Munn, of the New York City Arts Coalition, is one of them. She says that the campaign is only the first step in a long process of making sure the arts are not shortchanged.

"We're all aware how bad the economy is," Munn says. "We live with the same problems everyone else has. But if you don’t start, you're not going to get there. So, since we're not expecting this in the next budget, I don’t think it's overly ambitious."

The One Percent for Culture campaign starts with petition drives in every city council district. Supporters hope to gain public support for the idea in advance of the 2013 elections.