Inspired By Culture


Museums, performance venues, arts groups, botanical gardens, zoos, and more — New York City's cultural organizations are the lifeblood of the city. Serving communities across the five boroughs, they've been an inspiration to generations of New Yorkers from artists and musicians to scientists and historians. They create jobs, attract visitors to local businesses, provide educational opportunities, and enrich our lives. They make New York City great.

Operating support from the city helps make it possible. But more can be done. Tell City Hall that you place a high value on these organizations and artists and that communities, students, seniors, and local businesses will benefit from an increased investment of $40 million in New York City's 1,500+ cultural organizations in all five boroughs.

Take Action

Are you inspired by New York City culture? Speak up for increased operating support for the Big Apple's cultural organizations by spreading the word on social media using the hashtag #NYCInspires.

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I Am NYC Culture

"The People" and stories behind New York City's cultural organizations

"When you see yourself on the walls and your story is told, you can't help but be inspired and want more. Access to cultural programs fills my soul, I am grounded and have wings at the same time. Cultural programming open doors and tell a necessary global story.”

-Debbie Quiñones. Vice-Chair, Community Board 11

"When I was a kid, my parents and grandparents brought me to the Bronx Zoo all the time. The conservation work I saw happening at the zoo as a child really impacted me, and led me to my current career. Today, I'm responsible for the care of our colony of Kihansi spray toads, an extinct-in-the-wild species that we breed here so they can be reintroduced to their native habitat in Tanzania. It's an inspiring experience for me not only to contribute to the survival of an entire species, but to pass that inspiration along to visitors of all ages and backgrounds. New York City's wildlife parks are centers of science and education, where city residents and guests from all over the world are introduced to wildlife conservation and the incredible animals with whom we share our planet."

-Avi Shuter, Bronx Zoo Reptile Keeper, Wildlife Conservation Society

"I'm from Florida and I have lived in New York for thirteen years. I love my home state, but I moved to NYC so I could immerse myself in and add to the mosaic of various cultures that are here. I am inspired by the virtuosic teenagers dancing on the trains and by the staged dances I see in theaters. I am fed by the music I hear blaring from my neighbors' open windows in Brooklyn, and by the concertos by professional musicians. In New York I eat it all, I see it all, I hear it all--perfect for an artist!"

-Maria Bauman, Gibney Dance's 2017 Community Action Artist in Residence

"I am constantly inspired by the notion that artists have the incredible capacity to create 'something' from 'nothing.' I revel in the concept that we can walk into an empty studio and yet magically fill the space with new ideas, pave new connections and seemingly generate more LIFE out of thin air! The really astounding thing is that this ability is not only realized by artists - this possibility is open to anyone who sees it, notices the opportunity and makes change HAPPEN!"

-Amy Miller, Gibney Dance Company Director and Associate Artistic Director

"Hailing from a small town in upstate NY, my entire perception of the world was changed when I moved to NYC ten years ago. The sites, sounds, free performances, open exhibits, public art - everything about this city inspires me. I love stumbling upon a new garden with Friday afternoon theater performances or an impromptu jazz concert on a street corner. You can feel the vibrancy of our community humming."

-Michele Wilson, Gibney Dance Director of Strategic Partnerships

"I was born and raised in Brooklyn where I have been involved in a community education program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for over ten years; first as a student and volunteer, later as an intern, and finally as an employee. I had the opportunity to grow-up in a living museum surrounded by a multitude of flora that changes with every season and among educators that have a passion to teach youth from across the five boroughs about environmentally sustainable living practices. BBG has inspired a little boy from Brooklyn to give back to the community and to pass on the torch of knowledge to those that will come after"

-Chidi Duke. Children's Garden Interim Assistant Coordinator/Intern, Government and Community Relations

"I grew up in New York, and in its cultural institutions. I didn't know what a curator was then, but I knew that I loved cultural expression; I loved history; I loved people; I loved to be compelled and moved, by beauty or complexity or pure heart; and I loved creativity, whether in myself or others. I knew that I wanted to live my life surrounded by these things, and that I wanted to contribute to increasing their impact and frequency in the world. As a curator, this is what I get to do every day."

-Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum

"The support and perspective of LMCC, Figment and others [helped with] expanding my perspective and artistic vision, and I have been working now as a Professional Theater Director for over 15 years. As an Interactive Artist and Theater Director, I believe deeply that all people are creative and get them to play in theatrical contexts to give them an opportunity to see that in themselves. NYC arts organizations have transformed my practice and given me the chance to dream big by allowing me to increase my impact on the community of NYC. We are all here to inspire and empower each other."

-Mahayana Landowne, Artist, FIGMENT

"When I was 14, I was a summer intern at the Bronx Zoo, tending to the small animals in the Children's Zoo and caring for (and getting spit on by) the camels in their barn. Ever since then, I've wanted my work to have meaning, to give something back to the world. I feel so lucky that my career is about helping to protect the planet's amazing animals."

-Julie Kunen, ‎Vice President, Americas, WCS

"Growing up in Spanish Harlem and the Bronx, I dreamed of living in a museum. As I got older, the goal changed to simply working in one. After interning at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The American Museum of Natural History while I was a student at the New York City Museum School, I was inspired to become an art history major at Baruch College (CUNY). It paid off. Today, I get to work with an eclectic collection of artifacts relating to film, television, and digital media that everyone can relate to."

-Daniel Silva, Registrar, Museum of the Moving Image

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Download an image and share it on social media with #NYCInspires, or print a poster to share in your neighborhood and at your favorite cultural organizations.

New Yorkers Inspired by Culture


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