New York City Arts in Education Roundtable Surveys New York City Mayoral Candidates on Arts in Schools

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CONTACT: Kimberly Olsen,

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable (NYCAIER), which represents organizations and educators from within the arts and culture community in the New York City area, is pleased to announce the results of its recent survey of 2021 New York City Mayoral Candidates on arts, education, and culture in New York City.  

The candidates were surveyed on topics including their personal experiences relating to the arts, the policies and legislation regarding arts education that they have previously supported and their views on whether the arts are essential to NYC public school education, as well as their perspectives on funding, state learning requirements, certified arts teachers, cultural partnerships and culturally responsive-sustaining pedagogy as they pertain to the arts. 

The results of this survey show that, while there is general support for more robust arts education in NYCschools among all of the candidates, there is still a need for more specific and concrete plans as to how to expand arts education as the city rebuilds.

All responding candidates identified arts as an essential part of a well-rounded education, often noting its impact on students’ social-emotional health, well-being, understanding of different cultures, and cognitive development. Arts learning was also often tied with the vibrancy and recovery of NYC’s arts and cultural community, with several candidates noting the importance of connecting schools with local community-based artists and organizations. Additional highlights include 7 of the 11 candidates voicing support for the restoration of dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools as well as multiple plans for the equitable distribution of resources within the arts and culture sector. 

To read each candidate’s full survey responses, please click here.

”As New York City begins to rebuild and envision a post-pandemic era, we understand that universal, equitable access to arts education for all students is an essential part of our city’s recovery process and want to see a focus on that from our new mayor,” said Kimberly Olsen, Executive Director of NYCAIER. “While this past year has been difficult for all New Yorkers, we hope our future mayor seizes this opportunity to reimagine education have a stronger focus on what makes New York the greatest city in the world: our rich cultural diversity and expansive arts opportunities.”


The survey was conducted in connection with NYCAIER’s Arts are Essential Campaign with the goal of providing  universal access to quality, sequential arts learning opportunities (dance, music, media, theater, and visual arts) for all NYC students supported by dedicated, adequate, and equitable funding. It further advocates that arts education must align with state standards and include a combination of in-school certified arts teachers and partnerships with NYC’s arts and cultural organizations. 

About the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable

The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable improves, advances, and advocates for arts education in New York City. We are a community of organizations and individuals that shares information, provides professional development, and communicates with the public to promote our work in schools and beyond. Founded in 1992, the Roundtable produces a major annual conference, Face to Face; monthly professional development programs; a destination website; and other activities, in addition to ongoing advocacy and communications efforts for over 1,000 individuals and member organizations.

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NYC AiE Roundtable