May 19, 2020

Urgent Advocacy Alert: Submit Written Testimony to the New York City Council in Support of Arts Education

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The following letter was sent out to the Roundtable mailing list on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. To stay up to date with weekly e-blasts about advocacy efforts, best practices, current trends, upcoming events, and more, please subscribe to the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable mailing list.

Update (June 19, 2020): The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable recently launched the #ArtsAreEssential campaign to preserve arts education funding in the 2020/2021. For more information about the campaign, please click here. 

Dear Roundtable Community,

As part of the NYC budgeting process for the upcoming fiscal year (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), City Council is currently reviewing Mayor De Blasio’s revised executive budget and holding budget hearings. During this time of review and negotiation, the general public has the opportunity to testify and voice their opinion about community or citywide needs.

The $89.3 billion fiscal draft currently calls for $267 million in budget cuts to the NYC Department of Education and $286 million in budget cuts to city agencies (including the Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Youth & Community Development). These cuts directly impact arts programming funding for students and communities.

We are calling on you to advocate at this critical juncture by submitting written testimony in support of continued funding for arts education.

We acknowledge that the City Council is facing difficult decisions. However, we at the Roundtable believe #ARTSareEssential and that the cuts proposed will jeopardize the city’s recovery process, disproportionately impact cultural organizations, and limit capacity to positively engage young people.

How do I submit written testimony?

  1. Customize this template or create your own! Written testimony can be any length. You can submit testimony as an individual or on behalf of an organization.
  2. To submit your testimony, you can either upload the document to the City Council’s website ( OR email
  3. If submitting through the website, select “I only want to submit an online testimony”. Complete the form with your information. Please note:
    • For “Select a hearing,” please select “Thursday, May 21 @ 9:30am – Committee on Finance” OR “Wednesday, May 27 @ 11:00am” OR “Monday, June 22 @ 10:00am.
    • For “Subject of testimony,” please write “Arts and Culture.”
    • The document must be submitted as a DOC, DOCX, PDF only.
  4. Submit to City Council. We believe the sooner, the better. However, written testimony may be submitted up to 72 hours after a hearing has been adjourned.
  5. Spread the word! Please feel free to share this email and resources with others in your community.

Thank you in advance for helping us advocate for this vital issue. The Roundtable will continue to advocate on behalf of our membership to address the challenges that lie ahead and to ensure #ARTSareEssential in the “new normal”. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions at


Kimberly Olsen
Managing Director
NYC Arts in Education Roundtable