Raymond J. McGuire

13. How will you ensure that arts education leadership and instruction better reflects the population of 1.1 million public school students? What will you do to ensure that arts education reflects the cultures, values, and learning abilities of students engaged in it?

As mayor, I will engage targeted cultural institutions to use their resources and expertise to address social issues with public school students: such as inter-religious dialogue, intercultural dialogue or the historic integration of minorities and immigrants/immigrant experience. We know that the arts can help students develop greater social and cultural understanding and our cultural institutions, especially smaller institutions such as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Jewish Museum, Museum of Chinese in America and many many more are well suited for this sort of cross cultural engagement in public schools.

Additionally, we will ensure that those who are instructing our children in the arts are reflective of what Former Mayor David Dinkins called the “gorgeous mosaic” of our city’s diversity.

Raymond J. McGuire

10. Will you commit to requesting and participating in a hearing to understand why these learning requirements are not being met?

No response provided.

Raymond J. McGuire

12. How can the city play a more active role in reviving jobs in the creative industry and broadening access to the arts in local communities?

As mayor, I will fund grants for 1000 artists to work in our city. This will ensure that artists can get back to work. Further, as mayor, I will engage targeted cultural institutions to use their resources and expertise to address social issues with public school students: such as, inter-religious dialogue, intercultural dialogue or the historic integration of minorities and immigrants/immigrant experience. This will both support cultural institutions and bring teaching artists, interpreters and curators into schools.

Additionally, my plan calls for better connecting arts businesses to the Department of Small Business Services. We will increase the agency’s focus on supporting small arts and creative businesses that need financial assistance and connecting them with some of the many cultural funding streams that exist in the city. SBS will also help these businesses navigate the City’s small business regulations, especially the unique permitting requirements some arts businesses face. W will also ensure that SBS will prioritize support for culturally inclusive organizations and those located outside of Manhattan, which often lack access to traditional financing and other support structures.

To broaden access to arts in the city’s many communities, I will, as mayor, partner with the city’s 76 Business Improvement Districts, to create Arts Districts. I will work with BID leaders to expand support for arts and arts education, and arts businesses including live music venues, in every neighborhood they serve, and to harness the work of local artists to make communities more vibrant and appealing to visitors. This would include:

  • Creating arts-friendly pedestrian corridors that support cultural storefronts and street performers.
  • Employing local artists in community improvement projects, like those who were tapped to paint murals on benches along Bay Ridge’s 5th Avenue commercial corridor.

The Department of Cultural Affairs will also appoint specific BID liaisons to connect BIDs with local artists.

Raymond J. McGuire

11. How could the city ensure that all of our public school students receive instruction from qualified instructors?

As we begin to return to more normal, in person learning, and help our kids catch up from the pandemic year, I will make it a priority to ensure we are returning arts teachers to their previous roles and recruiting additional arts teachers. The school funding included in the federal stimulus, as well as the ongoing increase in state funding resulting from the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, also provides an opportunity to invest in attracting new talent.

Raymond J. McGuire

9. With hundreds of schools out of compliance with NYS Education Department instructional requirements, will you publicly call on the NYC DOE to properly enforce and implement city and state arts learning mandates?

I would expect all schools to meet these mandates, and I would hold my school leadership accountable for doing so.

Raymond J. McGuire

8. Would you support the restoration of per-capita dedicated funding for arts education in all city schools? Why or why not?

I would launch a full review of all aspects of school funding, to ensure it is equitably distributed, and that resources currently being spent on bureaucracy are reinvested in classroom programming, including arts education.

Raymond J. McGuire

7. What would you do to ensure that every school in the city has the resources to provide every student with a quality education that includes the arts?

I am committed to ensuring equitable access to arts education, particularly in underserved communities. Opportunities for students should be the same regardless of what zip code they live in. The fact that some students currently lack access to the best opportunities is unacceptable.

I will leverage every tool in the toolkit to achieve this goal, including city funding, grants, partnerships with nonprofits, and public-private-partnerships.

Raymond J. McGuire

6. Studies show that arts and cultural organizations led by people of color are often underfunded, resulting in limited capacity to provide critical support to young people and communities around NYC. What will you do to provide more leadership around an equitable distribution of resources to ensure their sustainability and growth?

I believe we must support an arts community that reflects the voices and experiences of all New Yorkers. I would conduct a review of arts funding to find ways to improve equity, but my main goal will be to grow the pie for everyone, not just shift resources from one group to another. Given my relationships in the private sector and the philanthropic community I am uniquely positioned to do so.

I will also work with the cultural community, and leaders in underrepresented communities, to put in place clear and standard criteria for additional institutions to become CIGs. That could include minimum period of operation, number of annual visitors, stability of private funding and other types of revenue. Would also prioritize diversity – both in terms of neighborhood, demographic, and type of institution.

As part of my Comeback Festival, I have also committed to funding grants for 1000 artists – and I will ensure there is equitable access to this support. This will include:

  • Visual artists (murals, installations, public art and utilizing vacant storefronts as arts spaces etc)
  • Performing arts (music, plays, dance, other shows) use underutilized vacant storefronts and other space to stage pop up shows
  • Storytelling and story collection: Drawing inspiration from the oral history projects funded by the Works Progress Administration, which sought to capture on audio and video interviews with the few surviving americans who had been enslaved or were Civil War veterans, thus creating an invaluable historical record and research tool that preserved in perpetuity their stories, Ray will partnering with Universities on a similar initiative that would provide grants to writers and storytellers of all sorts to capture the stories of New Yorkers to create a historical record of NY during this time. This will then be transitioned into creating a portrait of New York City in advance of the 400th anniversary of its Charter.

Raymond J. McGuire

5. As students, principals, teachers, and school partners work to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on academic achievement, what role do you see the arts playing? What strategies do you envision for broadening the school-day curriculum so instructional time in the arts is not crowded out of the school day?

I am committed to ensuring there is a wide array of arts offerings in every school, including in school, after school and weekend programming and education.

I have called for the use of federal relief funding for education to be used to expand learning opportunities to help students recover from the educational impacts of the pandemic. Arts education and programming would play a critical role in those opportunities.

Raymond J. McGuire

4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?

I am committed to ensuring there is a wide array of arts offerings in every school, including in school, after school and weekend programming and education.

Under my plan, DCLA and DOE will facilitate new and expanded partnerships with local arts institutions to procure arts/music equipment, instructors, and space for arts education.

Additionally, I will encourage all local institutions that receive grants from DCLA to work with the DOE and partner with schools in their communities.

Finally, we have to make sure we are spending our money wisely. DOE spent over $400 million on art programs in schools across NYC in 2020. Spending is increasing, but arts education is not optimized across all schools, especially in areas without robust PTAs. DOE’s annual Arts in Schools Report should be better connected to the agency’s policy planning and better incorporated into the Department of Cultural Affairs planning and budgeting.