Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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"Immigration"" by Paul_the_Seeker is licensed under CC 2.0

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The Changing Face of Creativity in New York: Sustaining NYC's Immigrant Arts Ecosystem Through Crisis and Beyond

December 18, 2020

Each new decade brings a fresh wave of concern that New York City risks losing some of its cultural spark. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, New York's soaring cost of living and the lure of cities from Baltimore to Berlin had threatened the city's position at the apex of global culture. At the same time, a powerful, growing force of cultural vibrancy has reenergized the city in recent years and sharpened New York's creative edge: immigrant artists.Foreign-born artists have long been here, birthing world-altering movements from abstract expressionism to hip-hop. More than any previous era, however, immigrants have become pivotal to the success of the arts in New York.But now the livelihoods of countless immigrant artists—and the survival of the cultural organizations that champion their work—are facing major threats. Without the benefit of endowments or large donor bases to help cushion the blow, many immigrant-led and immigrant-serving arts organizations are facing fiscal catastrophe, reporting revenue losses amounting to 50 percent or more of their annual budgets. Meanwhile, many immigrant artists have struggled to access government relief, even as income from exhibitions, performances, and side jobs has all dried up.While city support for immigrant arts had increased in recent years, that funding is now in jeopardy: the city's 2021 budget cuts more than $23 million from the Department of Cultural Affairs and slashes funding for Council discretionary initiatives by $79 million—funding that many immigrant-serving arts organizations rely on.This report provides a new level of detail on the landscape of immigrant arts in New York City— and what's needed to sustain immigrant arts communities across the five boroughs.

The Art of Community: Creativity at the Crossroads of Immigrant Cultures and Social Services

July 15, 2013

These are case studies that give credance to the belief that respect for one's own artistic traditions is critical to the acculturation process. The essays contained here offer clear and shining examples of how paying attention to culture and creativity can build self-confidence, nurture a productive and valuable citizenry, and even save a life. Through these stories, we begin to see that encouraging the practice of cultural traditions and participation in arts activities will help newcomers spread their wings and fly.

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