Queens ranks last in per capita support from the Department of Cultural Affairs with just $3.27 spent per resident, according to a presentation by Katz’s staff at Monday’s meeting of the Borough Board, despite eight of 35 cultural institutions owned by the city located in Queens.
“Focus on that for a second,” Katz said. “I just want everyone to understand that it’s bad and it’s unfair. We are the number one destination of choice in 2015 and yet we spend $3 per person on our culture.”
Of the eight cultural institutions in Queens — the Queens Botanical Garden, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum, Queens Theatre in the Park, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, the Museum of the Moving Image, PS1 and Flushing Town Hall — the New York Hall of Science is provided the most city funding, $1,847,093, in the new budget, $18,696 more than last year.
However, six other institutions saw a decrease in funding in this year’s budget proposal, with PS1’s allocation remaining steady at $774,496.
The biggest proposed cutback is a $109,000 reduction in the Queens Museum’s city funding, which would decline from $921,135 to $812,135 this year.
Katz said colleagues such as Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer don’t have to make up for shortcomings in city cultural funding with monies from their own budget, and that she plans to negotiate as hard as she can for equality.