Hundreds Attend Rally to Save the Arts!


On Monday April 3, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and I , along with hundreds of outraged artists and cultural workers held a Rally to Save the Arts to protest the Trump Administration’s proposed elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A broad and diverse coalition of leaders and supporters of art, culture, and libraries joined us in support of these agencies and endowments. After the rally, I chaired a hearing on a resolution in support of the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and CPB and attendees testified during the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries.

President Trump’s unprecedented and vicious assault on the arts and the humanities with the proposed elimination of the NEA, NEH, IMLS, and CPB would be devastating for the heart and soul of our country. As the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries in the New York City Council, I will fight these cuts at every stage of the budget process. These cuts would cripple cultural organizations and libraries in big cities like New York, the cultural capital of the world, and in small towns all across our country. We in New York City know that the arts, culture, humanities and libraries make America truly great. President Trump’s blatant disregard for the importance of the arts has no place in our city and our country, and we will not stand idly by and watch it happen.

Speakers included:

  • Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker, NYC Council

  • David Byrne, Oscar and Grammy award winning lead singer of the Talking Heads, cultural thinker & activist

  • L. Steven Taylor, Broadway performer who currently plays Mufasa in the Lion King on Broadway, and spoken word artist to close us out with a spoken word piece

  • Jelani Remy, Broadway Actor who currently plays Simba in the Lion King

  • Ciara Renée, Actor & Broadway performer to sing, “God Save the Outcasts”

  • Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs

  • Scott Stringer, NYC Comptroller

  • Dennis Walcott, President of the Queens Library System

  • Neal Shapiro, WNET President

  • Britton Smith & Ben Wexler, Broadway Advocacy Coalition

  • Tino Gagliardi, President of Local 802 Musicians

  • Mary McColl, Executive Director of Actor’s Equity