WCS Statement on Funding for Culture in NYC FY 2011 Budget

  • WCS Commends Efforts of Mayor Bloomberg, Council Speaker Quinn, Finance Committee Chair Recchia and Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Van Bramer
  • WCS Delivers Petitions from Over 57,000 New Yorkers to City Hall

Bronx, New York – July 1, 2010 – The following statement was issued by John Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs at the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Today, we commend our municipal leadership for supporting New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group in the city’s FY 2011 budget. At a time when New York is suffering great economic hardship, all of our civic institutions are being asked to do more with less. We are no different and that is appropriate. In these circumstances, we wish to express our great appreciation to Mayor Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council for recognizing that a healthy cultural industry is central to the identity of our city as a premiere tourist destination and to the health and stability of our local economy.

New York City merchants rely on business from our city’s cultural institutions, which provide tens of thousands of jobs. The approved CIG budget will enable cultural organizations to continue to provide this fiscal stimulus. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium alone contribute nearly $290 million to the New York City economy. These facilities engage and educate more than 2.8 million visitors annually, bringing business to merchants in economically struggling neighborhoods and jobs to families in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

The restored funding for the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium will help the WCS to continue to make the Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium available to New York City school children and community groups that might otherwise be unable to attend. As an indication of the depth of support for our parks and programs, the Wildlife Conservation Society delivered to City Hall petitions from over 57,000 New Yorkers this spring calling for sustained support. Another 106 local businesses and community organizations likewise expressed their strong support.

We are appreciative that so many New Yorkers sent messages to help the City understand the importance of cultural organizations in our lives. We also wish to express thanks to City Council Finance Committee Chairman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and City Council Cultural Affairs Committee Chairman Jimmy Van Bramer, along with Deputy Mayor Patti Harris and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, for their unswerving support for our city’s cultural institutions.

Mary Dixon: (1-347-840-1242; mdixon@wcs.org)
Max Pulsinelli: (1-718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org)
Steve Fairchild: (1-718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org)


The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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