New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

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New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Department overview
Formed1976 (1976)
Preceding department
  • Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Administration - Department of Cultural Affairs
JurisdictionNew York City
Headquarters31 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007[1]
Department executive
Key document

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is the department of the government of New York City[2] dedicated to supporting New York City's cultural life. Among its primary missions is ensuring adequate public funding for non-profit cultural organizations throughout the five boroughs.[3] The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists who live and work within the City's five boroughs.

The Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA), which prefigured the contemporary DCLA, was created in 1962 by Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. In 1976, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs was established as a separate city agency, headed by the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, who is appointed by the Mayor.[4]

Its programs include Materials for the Arts, a large facility in Long Island City that distributes free reused supplies to arts organizations. Its regulations are compiled in Title 58 of the New York City Rules.

On April 7, 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Tom Finkelpearl, former president and executive director of the Queens Museum, as the new DCLA Commissioner, "putting Mr. Finkelpearl in charge of a $156 million budget and making him the point person on the arts for a city widely considered the cultural capital of the world."[5]


  1. ^ "Contact Cultural Affairs - NYC Department of Cultural Affairs".
  2. ^ New York City Charter § 2501; "There shall be a department of cultural affairs, the head of which shall be the commissioner of cultural affairs."
  3. ^ "New York City Department of Cultural Affairs". New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  4. ^ " - City Information, Services and Programs". Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  5. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (6 April 2014). "Mayor de Blasio Names Tom Finkelpearl of the Queens Museum". Retrieved 18 June 2017 – via

External links[edit]