and Partners

Center for an Urban Future


The Center for an Urban Future (CUF) is a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow an inclusive economy in New York City. An independent, nonpartisan policy organization, CUF uses fact-based research to elevate important and often overlooked issues onto the radar of policymakers and to advance practical solutions that strengthen opportunities for all New Yorkers.


Purpose: To undertake and disseminate a study of the landscape, impact and challenges of immigrant arts organizations and artists in New York City.

With support from the Illumination Fund, CUF undertook a study entitled The Changing Face of Creativity in New York: Sustaining NYC’s Immigrant Arts Ecosystem Through the Crisis and Beyond.

In addition to fueling innovation, immigrants have filled New York City with cultural offerings at a scale unlike any other city in the country. Meanwhile, there is minimal understanding of the challenges facing foreign-born artists, and insufficient knowledge among the City’s policymakers, civic and business leaders, and philanthropic community about how to better support New York’s immigrant artists and foreign-born creative professionals.

The report explores the growing role of immigrant artists in New York’s cultural life, the impact of the COVID crisis on the immigrant arts ecosystem, and the longer-term challenges facing immigrant artists and immigrant-focused arts organizations across all five boroughs.