The following piece is from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is a not-for-profit local development corporation that serves as the primary champion for Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination.
A new economic report released by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership reveals that cultural institutions in the Brooklyn Cultural District and greater Downtown Brooklyn generated nearly $310 million in economic activity in the borough last year. The report, which analyzed data gathered by the Partnership and the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance from 37 of the area’s 60 cultural institutions – including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Brooklyn Historical Society, and BRIC Arts | Media –shows that the Cultural District institutions drew 4.5 million visitors in 2013. Talent and production staff that performed or worked at the institutions booked over 8,000 hotel stays in and around Downtown Brooklyn during the same time period.
“The Brooklyn Cultural District is fueling a renaissance throughout Downtown Brooklyn,” said Tucker Reed, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “New Yorkers want to live andwork near world-class art, culture, and creativity. We are thrilled that Downtown Brooklyn is rapidly becoming New York City’s premier destination for all three. As this report makes clear, our cultural investments are enriching the lives of children throughout Brooklyn and serving as an engine for growth across our borough.”
The report also detailed the increasing number of free educational programming and performances provided to Brooklyn students and families by organizations in the Cultural District. According to statistics provided by the institutions, over 64,000 Brooklyn children participated in free educational programming in 2013. Among those programs were 3,445 free public performances, 710 free admission programs, and over 5,000 classroom visits.
$3 Million Streetscape Investment
As part of today’s news, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership also announced a new $3 million streetscape design plan that will stitch together the Brooklyn Cultural District’s diverse institutions to create a unique identity for the area. The design plan, which was recently approved by the New York City Public Design Commission, will bring distinctive lighting, paving, and additional seating and landscaping along Fulton Street, Ashland Place, Lafayette Avenue, and side streets in the area. The first installation of the streetscape design is currently underway at Dermot Company’s 66 Rockwell Place development.
The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership helped to produce the redesign plan, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, several Brooklyn Cultural District institutions, and the architectural firm WXY. The $3 million investment—half of which will be funded by developers with ongoing projects in the area—builds upon previous investments that were used create new facilities for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mark Morris Dance Group, BRIC Arts|Media, UrbanGlass, and the Theatre for a New Audience. New facilities for 651 Arts and the Brooklyn Public Library will be completed over the next several years. According to the report released today, over one-third of the cultural institutions’ overall economic impact can be linked to short and long-term infrastructure improvements made in the area.