Skip to main content

Creatives Rebuild New York Responds to Governor Hochul’s State of the State

January 10, 2024
By Sarah Calderon

New York, NY – Creatives Rebuild New York’s Executive Director Sarah Calderon issued the following statement in response to Governor Hochul’s State of the State Address. Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) supports the economic stability of artists across the state through its Guaranteed Income for Artists Program (GI) and its Artist Employment Program (AEP).

“The economic precarity of artists has never been clearer. CRNY-affiliated artists have shared that it is becoming harder and harder to support themselves through creative work – the work that goes into the art that colors the world around us, and that provides us both entertainment and solace during hard times.

“We are encouraged to hear that Governor Hochul recognizes that our creative sector is a key driver of economic growth and that artists are a vital part of supporting and shaping our communities. We are particularly excited about the Arts Pluribus Unum investment, which will embed working artists within state agencies through its ‘State of the Arts’ Fellowship Program and place artists in the center of NY’s community development. We also celebrate the continued investment in grantmaking through the New York State Council on the Arts, and are eager to learn how Restore NY might draw on the labor and talents of artists to revitalize communities.

“New York can only be New York with artists, but many artists are being forced to make a difficult choice: switch careers or move out of the state. We are calling on the Governor to provide stronger support and push forward policies and investments that artists need:

  • Secure Employment with Benefits and Labor Protections: Many artists are gig workers, who do not have access to healthcare, paid time off, and other benefits and labor protections connected to full-time employment.

  • Affordable Housing and Tenant Protections: Artists, like many New Yorkers, are burdened by rising housing costs and a shrinking inventory of affordable places to live. Tenant protections can keep artists in their homes and in New York.

  • Protections from AI: While many workers are concerned about AI taking their jobs, artists have unique concerns: maintaining ownership and being compensated for their creative property and likeness.

“At CRNY, we are proud to be exploring new policy and funding solutions to support the creative sector in the state. We will soon be kicking off convenings of local and state policymakers, artists and creatives, and foundations. We are hopeful this collaboration with HR&A Advisors will bring forth the changes artists critically need.”