Grow the budget for arts, culture, and tourism in the city to $1 million a year, with programming that jumpstarts workforce development and creative placemaking. Create affordable housing for artists who are being priced out of New Haven. Build spaces of truth-telling, city history and cultural reconciliation, where New Haven can both recognize and begin to reckon with its past.
All of those are part of mayoral candidate Shafiq Abdussabur’s new plan for arts and culture, released Thursday afternoon during a creative roundtable at Kaiyden’s Coffee in Wooster Square. Abudssabur is one of three Democratic challengers seeking to unseat incumbent Mayor Justin Elicker in this year’s September primary.
Surrounded by multimedia artists and small businesses owners, Abdussabur outlined a five-point, multi-pronged plan that jumps from cultural equity and a more robustly funded arts budget to citywide marketing and cultural reconciliation.
Among large-ticket items are a $1 million arts budget for the city, a development team within the Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, the establishment of affordable housing for artists, and the expansion of economic cultural corridors in several of the city’s historically under-resourced neighborhoods, including those decimated by urban renewal. He has also called for an independent audit of each city department, with no figure attached to that.
Read his plan in its entirety here.