The Brooklyn Cultural District is home to 70 diverse cultural groups representing nearly every artistic discipline concentrated in greater Downtown Brooklyn. For decades, the area lacked a cohesive identity and struggled to attract private investment, despite the presence of world-class institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Mark Morris Dance Center, and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).  

Image credit TFANA, courtesy of DBP

Image credit TFANA, courtesy of DBP

During the Bloomberg Administration, local government invested more than $100 million in the area to create world-class cultural venues, marquee public spaces, and state-of-the-art streetscape improvements. This investment was not intended to create culture from scratch, but instead build upon the area’s rich history and the infrastructure of existing institutions. 

In order to knit these investments together and position the Brooklyn Cultural District as a leading arts destination, our team at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership worked with the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance to convene local stakeholders and create an operational framework to guide its future growth, including economic analysis which revealed the district's staggering impact of $310 million annually. This ultimately led to the creation of a business improvement district to manage the area's assets and identity.

Image credit BRIC, courtesy of DBP

Image credit BRIC, courtesy of DBP

Banner image credit MoCADA, courtesy of DBP

Banner image credit MoCADA, courtesy of DBP

Today, the Brooklyn Cultural District serves as a beacon of light, highlighting creative possibility and self-expression, inspiring education, and enhancing the urban environment for residents and visitors alike.
— Karen Brooks Hopkins, President Emerita, Brooklyn Academy of Music
placemaking-brooklyn-bike-rack

SELECTED PRESS

"Brooklyn Reaches for the Sky," Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2016

"For Cultural Brooklyn, a Plan to Grow and Stay True,The New York Times, July 6, 2016"

"Brooklyn Arts Institutions Spurred More Than $300 Million in 2013 Spending,Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2014

"Brooklyn cultural district will get a makeover,Crain's New York, June 18, 2014

"Brooklyn cultural scene blossoms,Crain's New York, November 28, 2012

Back to Economic Strategy