National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Receives Grants To Support Cultural Programming, Artistic Associates Program And Recovery Initiatives


National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) has received Regrowth and Capacity grants from the New York State Council on the Arts. These grants will support the organization’s cultural programming and artistic associates as we continue our ongoing recovery from pandemic challenges.

NYTF received $20,000 for Regrowth and Capacity to support its Artistic Associates Program and to help cover the cost of COVID safety for its 2023 productions. NYTF also received $40,000 in Organization support for 2023 Cultural Programming. This grant is multi-year and will account for another $40,000 in 2024.

Additionally, NYTF received a $53,000 award from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and $15,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEA grant will support NYTF’s upcoming production of Amid Falling Walls, (Working Title) a Yiddish production featuring songs written and sung by young adult Jews in the ghettos and camps during World War II. This production is based on the song cycle GHETTO TANGO, by NYTF Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and the late Adrienne Cooper, with a libretto by Avram Mlotek and direction by NYTF Associate Artistic Director Motl Didner.

The responsive funding of NYSCA is providing nearly 1,000 organizations with more than $13 million in recovery support in FY23, as part of their historic FY93 $90 million in grant-making and $150 million in multi-year capital support.

“This unprecedented funding continues our investment into the vital role that the arts contribute to the health of our economy, our communities and our citizens,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “As we continue our comeback, we applaud the strength and innovation of arts organizations across the state and are all the better for their hard work and dedication.”

“NYSCA applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their historic investment of $240 million for the nonprofit arts and culture sector,” said Mara Manus, Executive Director, NYSCA. “As we continue rebuilding the arts across our New York, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene will play a vital role in the renewal of our state’s economy and creative ecosystem. Congratulations on your award from the entire NYSCA team.”

“The Council congratulates National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene on their grant award! These grants are from the people of New York State, for the future of New York State,” said Katherine Nicholls, Chair, NYSCA. “Arts and culture are crucial to the health of our citizens and the economic vitality of our communities, and we recognize the contributions of NYSCA grantees to the lives of all New Yorkers.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Laurie Cumbo also awarded NYTF a $53,000 grant in its recent announcement of over $58 million in Cultural Development Fund (CDF) grants to 1,070 cultural organizations across the five boroughs. The CDF grant will support NYTF’s 2023 Cultural Programming.

“Throughout our city, we have a multitude of diverse cultural organizations that reflect the rich history of New Yorkers that have been hidden for too long,” said Mayor Adams. “This administration believes in uplifting these cultural groups with our words and our dollars. By utilizing equity reforms, we are spreading the investments to not only our well-known cultural organizations, but to this city’s smaller, local, and more diverse groups that reflect the histories of all New Yorkers. No matter in what borough, New Yorkers can learn about some of the unique cultures in their own backyards or in locations across the city. I am proud to support and invest in our cultural groups to ensure we are all connected as one.”

“Our arts and cultural organizations are ‘Getting Art Done’ in every corner of our city, for every community in our city,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres Springer. “We’re so thrilled to make this historic investment in the nonprofit arts groups that bring joy and create opportunities for reflection and connection. The thoughtful, far-reaching reforms that we’re rolling out this year have helped make sure this public support truly serves the public and lifts up artists and cultural groups across the five boroughs.”

“Culture is the bedrock of our communities and an integral part of who we are as a city,” said DCLA Commissioner Cumbo. “We are honored to invest this historic funding in New York’s vast and vibrant nonprofit cultural community. With the competitive process returning for the first time since the pandemic, hundreds of new groups had the opportunity to apply, and the result is the largest number of grantees in agency history. Our ongoing reform process helped advance first-time grantees, smaller organizations, and those led by people of color – a big first step in fostering greater equity. We’ll continue to work with our cultural community in the months ahead to ensure that our support reaches every corner of New York City in a fair, equitable way and continues to move our city forward.”

For this year’s CDF process, DCLA introduced a series of equity reforms dedicated to identifying and reducing biases in the grantmaking process, and saw the return of the competitive, peer-panel review process for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a record investment from the Adams administration and the City Council, DCLA awarded the most funding to the largest number of cultural organizations ever, marked by major boosts for smaller groups and organizations led by people of color, as well as an increase in the number of groups receiving city support for the first time. The CDF awards also continue to invest in priorities like language and disability access, as well as individual artists, and includes an infusion of funds from Mayor Adams’ “Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.”

Learn more and find a full list of this year’s CDF grantees in the City’s official press release.

About the New York State Council on the Arts

The New York State Council on the Arts preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York an exceptional place to live, work and visit. The Council upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life. To support the ongoing recovery of the arts across New York State, the Council on the Arts will award record funding in FY 2023, providing support across the full breadth of the arts, including dedicated support for arts education and underrepresented communities.

The Council on the Arts further advances New York’s creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources. Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, the Council is an agency that is part of the Executive Branch. For more information on NYSCA, please visit, and follow NYSCA’s Facebook page, Twitter @NYSCArts and Instagram @NYSCouncilontheArts.

About New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. Among our primary missions is to ensure adequate public funding for non-profit cultural organizations, both large and small, throughout the five boroughs.

DCLA also works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s economic vitality. The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs.

Through its Materials for the Arts Program, DCLA provides free supplies for use in arts programs offered by non-profit groups and New York City public schools. DCLA has also changed the physical landscape of New York City through its Percent for Art program by commissioning more than 180 works of art by some of the world’s leading artists at public building sites throughout the city.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States.

About National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Now celebrating the end of the successful return of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish in its 108th season, the Drama Desk Award-winning National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF) is the longest consecutively producing theatre in the US and the world’s oldest continuously operating Yiddish theatre company. NYTF is in residence at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek and Executive Director Dominick Balletta, NYTF is dedicated to creating a living legacy through the arts, connecting generations and bridging communities. NYTF aims to bring history to life by reviving and restoring lost and forgotten work, commissioning new work, and adapting pre-existing work for the 21st Century. Serving a diverse audience comprised of performing arts patrons, cultural enthusiasts, Yiddish-language aficionados and the general public, the company presents plays, musicals, concerts, lectures, interactive educational workshops and community-building activities in English and Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles accompanying performances. NYTF provides access to a century-old cultural legacy and inspires the imaginations of the next generation to contribute to this valuable body of work.

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