Announcing | NYU Division of Libraries Acquires NYFA’s Archive

Announcing | NYU Division of Libraries Acquires NYFA’s Archive

Archive project is solely underwritten by The O’Grady Foundation.

Since its founding in 1971, The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has grown to become one of the leading national organizations providing guidance and support for artists and emerging arts organizations. 

NYFA is pleased to announce that an archive chronicling the nonprofit service organization’s nearly 50-year history has been created with funding from The O’Grady Foundation. The collection will be housed at NYU’s Fales Library, which comprises more than 11,000 linear feet of archives and special collections including the Downtown New York Collection, of which the NYFA archive will be a part.

“We’re thrilled that NYFA’s archives will be accessible to the public at NYU and that it will continue to grow as NYFA evolves,” said Kathleen O’Grady, President of The O’Grady Foundation and a member of NYFA’s Leadership Council. “The collection illustrates both the vibrancy of the arts community—throughout New York State and particularly in New York City—through NYFA’s unique lens, and the importance of NYFA in actively supporting artists for nearly 50 years,” she added.

The NYFA Archive provides unique insights into one of New York City’s most respected arts organizations and the larger arts community. Highlights include:

  • Files on NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellows that provide a snapshot of generations of artists over time. First launched in 1985, the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Program has provided more than $30 million to artists in 15 disciplines across New York State. 
  • Information pertaining to the 9/11 New York Arts Recovery Fund, a program that was administered by NYFA, that illustrates how 9/11 impacted the arts community in the New York City area, and NYFA’s 2012 Hurricane Sandy relief efforts for the Tri-State area.
  • Applications and Financial Reports that give insights into the changing economics and demographics of New York City from the 1970s to present.

The records include organization grant recipient files on grant recipients and fiscally sponsored artists, with applications and project descriptions. The NYFA Archive also carries founding documents, marketing materials, financial and budgetary information, NYFA Board of Director files, and administrative/human resources information. The archive will be updated regularly.

“It is always enormously gratifying to be able to offer researchers a new resource as rich as the NYFA Archive,” said Nicholas Martin, Librarian for Archival Collections and Reference Services at NYU. “These records offer a window into the breadth of cultural production in New York over 50 years. Within them, researchers will discover myriad connections and new insights into artists already represented in Fales Library’s extensive collections.”

Michael L. Royce, Executive Director of NYFA, said: “The New York Foundation for the Arts was founded in 1971 by a group of artists, and since that time NYFA has provided valuable resources to individual artists across New York State, nationally, and internationally. We’re grateful to both Kathleen O’Grady and The O’Grady Foundation for helping to make NYFA’s archive possible, and to NYU for housing the archive and NYFA’s cultural legacy in their remarkable collection.”  

Those interested in learning more about and accessing the NYFA Archive at NYU’s Fales Library may do so via this finding aidScholars can request an appointment to view the collection here.

About Fales Library and the Downtown Collection

NYU Libraries’ Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1974 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including paper, photography, moving image, and born-digital content. Established in 1994, the Downtown Collection continues to grow, supporting a broad spectrum of cultural studies and drawing researchers from around the world.

Sign up for NYFA’s bi-weekly newsletter, NYFA News, to receive announcements about future NYFA events and programs.

Image: NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Photo Credit: Erin Patrice O’Brien.

Amy Aronoff
Posted on:
Post author