Participatory Budgeting NYC Creative Resources

Arts, Culture, and Media were integrated into Participatory Budgeting in New York City (PBNYC) in its 2011-2012 inaugural year. They provided creative forms of participation, communicated about PB to a larger audiences, and extended opportunities for delegates and voters to express themselves in their own voices. This list of creative resources is intended to be an inspiration for year 2. The list was compiled by the Arts & Democracy Project with the Arts and Culture Committee of the PBNYC Citywide Steering Committee.


Call for ideas

"You have $1 million dollars, how are you going to spend it?" Youth and community media groups received this call for ideas and their responses included:

Community Based Media                   

Documenting the process

Documentaries demystified the PBNYC process and shared the voices of its diverse participants:

Bill, PBS              

Delegates tell their stories

Short videos conveyed the passion and commitment of budget delegates and brought their projects to life:

District 45 - Participatory Budgeting in the 45th District
For full playlist of 45th District delegate videos click here 

District 39 videos by Peoples Production House posted online with ballot 

District 8 delegate video

Additional media resources include:
International Studies Film Collective, From Budget Cuts to A Peoples Budget: Participatory Budgeting NY
PBS, Need to Know, Participatory Budgeting
PBS, Need to Know: The Peoples Choice
Solidarity NYC, Portraits of a Solidarity Economy
Brooklyn Independent Television, Brooklyn Review
Educational Video Center, District 8 (used in Youth Assembly)
Norhattan, Participatory Budgeting Comes to East Harlem
PB in New York City (a week before the vote)
Citizens to Make Budget Decisions in NYC


Media and cultural work help build skills, community, and understanding about our city.

Educational Video Center included PB as part of its Documentary Film Workshop. Students created videos for Districts 8 and 39.

Peoples Production House's hands-on workshop offered the skills to make your own short videos.

Arts & Democracy Project's Expo workshop provided materials and support for delegates in District 39 to create Expo presentations. The workshop brought people together across PBNYC committees and district neighborhoods.

Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is working with a teaching artist to design and implement a project on participatory budgeting at Int'l Community High School in the Bronx. Students will explore fundamental questions about how NYC works through collaborative research and design. New for year 2!


Ballots included project proposals that supported cultural spaces, resources, and equipment:

D45: Performing arts studio at Tilden Educational Campus Field
D39: Community cultural spaces and resources at Kensington and Carroll Garden's libraries, Int'l Mother Language Monument, BRIC projector, PS 131 auditorium improvement
D32: Gazebo/bandstand outdoor performance space on Shorefront Parkway
D8: Upgrade of Children's Aid Society theater stage, auditorium upgrade at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics



Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
worked with designer Glen Cummings to create the PBNYC logo and materials including flyers, maps,  handbook, and ballots.

Participants also made their own flyers and promotional materials:

A shell was made into a flyer in district 32


Expo presentations provided opportunities for delegates to tell the stories of their projects
to their neighbors.


PB was integrated into cultural events in the Kensington Bengladeshi community such as this Mother Language celebration.

Theater artist and budget delegate George Sanchez opened the arts and culture session at the int'l PB conference with Forum Theater exercises.

A District 32 Expo included a school band performance that drew many additional people.


Contact the PBNYC Arts and Culture Committee c/o Caron Atlas, Arts & Democracy Project,