Anne del Castillo steps down as MOME commissioner, joins DCLA as senior advisor

Commissioner Anne (2nd from right) celebrating Makilala TV’s 10th anniversary with talk show hosts Cristina Pastor, Rachelle Peraz Ocampo and Jen Furer.  Photo by Matt and Maricel Edel

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on June 29 the appointments of four senior administration officials, including a new role for Filipino American Anne del Castillo as senior advisor at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), the largest local funder of art and culture in America, supporting more than 1,000 nonprofits annually.

Del Castillo has stepped down as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) after more than four years at the helm and under two administrations.

She posted an open letter welcoming her new position as Senior Policy Advisor for Creative Sector Strategy at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) effective June 30. She will be working with Commissioner Laurie Cumbo.

She also posted her accomplishments as MOME commissioner.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as MOME commissioner for 4+ years and under two administrations, during such a critical moment in the history of my beloved hometown. When I joined MOME in 2014, I could not have anticipated the challenges and triumphs we would face together: a global pandemic, the dramatic comeback of our creative economy, and the significant expansion of the agency from two to five divisions. I am incredibly proud of everything we have been able to accomplish during my 8.5-year tenure at the agency.

“Together, we launched a series of programs to increase diversity in our creative sectors: Made in NY Post Production Training Program, Made in NY Theatrical Workforce Development Program, Made in NY Animation Project, Sound Thinking NYC to introduce young women to careers in music production, and MediaMKRS to train, credential and prepare NYC public school and CUNY students for careers in film and television. We created the NYC Public School Film Festival in partnership with the NYC Department of Education to showcase films by our talented public school students and connect them to career exploration opportunities. And we awarded $7.5M to 342 projects led by creatives identifying as women through the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre.

“With the expansion of MOME’s portfolio, we embarked on efforts to map for the first time the economic impact of our creative sectors, with studies of freelance workers, small theatre, digital games and publishing. And we sought to preserve our cultural capital by partnering with NYC Economic Development Corporation to negotiate a deal with Berklee School of Music to renovate and operate the iconic Power Station recording studios as a state-of-the-art learning lab and recording facility, and to establish a 500,000-square-foot film and television production hub which will be operated by Steiner Studios at the Made in NY Campus at Sunset Park.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, MOME’s work shifted from bolstering NYC’s robust creative economy to crisis management as the sectors in our portfolio were the first to shut down. It was heartening to see the many ways our fellow New Yorkers immediately stepped up to support each other. In the days following the shutdown, we set up a series of Town Calls in partnership with industry stakeholders and city, state and federal agencies to connect arts, entertainment and nightlife workers to resources and support services, and we launched a dedicated television broadcast channel on NYC Media to provide New Yorkers with 24/7 information about COVID resources.”

Here’s the full text of her letter.

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