Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Arts Budget News

From Citizens for the Arts in PA:

During a press conference (Friday) members representing both caucuses in the Senate and the House Democratic caucus announced that an agreement had been reached on the state budget for FY 09-10. It is reported the budget includes $10 million for arts grants (down from $15.2 million) through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and $1 million (down from $1.3 million) for administration of the Council.

This increase is a huge testament to your advocacy efforts considering the ZERO offered in SB 850. However it still represents a cut of almost 30% over last year's approved appropriation. There is a brief window of time to CALL your legislators. Express your appreciation for including the funding but urge them to fund arts grants at a level between $12.5 million - $14 million. Arts funding supports jobs, programming in schools and at senior citizens centers, and helps revitalize our downtowns. Remember to tell them why this is a priority to you and your community. Tell them the many ways that we all benefit from an investment in the arts. CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY.

You can locate phone numbers on our e-advocacy site at http://capwiz.com/artsusa/pa .

Please make that call today!
Jenny L. Hershour
Managing Director
Citizens for the Arts in PA

UPDATE: From today's Citizens for the Arts News:

We are in Day 77 of the state budget impasse. Three of the four legislative caucuses have agreed to a $27.9 billion spending plan but yesterday, Governor Rendell said that he would veto the budget unless the budget met his criteria for signature. As we are still without a budget, arts and cultural organizations from across Pennsylvania have started a movement of artless Wednesdays in PA to bring awareness to what our communities might be like if there is no state support of nonprofit arts groups. Every Wednesday, from now until a budget is passed, arts organizations and supporters are encouraged to make a symbolic gesture of what it means to be artless.

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