| POWERFUL ADVOCACY
Art programs at Boyertown High School in Pennsylvania are in danger of being cut, so the students made a video to show the School Board Finance Committee how they feel about their art classes - they weren't allowed to show it. Now districts across Pennsylvania and the nation are starting to use it to advocate for their own programs. It's a great video. You can see it at:
In this day of serious budget cuts to local school districts, often negatively impacting the arts, you may want to show this 3.5 minute film to school boards, finance committees, and other policy makers. Thank you Boyertown students for so eloquently giving the message about the importance of arts education!
Advocacy for Mass Cultural Council Needed Now!
The House Ways & Means Committee yesterday released a proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year that would significantly cut support for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).
The House panel recommends $7.5 million for MCC for fiscal year 2012. That would cut $1.65 million, or 18 percent, from the agency's current budget. If enacted, this budget would represent a cumulative cut of 41 percent to MCC's budget since 2009.
The Governor's proposed budget had cut cultural funding by $700,000; the House Ways & Means version represents a cut of nearly $1 million on top of that.
Another cut to MCC's state appropriation for the coming fiscal year would be compounded by a reduction of at least $100,000 to the agency's budget from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) annual state partnership grant. That cut is expected from this week's federal budget agreement, which reduced the budgets of the NEA and National Endowment for the Humanities by $12.5 million each.
MA residents are urged to call their state house of representatives member and urge him/her to co-sign an amendment being offered by Representative Sarah Peake (Provincetown) to level-fund the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The deadline for representatives to contact Rep. Peake is noon, Friday, April 15. To find out who your state representative is, please click here.
"The state continues to face a large gap between revenues and demands on spending," said Anita Walker, MCC's Executive Director. "But we know that arts and culture pay dividends for the Commonwealth through more vibrant communities, better schools, and revenue from cultural tourism. We cannot stop supporting this work despite our challenges." Walker said passage of the budget proposed yesterday would mean MCC would have to significantly cut grants across its programs, and possibly eliminate some grant programs altogether.
Registrations Open for Arts|Learning Symposium and Awards Event.
Please check out our website for this exciting event that will be held at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 8:30-3:30. To register for this event, please click here.