Monday, February 16, 2009

Before I continue...

I would like to share with you a letter from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and a memo from Art Serve. Please, consider writing a letter or sending an email and expressing your opinion on this issue.

From the Arts Council:


An update from ArtServe Michigan. If you have not already, please help us take action by sending a letter to Governor Granholm!

ArtServe Michigan


Gov Recommends $1,000 Nonrefundable Grant Application Fee!

Not only does the Governor want to nearly zero-out arts and cultural grant funding in Michigan, but ArtServe has learned that she has also recommended increasing the nonrefundable grant application fee from $300 to $1,000. The Governor is essentially making it impossible for smaller organizations to apply for access to a small portion of this $1 million.

If you have not already sent an email through ArtServe's site...DON'T WAIT! Tell the Governor that these cuts are unacceptable!


Note: if the link does not work please copy and paste this into your web browser.

Talking points of local interest:

* The recommendation to nearly eliminate the budget for the arts is in direct opposition to the Governor’s efforts to attract and retain business investment, and talent as a part of restructuring Michigan and its economy. The cuts to the arts from $25.5 million in 2002 to last year’s $7.9 million to the proposed near elimination for 2010 demonstrates a continual disinvestment and contradicts the Governor’s messages to build Cool Cities, attract business investment, and retain talent.

* The arts employ a significant workforce, and purchase goods and services from local businesses in order to operate. Locally more than 500 direct jobs, and more than 1500 indirect jobs are at risk.

* The major festivals in Lansing and East Lansing alone draw 450,000, provide $13.5 million in regional economic impact, nearly 80 direct jobs, more than 400 indirect jobs.

* The arts attract attendees and visitors to our region. Those attendees purchase gas, meals, hotel stays, souvenirs, gifts, and other items from local businesses, providing more than $35 million in local economic impact. Purchases made by the arts and cultural sector together with its attendees positively impact our region with $51.5 million, and provide the state with $2.8 million in tax revenue.

* With the continual cuts to K-12 education, the nonprofit arts sector picks up the slack by working with school districts to provide positive, quality educational programming, and free opportunities for low income families and at-risk youth.

* Last year the MCACA served 17,000 clients. These clients hired 80,000 contracted artists. Overall, Michigan arts and cultural activities support more than 108,000 jobs in the state.

* Last year our state ranked last in its investment in the arts. In 36 hours we invest more in our prison system than we invest in the arts for an entire year.

* The arts employ people; people who must eat and provide food and shelter for their families. Without arts and cultural activities, the unemployment rate will escalate and the state will lose $811.2 million in personal income. In addition, 30,000 jobs in the state would not be retained.

* Arts and cultural opportunities in the greater Lansing define our region and improve quality of life. Without our festivals, events, cultural centers, theaters, galleries and arts educational offerings, what would our region look like?

Federal Stimulus - A Win for Arts and Culture Nationwide

On Friday, Americans for the Arts announced that we have successfully convinced Congress to leave in arts friendly aspects of the stimulus bill. The Conference Committee chose to insert $50 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts as well as removing the Coburn Amendment language banning use of recovery funds for arts groups.

Thank you very much to all of you who sent in emails to our members of Congress. Good things happen when we come together to fight for what we believe in!
From Art Serve:

Oops. I received permission from Mike Latvis to reprint the memo, but it is in pdf format which I can't cut and paste at the moment. I'll retype some of the highlights once I turn in the stories that are due today.

In the mean time, you can download the memo for yourself if you'd like here.

No comments: