April 21, 2011
Dear Arts Supporters,
It’s time for all arts supporters to contact their legislators to support state arts funding. On Tuesday April 26, there will be a large hearing of all the bills that have been introduced to spend Arts Legacy funds in Senator Ingebrigtsen’s Environment Committee. The MN State Arts Board (MSAB) and MN Citizens for the Arts (MCA) will be doing a brief testimony at the hearing regarding arts funding for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants awarded by the MSAB and eleven Regional Arts Councils in the state. Other House and Senate committees that appropriate state arts funding will also be meeting next week.
Please take a moment to communicate with your senators and legislators the importance of protecting arts funding.
- go to MCA’s website www.mncitizensforthearts.org
- click on Act Now Desktop Lobbyist
- click on Minnesota: Take Action Now to Protect Arts Funding!
- type in your zip code to automatically find your senators and representatives.
For your reference, we’ve provided you with this sample letter: “I am an arts supporter and I live in your district. I’m writing because I’m concerned about the disproportionate cuts the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils are receiving in the State Government Finance bill. While I understand that cuts have to be made within this tough budget year, the general fund support allocated to the arts is a very small part of the state budget. Because the arts are important to the business climate of the state, cuts to the arts should be relative to what other cultural groups are receiving, not more. Minnesota’s deficit is about 15% of its budget. The current cuts to the Minnesota State Arts Board are 20%, which is more than required. Similar cultural institutions such as the Science Museum and Historical Society have received only 10-15% cuts. As the general fund support allocated to the arts is such an incredibly small part of the state budget and because the arts are so important to the business climate and vitality of the state, I would suggest that although cuts are necessary that they not exceed the range of 10% to 15% that other cultural organizations are receiving.”
Thank you, and remember, there is still time to complete the MN Arts Count census- if you haven’t already done so. The deadline has been extended into May. At least 10,000 artists and organizations have completed the survey so far; however, there are many more of us out there. Go to www.MNArtsCount.com to take the MN Arts Count census.
Terri Widman, Executive Director of Region 2 Arts Council