[From the Louisiana Partnership for Arts Advocacy:]
Meet up on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 At The Rotunda of the State Capitol
Earlier this year the Arts Council sent information regarding the current situation of the Decentralized Arts Funding and Statewide Arts Grants Funding. Both the Decentralized Arts Funding Program (DAF)* and Statewide Arts Grants (SAG)* were targeted with deep and crippling cuts. The Executive Budget presented by the Governor in February requested a $1 million cut to DAF as well as a $1 million cut to SAG. This $2 million cut represented a 41% reduction to Louisiana’s state arts funding. In response, more than 13,500 emails were sent to the House Appropriation Committee members asking them to reinstate funds.
Since that time, representatives from Louisiana Partnership for Arts Advocacy made a presentation before the House Appropriations Committee. As advocates for the cultural economy of our state and of the arts, LPAA understands that cuts in the budget are required during these difficult economic times. In this regard, the request was made to restore both DAF and SAG at $750,000 each for a total of $1.5 million restored to House Bill 1. The economic value of this investment as well as the value of arts funding to residents’ quality of life was clearly presented.
The next step is for YOU TO JOIN THE LPAA FOR THIS EVENT ON MAY 4 IN BATON ROUGE.
PLEASE MEET AT 10am at the Capitol Park Welcome Center – 702 River Road and wear a bright blue (not navy) shirt to show your support for the arts. We will proceed to the Capitol as a group.
The morning will begin with a LPA/LPAA General Membership Meeting at 10. At noon the group will move over to the rotunda to set up regional displays and meet with legislators. By 1AM legislators arrive and by 3PM the day will wrap up. Limited parking is available across the street from the Welcome Center and at a near-by parking garage located on North Street and River Road. The Welcome Center will validate parking for this event.
VALUE OF THE ARTS IN LOUISIANA ARTS and CULTURE are a $10 billion industry supporting more than 148,500 jobs. ARTS and CULTURE are the state’s finest export article and second largest economic engine. If the Decentralized Arts Funding Program is drastically cut, a national model would be crippled. If the Statewide Arts Grants Program is drastically cut, a national model would be threatened. The $14 return for each $1 invested in ARTS and CULTURE produces $39 million to Louisiana’s tax base; the investment in Louisiana’s Cultural Economy equals revenue for Louisiana.
Please remember that Louisiana’s cultural economic engine and tourism industry will become crippled by a severe ripple effect if funds are not restored to DAF and SAG. Major cuts would affect artists of all disciplines, teachers, non-profit organizations, festivals, libraries, museums and theaters alike. No community will remain untouched and the economic loss will rank second only to the loss in social profit, community, and quality of life. Culture is Louisiana’s finest natural resource. We need to nurture and protect it for it to flourish.
RSVP to Jill at (225) 767-7640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[This post is provided in unedited form by the LPAA and is not a statement from the New Orleans Photo Alliance, though, of course, we do support the need for strong arts funding in our state.]