Friday, March 17, 2017

Arts funding in jeopardy

From the Cultural Advocacy Coalition

It is time for us to rise to the challenge yet again. Today's announcement is just the beginning of the many next steps of the federal budget process. Our Oregon Congressional delegation has voiced bipartisan support for the NEA, both in the past two years of funding proposals, and in public statements made recently. Join me and hundreds of other Oregonians in calling on them today and urging them to fight for arts and culture in our state and nation.

Here's how you can take action right now to respond to President Trump's Budget Outline:
  • Contact your House and Senate delegations. Urge them to oppose the President's request and provide full funding for the NEA, NEH, CPB and IMLS. Senator Jeff Merkley serves on the Senate Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Outreach to Senator Merkley is critical at this time. And, if you are a constituent of Representative Walden's please reach out to him immediately.
Here's what you need to know about the impact of NEA funding in Oregon:
  • In its fiscal year 2016, the NEA provided $727,700 in Partnership Agreement funds to the Oregon Arts Commission. These critical funds are used in conjunction with state legislative dollars to support grants and services across the entire state of Oregon.
  • NEA and state funds enabled the Oregon Arts Commission to not only award 267 grants totaling $2,121,428 in its fiscal year 2015 but also provide non-grant services to arts organizations, community groups, schools and artists. These grants and services supported access to the arts, employment, arts education, community well-being and the cultural heritage of the entire state.
  • Also affected by NEA budget cuts would be direct grants to arts organizations in each state. In its fiscal year 2016, the NEA made 32 direct grants totaling $795,000 in Oregon.
On top of the potential loss of $727,700 in NEA funding, the Oregon Arts Commission (OAC), is proposing cuts to operating support grants for the next biennium of 30% in response to potential budget cuts at the state level of $530,000. That's 30% less art, music, theater, dance, poetry, and more for Oregonians. This is a very real scenario on the table for the OAC in the current budget and the impact of these cuts would be substantial. It's time for us as artists, arts patrons, cultural advocates and Oregonians to take a stand for art and culture in our state and our nation's capitol.

Please join us for Advocacy Day 2017 in Salem on Monday, April 24 to meet and speak with our legislators about the importance of arts and culture to our state and nation.

I know from experience, emails and letters do not have the same effect as speaking with your legislator in person. That's why we love our art LIVE! There's no substitute for face-to-face advocacy for preserving the OAC's budget and its impact on arts and culture throughout our state.

Register today for Advocacy Day 2017 and we will see you in Salem on April 24th!

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