Arts Alert: ARTS ADVOCACY DAY IS MARCH 7!
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On March 7, 2013, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts will bring more than seven hundred arts advocates from around the state to converge on the State Capitol for “Arts Advocacy Day” to ask legislators to follow through on the promise of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that dedicated funds to conservation and the arts.
Minnesotans overwhelmingly approved the measure, passing it by 56%, which increased the sales tax slightly to create four new dedicated funds for land, water, parks and arts in 2008. Last year arts advocates had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Arts & Culture Fund be used to build a stadium. In the end, the legislature secured other resources to build the stadium and left the Arts Fund alone.
“Our message is that we want the Legislature to continue to follow through on the wishes of Minnesota voters,” said Sheila Smith, MCA’s Executive Director. “The Constitutional Amendment states that, “the dedicated money under this section must supplement traditional sources of funding for these purposes and may not be used as a substitute,” she said. “We understand that there is a deficit and that legislators have an extremely tough job ahead of them.”
“We are asking that at least 50% of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts fund go through the highly accountable and transparent Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system because it ensures that citizens in all 87 counties will benefit. We are concerned about some bills that would earmark the resources intended for all Minnesotans to benefit only a few.” In addition, advocates are hoping to protect the other traditional source of funding for the arts from the general fund. “In the past two years the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils could meet only 50% of incoming requests for grants and services.”
Arts advocates are also concerned about some of the tax reform proposals that would do damage to nonprofit’s role as partners with the state in providing arts and educational services to Minnesotans.
The day begins with a rally at 8:30 a.m. in the Minnesota History Center and continues with legislator meetings legislators in the Capitol from 10:00 to 1:00.
NEW: Local favorite band The New Standards led by Chan Poling, Steve Roehm and John Munson will lead the crowd in “America the Beautiful” at 8:30 AM at the morning rally.
ARTS JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
Minnesotans have a strong tradition of interest in access to arts and culture, and participate in the arts to a higher degree than citizens of other states. Minnesota is home to over 1400 non-profit arts organizations that collectively serve 12.5 million people annually and provide an economic impact of over $1 billion to our state’s economy. The Arts: A Driving Force in Minnesota’s Economy (2006)*, showed that the nonprofit arts provide 22,095 full time jobs and generate more than $94 million in state and local government revenues.
According to Artists Count: An Economic Impact Study of Artists in Minnesota (2007)* our state is also home to over 20,000 artists, who are a contributing factor to the economies of every region of Minnesota, supporting an additional 6,000 full time jobs with their work.
* Both studies are available for downloading at www.mncitizensforthearts.org.
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Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355, St. Paul, MN 55155 | 651-251-0868 | fax 651-917-3561
staff at mncitizensforthearts.org | www.mncitizensforthearts.org | @MnCitizen
MCA is a nonpartisan statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure Minnesotans have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community to lobby the Legislature and Congress on issues important to the nonprofit arts community. If you are interested in advocating for the arts, or want to learn how to activate people in your arts organization or community, please contact us. FYI, MCA is not a grantsmaker. For access to state funding, contact the Minnesota State Arts Board www.arts.state.mn.us or your local Regional Arts Council http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm.