Arts Alert: Your Voice Mattered: Many Arts Victories this Legislative Session!

Your Voice Mattered:
1. Many Arts Victories This Legislative Session!
2. New Creative MN Local Economic Impact Studies
3. MCA is Hiring: Research Assistant

1. Your Voice Mattered: Many Arts Victories!

The Minnesota legislative session has finally ended and we are delighted to report many arts victories, including:

  • We obtained an overall increase of $800,000 in MN state arts funding
  • We ensured that General Funds for the arts remain stable
  • The important 47% dedication of the Legacy Arts Fund to the arts was maintained
  • The Perpich Center for Arts Education was saved
  • The much-delayed bonding bill includes some arts projects

Thank you to all of you, including the 1000 people who attended Arts Advocacy Day, those of you who emailed or called your legislators, who went through our website or attended in-district meetings with your legislators to ask them to support the arts. Your voice mattered!

HERE’S THE RUNDOWN:

LEGACY ARTS FUNDING: Thanks to Senate Chair Carrie Ruud, Senator Richard Cohen, and House Chair Bob Gunther for making sure the bill conformed to state law by dedicating 47% of the dollars in the Arts Legacy Fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils (MSAB/RACs). Between Legacy and the General Fund, there is an approximately $800,000 increase for the MSAB/RAC system over the next two years.

A new wrinkle is the back-loading of dollars into the second year of the coming two-year arts budget. This means a drop from current levels by $5M in the first year with a corresponding $5M increase in the second year. The back-loading of arts funding into the second year will probably be a long-term strategy by the legislature, along with also holding 5% of the fund in reserve, because they are highly motivated to never again run out of money in the fund if tax revenues go down, as happened in FY17. Grantees should note that the MSAB and RACs thus will have slightly less dollars to grant out in FY18 and slightly more again in FY19.

THE GENERAL FUND: The arts funding from this source is what we received prior to passing the Legacy Amendment in 2008. The State Government Finance Committee appropriated stable funding of $15M over the next two years. Thank you to the two committee Chairs Representative Sarah Anderson and Senator Mary Kiffmeyer for ensuring stable General Fund for the arts.

TOTAL ARTS FUNDING: $73M OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS

And so, in total, we have secured $73M for the MSAB/RAC system over the next two years compared to $72.24M for the previous two years. Go Team!

BONDING BILL: The legislature also passed the long-delayed Bonding bill. We know some arts projects were included but some were taken out, we are awaiting full documentation to bring you that news.

SAVING THE PERPICH CENTER FOR ARTS EDUCATION:

The Perpich Center for Arts Education suffered a near-death experience after terrible leadership and a bad audit led some legislators to target it for elimination. The Governor appointed a new-majority board, the previous leader departed, and a new day dawned for the Center as many people kicked into high gear to solve its financial and managerial problems. Kudos particularly to Ben Vanderkooi, the new board Chair, Leslie LeCuyer, the Chair of their new Government Relations Committee, Interim Director Peg Birk and the rest of the Perpich board members and volunteers who have been working night and day both to fix the problems at the Center and to save Perpich at the Legislature.

MCA delivered almost 4000 letters from the public to legislators and the Governor via our online advocacy center with the assistance of Perpich alumni, parents and friends. The Center is now on probation by the legislature. Legislation also added the Commissioner of Education as an ex officio member of the board, requires the director to hold a superintendent license, requires persons employed as teachers to have teaching licenses in their respective fields, requires that board meeting minutes be published on the Center’s website, and requires an annual report be submitted to the legislature. The bill also leaves decisions related to the Crosswinds school to the Commission of Administration.

(***Note that Governor has not yet signed any of the above bills and nothing is finalized until he signs, vetoes or lets them become law without his signature!***)

2. New Creative Minnesota Local Economic Impact Studies

MCA and Creative Minnesota are partnering with ArtsLab at Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council to produce a new round of local city or county economic impact studies of the arts.

PEER LEARNING COMMUNITIES: In partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Arts Midwest is providing a 2017-18 learning experience for up to eight rural and up to eight 7-county Twin Cities suburban communities.This cohort focuses on the growing importance of arts and culture as key drivers in building communities that can flourish.

CITY OR COUNTY LOCAL ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDIES: As a part of the program, we are offering participating cities a local Creative MN study for $1,500. Note that you can particpate in the local city or county economic impact study project whether or not you want to sign up for the Peer Learning opportunity. 

In addition, we have learned that there were communities who had questions about eligibility and did not apply for the cohort by the earlier deadline. If you are interested in participating in the local Creative MN study, and/or if you continue to be interested and were a community with eligibility questions about the Peer Learning opportunity, please contact Sharon at ArtsLab@ArtsMidwest.org 

Details for Suburban opportunities: 

https://artslab.artsmidwest.org/programs/peer-learning-communities/LCC-Metro

And Greater MN opportunities here:

https://artslab.artsmidwest.org/programs/peer-learning-communities/LCC-Minnesota

NOTE THAT THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED.

3. MCA is Hiring: Research Assistant

POSITION OPEN: MCA represents the arts community of Minnesota at the state legislature and lobbies for state funding of the arts, as well as other issues of concern to the non-profit arts community. MCA also does advocacy for the National Endowment for the Arts. To lobby effectively, MCA organizes grassroots advocacy around the state and keeps constituents educated and informed about the political process and the current state of arts funding throughout the year.

MCA also leads and organizes the Creative Minnesota project with other statewide arts service organizations and arts supporting organizations (see www.CreativeMN.org).

This Research Assistant will coordinate the work on 20 new city or county local Creative Minnesota economic impact studies.

 APPLY NOW. Please mail or email resume and cover letter by June 9, 2017 to Mark Albers staff@artsMN.org. More information is available at: http://artsmn.org/about/jobs/.