Arts Funding

2/12/03

1. FORMER GOVERNOR ARNE CARLSON TESTIFIES IN FAVOR OF ARTS FUNDING
2. MANY MINNESOTA ARTS ORGANIZATIONS EXPECTING DEFICITS THIS YEAR AND NEXT
3. WHAT CAN YOU DO?

A. SIGN UP FOR ARTS ADVOCACY DAY, FEB. 27 Don’t wait until the last minute – since we’re setting up appointments for you, we need to know you’re coming asap.
B. CALL/WRITE YOUR LEGISLATORS
C. VOLUNTEER
1. FORMER GOVERNOR ARNE CARLSON TESTIFIES IN FAVOR OF ARTS FUNDING

Today at the Minnesota State Capitol, former Governor Arne Carlson testified in front of Rep. Bob Gunther’s Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee in favor of state arts funding. He was joined in his testimony by Bob Booker, Executive Director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, Brenda Flintrop, Executive Director of the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Manuel Laureano, principal trumpet with the Minnesota Orchestra and Co-Artistic Director of the Minnesota Youth Symphony (MYS) and Linnea Brashears, who plays violin with MYS. We are grateful to the testifiers for taking the time to make a case for the arts. They all did a wonderful job of testifying in front of this important committee. Gov. Carlson, in particular, talked about how the arts set Minnesota apart from other states in the Midwest, that our vibrant cultural community is a recruiting and tourism draw for our area, and how the arts contribute to the economic vitality of Minnesota. He also talked about the decline in corporate and foundation assets and how that is affecting the budgets of arts organizations across the state. The testimony was well received by Rep. Gunther and his committee members. This hearing was a very important first step for us as we wait to hear what Gov. Pawlenty will propose for the arts in his next yearâs budget. Stay tuned.

2. MANY ORGANIZATIONS EXPECTING DEFICITS THIS YEAR AND NEXT

The state is considering cuts to the arts in a time when many organizations are experiencing stressful budget times. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts surveyed arts organizations of all budget sizes from across the state on 2/1/03 about current financial conditions:

HIGHLIGHTS:

84 organizations responded to the survey (so far).
Reponses were evenly divided between large, medium, and small sized organizations, and organizations from metro, suburban, and rural Minnesota.
Over 62% reported that they expected deficits this year and next.
40% of organizations reported an increase of over 10% in operating deficits, a sign of fairly significant change.
The projected deficits have multiple causes, most significantly a decrease in corporate and foundation giving, government income, and increased expenses.
Most organizations reported that they are cutting expenses to try to avoid a deficit. This includes cuts to programs, services, operations, and shows.
Approx. 25% listed layoffs and wage freezes as possible responses to the potential deficits.
SURVEY RESULTS: The questions, and responses:

Do you project that your organization will end up with a deficit for the current fiscal year? – YES: 55 of responding organizations or 65%
Do you project that your organization will end up with a deficit for the next fiscal year? – YES : 52 of responding organizations, or 62%
Do either of these represent more than a 10% increase in operating deficits from the previous year? – YES: 34 of responding organizations, or 40%
If you are projecting deficits, what do you see are the main cause(s)? (Please number them #1-biggest impact to #6-lowest impact) Ranked in order of response frequency of top three causes for each organization:
* Decrease in corporate/foundation giving ?64%
* Decrease in government income-64%
* Increase in expenses-44% (health insurance increases were mentioned)
* Decrease in earned income (ie, ticket sales, admissions, subscriptions and registrations) 29%
* Decrease in individual giving/memberships 23%
* Decrease in endowment income 17%
3. WHAT CAN YOU DO? SIGN UP FOR ADVOCACY DAY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DON”T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE.

We are making individual appointments with legislators for everyone who comes to Advocacy Day, so we need to know as soon as possible if you are coming.

A. JOIN US ON ARTS ADVOCACY DAY, FEBRUARY 27, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Threats to the arts this year are the worst they have ever been. We need a big turnout on Arts Advocacy Day to demonstrate to legislators that Minnesotans want the arts to be treated fairly. Click here for information and sign up forms.

B. CALL OR WRITE: If you can’t come to Advocacy Day, call or write to your new legislators asking them to protect arts funding. You can get phone numbers and addresses here.

C. VOLUNTEER:

February 18 and 19, Tuesday and Wednesday
9:00 am-7:00pm
Volunteers needed to prepare for Arts Advocacy Day
MCA office: 2233 University Ave W, #355, St. Paul

February 24, 25, 26, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Volunteers needed to prepare for Arts Advocacy Day
MCA office: 2233 University Ave W, #355, St. Paul