Arts News You Can Use

8/1/02

1. Be a Part of the Governor’s Postcard Campaign
2. Minnesota Prepares for Next Round of Cuts
3. NEA Positioned for $10 million Increase
4. Minneapolis and St. Cloud Part of National Arts Economic Impact Study
5. MN Legislative Arts All Stars
6. MCA Board Positions Open

1. BE A PART OF THE GOVERNOR’S POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
Any one of the current candidates for Governor could win the race this fall. This is a perfect opportunity to ensure that the next Governor of Minnesota is an Arts Governor. It is imperative that all of the candidates understand the importance and impact of the arts in Minnesota! For this reason, MCA has printed and mailed 30,000 postcard sets to arts advocates across the state. It includes cards to all of the current candidates Moe, Pawlenty, and Pentel (except Penny, who announced after the cards had been printed). You may have already received and sent out your cards. Many thousands of responses have already reached candidateâs offices. Some candidates are responding to the postcards to talk about their stand on the arts. This is exactly what we’d hoped for. We have 4000 additional cards at the office, and are printing additional cards to send to Tim Penny. If you’d like to share them with your friends, relatives, staff, or audiences, weâd be happy to give you as many as you can mail. Call MCA at 651-251-0868 or email mca@mtn.org to find out how to get more postcards. Let’s make the arts part of every candidate’s agenda!

2. MINNESOTA PREPARES FOR NEXT ROUND OF CUTS
Last session, when the state faced a huge deficit, we lobbied to keep cuts to the arts at 4%. It was a very difficult session and the arts could have faced much larger cuts. Unfortunately, the state’s deficit problem has grown even worse. It was even reported this week that state agencies have been asked by the Finance Dept. to prepare draft budgets for the next 2003 session that show an additional 10% cut. Economic indicators for Minnesota show that we will clearly have an enormous deficit to deal with next session, and we are going to have to work very hard to preserve the gains the arts have made in the last many years. Stay tuned.

3. NEA POSITIONED FOR $10 MILLION INCREASE
We hear better news from Washington, where on July 17, 2002, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 234 to 192 to increase FY 03 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts by $10 million and the National Endowment for the Humanities by $5 million. Compared to last year, support for these cultural agencies continues to gain support. Last year 33 Republicans voted for the arts increase, whereas this year, 42 Republicans voted for the increase. That’s quite significant and increasingly reclaims the arts as a bipartisan issue! All of Minnesota’s Democratic members voted for the increase, and should be thanked. Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) was also one of the Republicans that voted for the increase. The appropriation must go through many more steps before it becomes a reality. It could mean an increase in arts funding in Minnesota of about $100,000.

4. MINNEAPOLIS AND ST. CLOUD PART OF NATIONAL ARTS ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY
“Arts & Economic Prosperity: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations and Their Audiences” released on June 10, 2002, reveals that America’s nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion in economic activity every year, including $24.4 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues. The $134 billion total includes $53.2 billion in spending by arts organizations and $80.8 billion in event-related spending by arts audiences. Minneapolis and St. Cloud are two of the cities studied. The Minneapolis study showed $269,433,035 in nonprofit arts industry spending, with 8504 full time equivalent jobs. The St. Cloud study showed $9,824,787 in nonprofit arts industry spending, with 370 full time equivalent jobs. For more information and detail on the Minneapolis and St. Cloud studies, go to: http://americansforthearts.org/economicimpact/

5. “LEGISLATIVE ARTS ALL STARS”
MCA would like to highlight and thank some of our many friends at the legislature who have been especially helpful to the arts community in the past session. In appreciation for their work, we will name a few Legislative Arts All Stars in upcoming Arts Alerts.

Here are three of our friends:

SENATOR JANE KRENTZ
Hometown: May Township
Year Elected: 1992
Favorite Art Form: Theater
“I have worked at the Guthrie Theater for 31 years, and I have seen first hand the importance of the arts in the lives of Minnesotans. My children and I have participated in the arts for many years. We know how critical it is for families to have access tot he arts. We are lucky to live in a state that supports and treasures the arts.”

REPRESENTATIVE SONDRA ERICKSON
Hometown: Princeton
Year Elected: 1988
Favorite Art Form: Song and instrument, performance on stage, or oil painting
“Arts across Minnesota provide our citizens with a canvas of artistic expression, helping all to understand that in each common thing some beauty glows; that loveliness is always near at hand, whether the performer is a professional or amateur. The commitment by members of our local arts board proves how important the arts are in our daily lives. I thank them for bringing such wonderful variety to us.”

REPRESENTATIVE TOM RUKAVINA
Hometown: Virginia
Year Elected: 1986
“I support the arts because my wife has a master’s degree in the arts and is an artist in her own right. She has educated me on the benefits of the arts to society. As she has said to me many times to emphasize her point, “repressive governments do not go after bankers and businessmen, but artists who make people think and dream with their work.”

6. CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR MCA’s BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
Serving on MCA’s board is a fun way to get to know people from across the state who love the arts and who work in advocacy. Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is soliciting nominations for its Board of Trustees for terms which last for two years and will begin in September, 2002. 36 Members represent amazingly diverse perspectives of our state’s arts community. INTERESTED? Send in a nominations form by August 15, 2002. Click here for a nomination form.

7. We want YOU! Are you a Member?
MCA is funded entirely by the dues of its members. Do you appreciate receiving up to the minute news on the fate of the arts in the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress? We could not provide Arts Alerts if it weren’t for the wonderful and committed arts advocates who show their commitment by joining MCA. You can join by clicking here for our membership form. Individual dues are just $30, and a household membership is just $40. Thank you!