April 19, 2001
We continue to be concerned about arts funding in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Over the past week, MCA friends and members by the hundreds have been calling their representatives in the House to ask them to protect arts funding. We’ve decided that we need to add to their voices by conducting a 12,000-piece postcard campaign.
The first cards will be mailed on Monday as they arrive in batches from the printer. By Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning, we will have postcards available for you at our office. Please give us a call if you or your organization would like a set of postcards to mail to your friends or members ASAP next week. We will distribute the cards until they are gone. (If you are in the metro, it would be great if you could drop by and pick them up). Our message is: “Please don’t let them cut the arts, in fact, please help us get an increase!”
Problem #1: Rep. Phil Krinkie, chair of the State Government Finance Committee in the House, has introduced a bill which would cut the arts appropriation by 42% from approximately $13 million per year to approximately $7.6 million per year for the next two years. Any cut in the arts appropriation is uncalled for in this time of budget surpluses. There is absolutely no justification for this proposal.
Problem #2: Across the state there is an increased demand for arts services and activities as more and more areas see the importance of providing access to arts and culture to all of their citizens. However, state arts funding has remained stagnant now for the past four years, and grants are shrinking due to growth of field and increased needs across the state. We certainly don’t need a cut in arts funding, we need an increase! Action Needed & Timing To succeed during the upcoming committee discussions, arts advocates must contact their legislators now.
The outcome will depend upon what legislators hear from their constituents. It is imperative that arts supporters call & write ASAP.