Urgent! Arts Under Attack at Legislature

4/24/07

Urgent! Arts Under Attack at Legislature
Virtual Arts Advocacy Day is this Thursday, April 26, 2007

Important action on the Arts and Outdoors Heritage bill took place
in both the House and Senate today, and the arts are under attack.
Please take action now at MCA’s Desktop Lobbyist

1. Senate File 6 Stalls in Senate

2. House Committee Debates Arts and Outdoors Bill

3 . Take Action Today or Tomorrow For Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Thursday, April 26.

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1. Arts Bill Stalls in Senate:

Bill’s author, Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (DFL, Mpls.) Vows to Go On

The Arts and Outdoors Heritage bill, Senate File 6, was heard in a long Senate Tax Committee hearing today which included lengthy discussion and consideration of several amendments. Both Sen. Mee Moua (DFL, St. Paul) and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL, Mpls.) made eloqent speeches in support of the arts. They deserve our thanks! Unfortunately, at one point of the discussion, Sen. Warren Limmer (R, Maple Grove) said that unlike hunting and fishing, the arts “weren’t a high enough priority to enshrine it in the constitution.” A motion to pass the bill failed on a voice vote of 5 to 7.

Sen. Pogemiller has said the fight is not over and that he still intends to pass the bill this year. In order to get this bill moving again, MCA needs you to contact your legislator today or tomorrow as part of Virtual Arts Advocacy Day and ask them to “Support the arts and PASS Senate File 6!” Use MCA’s easy Desktop Lobbyist to make your voice heard.

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2. House Committee Debates Arts and Outdoors Bill:

A hearing was also held today in a special joint committee on the House version of the bill, House File 2285, and will continue into tomorrow. Chairman David Dill (DFL, Crane Lake) and Rep. Bev Scalze (DFL, Little Canada) both spoke in favor of the arts and Rep. Dennis Ozment (R, Rosemount) said that the arts “deserve constitutional support.” They deserve our thanks! Unfortunately, there was also constant discussion of wether or not the arts should be included.

This was the first hearing in the House and there will be 8-9 more committee hearings in the next several weeks. This means that eventually nearly every House member will be voting on the bill soon, so your legislator is important. Please help the arts by asking them to “Support the arts and PASS House File 2285!” Use MCA’s easy and quick Desktop Lobbyist to make your voice heard.

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3 . Now is the Time For Virtual Arts Advocacy Day! Act By Thursday, April 26.

Virtual Arts Advocacy Day is your chance to make a difference for the arts without ever leaving your desk. The legislative action is heating up, and your voice needs to be heard today.

What’s a Virtual Arts Advocacy Day?
On April 26, you can be a part of a rally for the arts, all on-line! No fuss, no muss! You don’t have to go to the Capitol, take time off work, get dressed up, or spend all day.

All you have to do is go to our Desktop Lobbyist on or before April 26, 2007 to send letters to your legislators asking them to support the arts.

What’s Our Goal?
Our goal is to generate at least 1000 emails to legislators by the end of the day, highlighting the importance of the arts to Minnesota. Legislators will have to sit up and take notice.

What’s Our Message?
Our message is that the arts are important to Minnesota, and we want legislators to “Restore arts funding!” and to “Support the arts and pass Senate File 6/House File 2285.” Hearings on both of these issues will be going on in April – we have just about a month to make our message heard. Passage of these initiatives could double or triple resources for the arts in Minnesota and increase access to the arts for all Minnesotans!

Who Should Participate?
Anyone who cares about the future of the arts in Minnesota.

How Do I Do It?
Go on-line anytime between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm on April 26 (or before!) and use our Desktop Lobbyist to send your message. Then, forward this alert to your friends and encourage them to join in. If we all take just five minutes on April 26, we can make a difference for the arts.

How Else Can I Help?
Starting today, forward this alert to as many friends, organizations and artists as you can, and encourage them to be a part of the Virtual Rally for the Arts. For this Virtual Rally to succeed, we’ll need the help and participation of friends of the arts from all over the state. Thank you for your help!

Every arts advocate who uses the Desktop Lobbyist between April 1, 2007and Virtual Arts Advocacy Day on April 26 will be eligible for a random drawing for one of five free MCA “Arts Advocate” T-shirt. Be one of the lucky winners and send letters to your legislators today! Only two days to go. Winners will be notified by MCA on April 27, 2007.

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4. Cool New Stuff to Support the Arts

This spring, let everyone know that you love the arts. Designer Barbara Keith has created some cool new designs to help you show your arts support. Treat yourself to a great shirt or create the perfect gift for an artsy friend’s home or office. Every purchase will support MCA. It’s easy, personalized and affordable. In a matter of moments you can create and order something unique that says:

“support the arts”
“start seeing art”
“got art?”
“Arts Advocate”
or
“Support the Arts: Take Action Now”

Visit MCA’s new online store at Cafe Press at www.cafepress.com/mnforthearts to see these great new designs.

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http://www.mtn.org/mca

Your frequently updated, one-stop site for:

• information about Minnesota Citizens for the Arts,
• how you can get involved,
• an Action Center called the DESKTOP LOBBYIST where you can write a letter to your legislator
• or even find out who your legislators are,
• facts about the arts in Minnesota,
• the latest on legislative and congressional action on arts issues
• And more!

Join Our Arts Advocacy Family

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 printing out the membership form on our website at http://www.mtn.org/mca. Individual dues are just $30, and a household membership is just $40. Thank you!

MCA values your privacy, and will not sell or distribute your personal information to anyone.

MCA is a non-partisan statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community and lobbies the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress on issues pertaining to the nonprofit arts. If you are interested in learning more about how to advocate for the arts, or how to activate people in your arts organization or community to lobby for the arts, please call us at 651-251-0868 or e-mail mca@mtn.org.

State arts funding supports access to the arts for all Minnesotans. The state-funded Minnesota State Arts Board and eleven Regional Arts Councils provide grants and services in every Minnesota county for artists, arts organizations, arts projects and school artist residencies. For more information on regional or state grants, go to http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm