5/7/03

1. Two Thousand Minnesotans Sign Arts Petition
2. Important Legislators Named to Conference Committee
3. Arts Standards Issue Heats Up
4. Recent Press Coverage of the Fight for the Arts

1. Two Thousand Minnesotans Sign Arts Petition

Yesterday, a community letter signed by 2000 Minnesotans was delivered to all 201 Minnesota legislators, as well as to Governor Pawlenty, asking that the GovernorÕs 40% cut to the arts be reduced to 14%, the actual size of the state deficit. Click here to see a copy of the completed petition.

Legislators and staff were clearly impressed by the large number of Minnesotans who had signed on to the letter. Many mentioned that they had been receiving the arts postcards and had been getting calls from constituents asking that arts funding be preserved. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition, called, or sent letters or post-cards. Your efforts have been noticed!

Legislators also said that this has been a tough year all around, and that the conference committees, soon to be named, would be a critical factor in deciding how the arts will fare this session.

2. Important Legislators Named to Conference Committee

Members of the conference committee that will determine the fate of the arts have finally been appointed. You may recall that Gov. Pawlenty proposed a 40% cut to the arts, the House proposed reducing the cut to 32%, and the Senate proposed reducing the cut to 16%. Both the House and Senate have passed their respective bills and referred them to the conference committee. It is in the conference committee that representatives from the two sides sit down to negotiate a compromise.

We are now in the home stretch. ItÕs our last chance to talk to legislators and make a difference! Below is a list of our ten Conference Committee Members and their contact info.

IF YOU LIVE IN ANY OF THESE DISTRICTS, now is the time to call your legislator. Congratulate them for being named to this important conference committee, and ask them to “Please reduce the cuts to the arts.” If they have been supportive in the past, also thank them for that support.

HOUSE APPOINTEES

Rep. David Dill, 651-296-2190. District 6A, (D) (Arrowhead Regional Arts Council area, including Grand Marias, Grand Portage, Lutsen, Beaver Bay, Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Babbitt, Cook, Duluth Township, Ely, Orr, Tower).

Rep. Tom Hackbarth, 651-296-2439. District 48A (R) (Metropolitan Regional Arts Council area, including Bethel and East Bethel, Oak Grove, Elk River).

Rep. Dennis Ozment, 651-296-4306. District 37B (R) (Metropolitan Regional Arts Council area, Apple Valley and Rosemount).

Rep. Elaine Harder, 651-296-5373. District 22B (R) (Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council area, including Worthington., Jeffers, Mountain Lake, Storden, Westbrook, Windom, Alpha, Heron Lake, Jackson, Lakefield, Okabena, Wilder, Bigelow).

Rep. Bob Gunther, 651-296-3240. District 24A (R) (Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council area, including Blue Earth, Elmore, Winnebago, Ceylon, Dunnell, Fairmont, Ormsby, Sherburn, Truman, Ormsby, St. James).
SENATE APPOINTEES

Sen. Dallas Sams, 651-297-8063. District 11 (D), (In both the Lakes Region Arts Council and Five Wings Arts Council areas, including Alexandria, Staples, Kensington, Ashby, Herman, Wendell, Chokio, Hancock, Morris, Grey Eagle, Osakis).

Sen. John Marty, 651-296-5645. District 54 (D), (Metropolitan Regional Arts Council area, including St. An-thony, Lauderdale, Roseville, Gem Lake, Little Canada, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights).

Sen. Linda Scheid, 651-296-8869. District 46, (D), (Metropolitan Regional Arts Council area, including Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center).

Sen. Steve Dille, 651-296-4131. District 18, (R), (Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council area, including Litchifield, Dassel, Hutchinson, Eden Valley, Watkins, Annandale, Howard Lake, Cokato, Winsted, Lester Prairie, Gelncoe, Stewart, Cedar Mills, Cosmos, Grove City)

Sen. Dennis Frederickson, 651-296-8138. District 21 (R), (Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council and Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council areas, including Marshall, Sleepy Eye, Redwood Falls, New Ulm, Madelia, Comfrey, Sandborn, Walnut Grove, Tracy, Florence, Taunton, Cottonwood).
IF YOU DONÕT LIVE IN ONE OF THESE DISTRICTS, and still have not yet contacted your own legislator, itÕs not too late! Please make your voice heard by calling or writing your legislators and the governor to ask them to support the arts. Click here for phone numbers and addresses of your legislators. It will only take a few minutes. (If you don’t know what district you live in, please call us at 651-251-0868.)

3. Arts Standards Issue Heats Up

It is politically necessary for many lawmakers to vote for repeal of the Profile of Learning. Some even ran for office on that platform. The issue for the arts education community is what replaces it.

The Senate proposal, which is now part of the omnibus E-12 education policy bill SF1528 repeals the Profile of Learning and provides for the arts in replacement standards. HF2, which is now part of the House omnibus education policy and appropriation bill HF1404, does not. SF1528 will put in place standards that have been worked on by best practice arts educators over an extended time. HF1404 does not.

The competing proposals are now heading towards a conference committee too. The Senate can be expected to try to uphold their proposal including the arts. The Republican House conferees all voted for omnibus HF1404. The DFL House conferee, a teacher from Dilworth on the NW edge of the state near Moorhead, did not.

To get the latest on arts education issues, sign up for the Minnesota Alliance for Arts in EducationÕs email list by sending an email to: kathleen@allarts4allkids.org now!

4. Recent Press Coverage on the Fight for the Arts

A good story on our fight to save the arts appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press yesterday: http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/columnists/5793577.htm

Also, an interesting article on economic impact of the arts in Minnesota appeared in the Minnesota Real Estate Journal:
http://www.rejournals.com/Story.cfm?Market=MN&StoryID=11514