arts alert: Historic Victory for the Arts!

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
2233 University Ave. W. #355
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-251-0868 fax 651-917-3561
staff at
Arts Action Center

November 5, 2008


Dear Mark:

Wow! It’s hard to find the words to thank all of the wonderful arts advocates who were a part of our historic victory last night.

Did you know that the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment got more votes than our new president, Barack Obama, in Minnesota? We received 56% of the statewide vote. What a resounding affirmation that Minnesotans value the arts, the great outdoors, and our state’s wonderful quality of life.

This amendment was the only statewide ballot initiative for the arts in the entire country on election day.

Realize this: you have put the arts into Minnesota’s constitution. No other state has dedicated funding for the arts and culture in their constitution*. You have created dedicated funding for arts, arts education, and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. This dedicated funding will be available for 25 years.

This is what you would call a game changer. Other states will be looking at what Minnesota has accomplished with this amendment and seeking to replicate it.

And it’s because our extraordinary arts community rolled up their sleeves and got to work. And because the MCA Board had the vision to commit our organization to accomplishing this amazing feat. And because we were part of a historic, Minnesota-style coalition of hundreds of arts, conservation and environmental organizations who made it happen.

On Monday night, Nov. 10, MCA will be holding our regularly scheduled Annual Meeting at the Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis at 5:30 p.m. We will reflect upon and celebrate this historic moment, and show the winners of the Vote Yes! Film Contest. And we will raise a glass in honor of this great arts community. If you want to join us, please R.S.V.P. to, or 651-251-0868.

So, again, thank you.

Sheila Smith
Executive Director
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

*according to my research. If you can find a mention of the arts in any other state’s constitution, I want to know about it! All I could find was in the Massachusetts constitution, written by John Adams, which mentions the arts as part of what the state should provide as part of a complete education.