arts alert: State Budget Deficit Threatens the Arts

MCA
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts

2233 University Ave. W. #355
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-251-0868 fax 651-917-3561
staff at mncitizensforthearts.org
www.mncitizensforthearts.org
Arts Action Center

January 16, 2009

1. State Deficit Threatens the Arts

2. What Will Happen With Amendment Funds?

3. Save the Date! Arts Advocacy Day will be Feb. 24, 2009

4. Interns Wanted at MCA

5. Photographers Wanted for Arts Advocacy Day

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1. State Deficit Threatens the Arts

The legislative session has begun and the big topic is what to do with the historic state deficit, which is near $5 billion and rising. This week we had our first hearing in the House Cultural and Outdoors Resources Finance Division, chaired by Rep. Mary Murphy. The committee has been charged with figuring out both how much to appropriate to the arts for the next two years, and also how to divide up the new resources we’ve created by passing the constitutional amendment. Everyone is anxiously awaiting Governor Pawlenty’s budget recommendations which will come out on Jan. 27. With many items said to be off the table – veteran’s benefits, public safety, and K-12 education, for starters, the rest of the budget is expected to suffer big cuts. Our mission will be to protect the $10.2 million the state currently appropriates to the State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils, which go out in grants and services to all 87 Minnesota counties. It is expected that this will be a very tough fight, and we need everyone’s help to make sure that arts funding for the next two years isn’t slashed. The last time the state had a big deficit like this in 2003, they cut a third of arts funding. That is why it’s important for YOU to attend Arts Advocacy Day on Feb. 24. See below for more details.

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2. What Will Happen With Amendment Funds?

On election day, Minnesotans approved a once in a lifetime investment in the arts. Passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is expected to create anywhere from $50 to $60 million annually to support the arts, arts access, arts education and history. Unfortunately, these resources won’t be available for a while. The new tiny increase in the state sales tax starts in July, 2009, and then the funds raised by the tax will need to accumulate in the new Arts and Culture Fund before they can be spent. In addition to Rep. Mary Murphy’s committee in the House noted above, our appropriation and the Amendment resources will be considered in Sen. David Tomassoni’s Economic Development and Housing Division in the Senate. Our position is that the legislature should, as we have been discussing for several years, appropriate at least 50% of the new resources from the amendment to the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils, so that it does indeed reach every MN county and is not diverted to some other, unknown purpose. This will be another major goal on Arts Advocacy Day on Feb. 24.

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3. Save the Date! Arts Advocacy Day will be Feb. 24, 2009

Join us at the Capitol on Feb. 24 for another fun Arts Advocacy Day. Last year arts advocates got to watch history in the making as both the House and Senate pass the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment on to Minnesota voters. Who knows what amazing things will happen this year?

The day starts early at 8:00 a.m. at the Minnesota History Center with a First Timers Orientation, followed at 8:30 by the rally, general orientation and mass photo of attendees. By 9:30 we are sorting ourselves into teams by legislative district, and, led by an experienced Team Leader, march up to the Capitol for individual meetings with legislators.

Previous participants have reported that the best things about Arts Advocacy Day is the chance to hang out with 400 artists and arts advocates who agree with them, and to feel like they have had a part in making the world a better place for the arts.

SIGN UP TODAY AT: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=LuTifG9UsbZ0R18HmcJAsA_3d_3d Sign up deadline is Feb. 20.

**NOTE FOR GREATER MN ADVOCATES: HOTEL ROOMS FOR ADVOCACY DAY* *
Book Now! If you are coming a long distance and want a room at $79.00, you must book by January 23rd. After that date the Holiday Inn, which is close to the capitol, cannot guarantee rooms or rates. To make a reservation call 651.731.222 and let them know you are with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

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4. Interns Wanted at MCA

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA), a nationally renowned arts advocacy organization that lobbies and organizes on behalf of the arts in MN, seeks an intern to begin as soon as possible.

MCA represents the arts community of Minnesota at the state legislature and lobbies for state funding of the arts, as well as other issues of concern to the non-profit arts community. MCA also does advocacy for the National Endowment for the Arts. To lobby effectively, MCA organizes grassroots advocacy around the state and keeps constituents educated and informed about the political process and the current state of arts funding throughout the year. MCA\\’s most recent success came with the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which dedicates funding to the arts through the Minnesota Constitution. Our staff and board worked closely with the Vote Yes Campaign to educate voters throughout Minnesota about the amendment and its importance to the future of the arts in Minnesota. Because the funding for the amendment will not be disbursed until at least 2010, MCA\\’s focus this year and next will be to help maintain current arts funding levels and avoid any major cuts. As an intern at MCA, you will be part of that process by helping staff in the office and at Arts Advocacy Day.

Interns will have exposure to and opportunities to interact with some of the movers and shakers in the arts community, as well as a working knowledge of the legislative process, arts funding structures in Minnesota and the basic functions of running a nonprofit. This is a very rewarding volunteer experience with flexible, part-time hours.

Duties and projects included in the internship: Work with staff on current projects including grassroots organizing, candidate meetings, various arts advocacy projects, board meeting preparation, filing, phone calling and data entry. Help organize Arts Advocacy Day at the State Capitol; schedule legislative appointments, prepare materials to be used at advocacy day, work with staff to ensure a positive experience for arts advocates. A qualified applicant would possess the following skills: Understanding of the political process. Past political experience a plus. Interest in working with the arts community. Good communication skills, especially speaking with people on the phone. A self-starting, positive, self-motivated personality and a sense of humor. Good organizational skills and the ability to perform many tasks simultaneously. Computer literacy; preferably experience with Macintosh, Microsoft Word & Excel and database systems. Independent and creative work habits.

APPLY NOW. Please mail or email resume and cover letter by January 30, 2009 to: Mark Albers, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, 2233 University Avenue West, Suite 355, St. Paul, MN 55114, staff at mncitizensforthearts.org

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5. Photographers Wanted for Arts Advocacy Day

We need photographers and a videographer for AD DAY ’09. Experienced photographers and videographer are needed to snap photos and take video of the action at Arts Advocacy Day 2009. This is an exciting job because you get to shoot artists, arts advocates and legislators as well as show your support for the arts! Last year Avye Alexandres took great photos, which you can check out on mncitizens forthearts Facebook page. We are offering a one year membership to MCA for absolutely free and a “Got Art?” T-shirt of your size. Please contact Shaylie at MCA, shaylie@mncitizensforthearts.org or 651-251-0868.