Senate Hearing on the Arts

4/10/03

1. MN SENATE HOLDS HEARING ON THE ARTS
2. VOLUNTEER TO SAVE THE ARTS

1. MN SENATE HOLDS HEARING ON THE ARTS

Representatives of the Minnesota arts community testified Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Environment, Agriculture and Economic Development Budget Division, chaired by Sen. Dallas Sams (DFL-11-Staples). Testifiers included Robert Booker, Executive Director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, Mark Turner, the Director of the Five Wings Arts Council in Staples, and Jeff Prauer, the Executive Director of COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts) in St. Paul. All testified on how the arts are important to Minnesota’s quality of life, economy, tourism and education.

The testimony was well received. Vice Chair Scott Dibble (DFL-60) of Minneapolis noted that the state’s small investment in the arts leverages a tremendous impact on our quality of life, and sets us apart from other states in the Upper Midwest. Sen. Julie Rosen (R-24) of Fairmont proudly highlighted the Fairmont Opera House as a “wonderful and important” part of her community. Sen. Pat Pariseau (R-36) of Farmington sang the praises of the Textile Center of Minnesota, wishing that a similar organization existed in her community.

This was a preliminary hearing. The committee did not take any votes on the arts.

NEXT STEP: In the next week, the House and Senate committees will start passing budget bills. We are hoping that both sides will reduce the Governor’s proposed 40% cut to the arts to only 14%, the actual size of the state’s deficit. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Call or write your legislator! Send in your postcards! Volunteer! Details on all below.

2. VOLUNTEER TO SAVE THE ARTS TIME IS SHORT! VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

PHONEBANK CAMPAIGN: MCA needs your help contacting arts advocates to urge them to call their legislators about cuts to arts funding. Can you volunteer on one of these dates?

Thur. April 10, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Sat. April 12, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Mon. April 21, 5:30 -8:00 pm
Tue. April 22, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Wed. April 23, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Thu. April 24, 5:30 – 8:00 pm

Location: MCA Office, 2233 University Ave W. #355, St. Paul (three blocks east of the intersection of University and Raymond).
Please RSVP to Geri at mca@mtn.org or 651-251-0868. We’ll provide you with all the info you need, snacks, beverages, and UNDYING APPRECIATION!