Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Knocks their Socks Off

04/26/05

ADVOCACY:

1. Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Knocks their Socks Off

2. Mail your Postcards to Legislators Today!

UPDATES:

3. Announcing the Winner of the “GOT ART?” T-Shirt Contest

4. Shubert Theater Receives Funding from Bonding Bill

5. Arts Education Consortium of Minnesota Update

1. Virtual Arts Advocacy Day Knocks their Socks Off

Wow! That was fun. In just 24 hours on April 20, Minnesota’s arts community generated 1230 emails to the legislature to support the arts. This included 1078 messages about the arts appropriation and 152 messages in support of the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

Did it do us any good? You bet! On Friday both the House and Senate funding committees passed appropriations bills that did what we asked – to support Gov. Pawlenty’s recommendation for stable arts funding. Because of the state’s budget deficit, the legislature is cutting all kinds of programs, but thanks to your help and the work of the MCA Board, the arts were protected. So, THANKS, guys! You are great!

What happens next? The bills go through the Ways and Means Committee in the House and the Finance Committee in the Senate, on their way to their respective floors, and then onto Conference Committee. We’ll keep you updated as we go along. Because we still have many hurdles to cross, it’s not too late to send letters in support of the arts to your legislators! You can do it today by clicking here:

To continue to support the arts as we progress through these committees, we are also launching a postcard campaign:

2. Mail your Postcards to Legislators Today!

If you are on MCA’s snail-mailing list, you should receive a set of bright green postcards in the next few days. Waste no time in sending them in to your legislators! Your mailing label will tell you who your legislators are, all you have to do is fill in their name, write your name, and throw on a stamp. It should be really easy. We have 3000 extra postcard sets here in the office if you want to get some to give to your friends, family, co-workers or audiences. Just give Jane a call at 651-251-0868 or at field@mtn.org or stop by the office to get some. PLEASE MAIL YOUR CARDS BY MAY 1. There is no time to lose!

3. Announcing the Winner of the “GOT ART?” T-Shirt Contest

Congratulations to Susannah Dodge, the winner of MCA’s “Got Art” t-shirt contest! As part of MCA’s annual Arts Advocacy Day at the State Capitol, partipants were invited to use MCA’s “Got Art?” iron-on decals to make a personal statement about their support for the arts, and enter MCA’s “Got Art?” t-shirt contest. Arts Advocates from throughout the state voted for their favorite shirt. Susannah received a total of 60 votes for her handmade, stylish shirt. She will receive one of our fabulous “Arts Advocate” welcome mats. MCA would like to thank everyone who participated in the contest: we were amazed at all of the creative entries. To view our gallery of all the “Got Art?” contest participants, visit mnartists.org.

4. Shubert Theater Receives Funding from Bonding Bill

After many years of work, the Shubert Theater succeeded in getting $1 million in planning funds from the bonding bill this month. Congratulations to Artspace for this success. Unfortunately, other arts projects such as the Ordway renovation project were not funded. The bonding bill funds building projects for the state of regional or statewide impact. Projects receiving bonding funds must be owned by a unit of government. The money that goes to these projects is of a different type and is in a different committee from the funds that we seek as a community to fund the arts statewide. Just so you know, MCA does not lobby for bonding projects.

5. Arts Education Consortium of Minnesota Update

In This Issue:

A. Arts Education Consortium of Minnesota (AEC) is Formed

B. The AEC’s First Community Meeting

C. URGENT: Perpich Center for Arts Education Funding Threatened

D. AEC Position Statements

E. How to Become More Involved

A. Arts Education Consortium of Minnesota (AEC) is Formed

The Arts Education Consortium of Minnesota (AEC) was formed by a group of organizations and individuals representing educators and artists that work in arts education in Minnesota. Representing educators and teaching artists in dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual art, the mission of AEC is: To Promote and advocate for comprehensive and sequential arts education for all Minnesota students which achieves active engagement in and through the arts. The AEC steering committee is comprised of representatives from:

American Alliance for Theatre and Education
Art Educators of Minnesota
Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota
Dance Educators Coalition
Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
Minnesota Music Educators Association
VSA Arts of Minnesota
(The Perpich Center for Arts Education serves as a resource to the AEC).
B. The AEC’s First Community Meeting

The AEC held its first community meeting at the Perpich Center for Arts Education a few weeks ago. It was an opportunity for consortium members to come together to share ideas and concerns and for people unfamiliar with the consortium to learn of its mission, meet its representatives and to meet Dan Tjornehoj who has been contracted to be the lobbyist for the AEC. Mary Schaefle, Executive Director of the Minnesota Music Educators of Minnesota, chaired the meeting.

C. URGENT: Perpich Center for Arts Education Funding Threatened

The Governor has pledged to increase education funding. However, he is recommending a 2.6% decrease in funding for the Perpich Center for Arts Education. This proposed reduction comes on the heels of a 15% cutback in the previous biennium. Further cuts in funding for education, including arts education, can only mean that the average Minnesota student will be afforded fewer educational opportunities at a time when they are faced with increased pressure to succeed in the classroom. Many studies confirm that arts education is vital to studentsÕ cognitive, social and emotional development. Send a letter to your legislator today asking them to increase funding for the Perpich Center for Arts Education. While education funding is expected to receive a 2-3% increase in budget, the Perpich Center for Arts Education budget is being reduced. Also send a letter to your legislator in support of the increase to the education budget. The overall increase will, in part, support arts education in the schools. The legislature is in the process of setting the budget for the next two fiscal years including funding for the Perpich Center. Consequently, it is important that any proposed legislation highlight the need and importance of funding the Perpich Center for Arts Education.

How to Send a Letter: Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) has made available its web based program that enables you to easily and efficiently send letters to your legislators. Legislators listen to their constituents, so go to the DESKTOP LOBBYIST. Just click on this link and you will be taken through the process. For further help, you may call Sheila Smith, Executive Director, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, at 651-251-0868.

D. AEC Position Statements

During this legislative session and after the session closes in May, the AEC has determined that it must focus its energies on five key issues:

An increase in the funding of arts education programs is necessary to meet the federal and state requirements, and to ensure that every child has an opportunity to learn in and through the arts.
The Perpich Center for Arts Education must be appropriated sufficient funds to successfully achieve its mission.
The arts have been acknowledged as a core subject at the federal, state and local level. We request that the state hold schools accountable to the arts education standards.
We support the inclusion of all arts areas under the definition of “highly qualified” educator.
We seek separate licensure status for dance and theatre in addition to combined licensure.
E. How to Become More Involved

The AEC is not a formal organization. Rather it is a loose affiliation of educators, artists and organizations passionate about the importance of arts education to Minnesota’s children. If you have ideas, concerns or need more information you may contact any one the members of the AEC Steering Committee:

Steve Barberio (AATE): sbarberio@mn.rr.com

Colleen Callahan (DEC): dec@pconline.com

Craig Dunn (VSA Arts): craig.vsarts@bcmn.com

Tom Gale (Alliance): tgale@mn.rr.com

Kathy Gerdts-Senger (AEM): kathleen.gerdts-senger@isd742.org

Jill Lofald (CTAM): jill.lofald@duluth.k12.mn.us

Kevin Nitzberg (AEM): knitzber@ties2.net

Doug Orzolek (MMEA): dcorzolek@stthomas.edu

Bob Ouren (MMEA): bob_ouren@rdale.k12.mn.us

Mary Schaefle (MMEA): Schaefle@mmea.org

Sheila Smith (MCA): she-mca@mtn.org

Dan Tjornehoj (AEC): dtjorneh@pressenter.com

You may also contact a member of the Perpich Center for Arts Education staff for research and resources related to arts education programs and policies:

Mike Hiatt: michael.hiatt@pcae.k12.mn.us

Virginia McFerran: virginia.mcferran@pcae.k12.mn.us

Pam Paulson: pam.paulson@pcae.k12.mn.us

Finally, you may make a donation to the work of the AEC by sending a check to Minnesota Music Educators Association, which serves as the fiscal agent for the AEC. Be sure to designate your donation for arts education advocacy. Send your check to: Minnesota Music Educators Association 6860 Shingle Creek Pkwy #103 Brooklyn Center, MN 55430.

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 issue
And more!