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RI Citizens for the Arts (RI CFA) announces positive growth trends in creative industry jobs and businesses in Rhode Island. The annual Creative Industries in Rhode Island report shows the creative sector in RI added 770 jobs (or 6%) and 460 new businesses (or 16%) between 2011 and 2012. A six year trend, beginning in 2007 when the stateís recession hit, shows a strong and steadily growing industry sector, despite economic hard times. According to the report, based on Dun & Bradstreet registered businesses, the period from 2007Ė2012 shows overall a 52% gain in creative sector businesses and 13% gain in creative sector jobs in both nonprofit and for profit industries.

Creativive Industries Trend in Rhode Island - 2012 Report (pdf) »
Rhode Island Creative Sector Growth 2007 thru 2012 (pdf) »



Details on Governor Chafee's Proposal for the Arts in FY13 Budget
Funds flow through RI State Council on the Arts and out to the community in a number of ways, including through discretionary grants (those applied for and awarded after review of application by jury) and legislative/community service grants (those given direct to organizations from the legislature). This year, in his proposal for FY13, Governor Chafee seeks to make relative changes to these two categories, while holding even and increasing in other areas of the budget.

Discretionary and legislative grants
In the early 1990s, an administrative policy was established that required recipients of both legislative grants and RISCA discretionary grants to choose between the two. In his FY13 budget, we understand Governor Chafee is seeking to reestablish this policy, thus explaining a $10,000 cut to RISCA discretionary grants. While some arts organizations receive legislative/community service grants, these are among the many other non-arts grants in the same category. For FY13, Governor Chafee proposes a statewide reduction of 25% in all legislative grants. The arts grants pass through RISCA, thus showing a $90,556 cut in the budget.

Hold even staff, and increase overall
Further in Governor Chafee's FY13 budget, he proposes a hold even on personnel and administrative costs, and no reduction in staffing. The Rhode Island Film & Television Office (a division of RISCA) maintains a level budget though the Gov does propose changes to the Motion Picture Film Tax Credit, with no financial impact.

Finally, the Governor's budget shows an increase in public art projects that will be completed in FY13.

Overall, these changes amount to an increase in RISCA's total budget from $3.08 million to $3.43 million, mostly due to the public art projects, which are part of the 1% for public art program bringing funds through RISCA from from other areas of the state budget.

THE LATEST: The House and Senate Finance Hearings for RISCA's budget were heard on March 8 and 22, respectively. As in the past, RI CFA and RISCA put together a team of testifiers and many of you joined us in the hearing room. As we came out relatively positive in the Governor's budget this year, the hearings were more a chance to thank legislators for their past support, showcase again the value of the state's investment through the good work of the agency's grantees.

Arts organizations that receive community service grants were asked to submit a report to the House Finance committee in March, and were then called to testify on behalf of their specific grant on April 11 and 12.

NEXT STEPS: The Revenue & Caseload Estimate Conference is scheduled for April 27 - May 10. This conference reveals the current and next year caseloads for certain social service agencies, and the economic conditions in the state and current and projected revenues. These figures feed the final decisions the General Assembly makes to set the FY13 budget.

After this time, we'll expect to see the Finance Committees recommendations to the full House and Senate. This recommendation will dictate our next steps on action for the arts budget.

MOTION PICTURE Film Tax Credit Program

There's been a lot of movement on this program this year, and all positive. The Governor included adjustments to the program in his FY13 budget, and there are a couple of bills in the House and Senate that seeks to make similar changes, and even expand the credit.

You can check out notes on the Governor's proposal (page 3).

Thanks to Senators Miller, Goodwin, Ruggierio, Jabour, Perry and Pichardo and Reps Blazejewski, Ucci, Petrarca, Bennett and Hull - bills to adjust the credit in a positive way are in the works. This includes lowering the threshold for eligibility to $100,000, raising the cap to $40 million and including a provision for documentary filmmaking. Stay tuned as these bills move to hearings.


President Obama's FY13 Budget Request
On February 13, the Obama Administration released its FY13 Budget Request to Congress which includes funding for the nationís cultural agencies and programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the Smithsonian Institution.

The request - including $154 million for National Endowment for the Arts - is an $8 million boost for the agency. In the past two years, the NEA has dropped almost $22 million, well below the agency's last high budget in 1992 at $176 million. Read more about the proposal on American for the Arts' ARTSblog.

In addition to the NEA request, IMLS was funded at $232 million (nearly level funding) and the Smithsonian budget was increased to approximately $856 million (including nearly $200 million for faciliites/improvements.

National Arts Advocacy Day
More than 500 grassroots supporters from around the country took to Capital Hill in Washington, DC with a pro-arts message on April 17 as part of National Arts Advocacy Day. Our team from Rhode Island included Flannery Patton from Alliance for Artist Communities and Michael Beareguard from the Rickman Group. Yvonne Seggerman from the Gamm Theatre was there on behalf of the Theatre Communications Group. The team met with individually with our Congressional leaders and their policy staffers. The national yearly event featured a Congressional Arts Kick Off, sponsored by Americans for the Arts and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

As state captain, RI CFA participates in monthly calls around the national arts agenda, and coordinates these visits with Congressional leaders on Arts Advocacy Day.

U.S. Department of Education's New Arts Education Report

On April 2, the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a new report presenting information on the availability and characteristics of arts education programs throughout the country. The study found:
  • While music and visual art are widely available in some form, six percent of the nationís public elementary schools offer no specific instruction in music, and 17 percent offer no specific instruction in the visual arts.
  • Nine percent of public secondary schools reported that they did not offer music, and 11 percent did not offer the visual arts.
  • Only three percent offer any specific dance instruction and only four percent offer any specific theatre instruction in elementary schools. In secondary schools the numbers improve somewhat as 12 percent offer dance and 45 percent offer theatre. Sadly, the study was unable to survey dance and theatre specialists because the data sample didnít have sufficient contact information in those disciplines.

Read the article from Narric Rome, American for the Arts' Senior Director of Federal Affairs & Arts Education.


WPRI: Rhode Island pushes to help economy

Providence Business News: Tear, Ryherd win $300K innovation grants

CNN: Is there a bias against creativity?

New Statesman: Creative Industries are Stronger than Ever

The Creativity Post: Creativity is the Key Skill for the 21st Century

Providence Business News: Arts Council Members Confirmed, Chair Tapped New RISCA Grants to Fund Thousands of RI Artists

Providence Business News: Providence Gets Funding to Liven Kennedy Plaza

The Providence Journal: Artists Pencil in a Little Creativity on Providence Billboards

Huffington Post:  The Future of the Arts/The Future of America

Huffington Post:  Measuring Creativity in California and the Nation  Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning Americaís Future Through Creative Schools  Business Leaders Offer State Senators Advice

NY Times: Rhode Islandís Medicaid Experiment Becomes a Talking Point for Budget Cutters

Visit our Advocacy Toolkit page to download all the tools you need to talk with your legislators and advocate to preserve arts funding and promote positive change in the arts, design and creative sector in Rhode Island.

Lisa Carnevale Talks Creative Sector

New creative business spaces will soon be available at the latest project of Partnership for Creative Industrial Space (PCIS) at Butcher Block Mill. RI CFA Executive Director Lisa Carnevale spoke to videographer Ryan Conaty about it on the day of their preview celebration, highlighting how access to space continues to grow this sector in Rhode Island. Special thanks to Ryan for a great piece, and PCIS/Butcher Block Mill for their generosity.

"What THOSE People Eat: The Official Cookbook of RI Citizens for the Arts" - Buy it Today!

RI CFA's inaugural cookbook is a collection of tried and true recipes that are sure to please and bring a little fun along the way. This year, we are putting it out there (sometimes literally) in hopes you'll tap into your own creativity, enjoy some quality bites, and share these good eats with your family and friends.

All proceeds benefit RI Citizens for the Arts.
Books at $8 each + shipping.
Look inside | Purchase


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