We Did It!
The budget is done and it is now official: We saved funding for the arts in RI! Thank you for all your work and support in helping us make this happen. On June 3 and 4, the Finance Committee's proposed budget was debated in the full Assembly. The cuts proposed by Governor Carcieri earlier this year - 1% for the Arts public art program, the Film Tax credit, and $700,000 in grant dollars through RI State Council on the Arts - have been restored in the Assembly's budget!
Power Line Up for House Finance Hearing
On Wednesday, May 5, a power line up will join us at the State House to testify on behalf of preserving funding for RI State Council on the Arts. The group includes Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, National Poetry Out Loud Winner Amber Rose Johnson, local knowledge economy innovator and co-founder of Betaspring, Allan Tear, and small creative business owner Kevin Cunningham of Spirare Surfboards. View the full line up »
This is the most important hearing of the year. The Governor proposed near elimination of RISCA's grant funding pool - the funds that go directly to non-profit arts organizations, individual artists and small creative businesses, and school districts and municipalities throughout Rhode Island for arts education programs.
Sign up for our email alerts to stay up-to-date on efforts to restore funding.
Update on Cut of Public Art
A Positive Move for Public Art! But it's not over!
On March 15, the Governor backed off from his proposal to eliminate the 1% for the Arts Public Art program in a memo sent to legislative leaders. See the Providence Journal article that highlights this move, while covering our Arts Advocacy Day event.
While this is great news for the arts - it is still up to the Assembly to make the decision to restore the cut. We have heard positive comments from both House and Senate Finance on restoring the Public Art program, and recognize their consistent support for the arts over the years - but this fight isn't over! The decision to restore is part of the larger budget process currently underway in the House and Senate Finance Committees, and will only be known to us once their respective budgets are announced.
Legislators still need to hear from YOU! If you have not made contact with your lawmaker, please do so immediately! And keep this public art update in mind when you make your calls!
Arts Advocacy Day Highlights
On Tuesday, March 16, Arts Advocacy Day at the State House was clearly a day for the arts and creativity. Artists, arts leaders, advocates and business leaders gathered in and outside the Governor's State Room on the 2nd floor. Early on in the day's event, a group of advocates learned the tricks of the trade with a brief training session facilitated by Lori Fresina from M+R Strategic Services. A wine and cheese reception set the tone for the upcoming speaking program. Read more here »
Governor Proposes Severe Cuts to the Arts
The Governor's FY11 recommended budget announced at a press conference on Tuesday, Feb 2 recommends elimination of the public art program, the film tax credit and state discretionary grant funds, a total cut of 58%. If enacted, these cuts will have a devistating affect on the creative community and beyond. They will cause a severe hit to the many arts and cultural institutions in our state that liven our cities, attract businesses and jobs, hire locally, buy locally and contribute largely to our economic well-fare.
The Providence Journal released these details in the Tuesday, February 2nd, article "Details of Carcieri’s Budget Emerge".
On February 8, the Providence Journal followed up with a front page story: “Arts Help Economy, Supporters Say as Carcieri Considers Spending Cuts”
Unfortunately, there is a major error in the story. The New England Foundation for the Arts number is actually $750,368,565. Not just $750K as the story reports. BIG DIFFERENCE.
See community leaders' reaction in the RI CFA press release (pdf).
We need you NOW! This cut serves as a wake up call to the creative community. To all employed in and/or supportive of the arts and creative sectors in Rhode Island: We must act quickly to fend off similar fate in the Assembly. Become a member today and help us do this work!
RI Citizens for the Arts will be working with members of the Assembly to right this wrong and our effectiveness depends on YOU - our grassroots advocates, coalition partners, business leaders, artists, designers, patrons, organization leaders, and more. We will be the hub of information, training and mobilization.
We Have the Facts:
Now let's get together and bring our message to the Assembly.
- Every $1 invested by the state through RI State Council on the Arts leverages another $21.55 in outside funds.
- Nonprofit arts and cultural organization in Providence alone generate $111.8 million annually in local economic activity: hotel stays, restaurants, shopping. That's the ripple effect of the arts!
- There are 2,250 creative industry businesses in Rhode Island registered with Dun & Bradstreet.
- These businesses employ more than 11,842 people.
- The sector grew between 2007 and 2008 by 5.1% while other sectors declined.
- These are businesses and jobs at stake.
Read more facts about "Making the Case for the Arts and Creative Industries Sector" (pdf). Let's get together and bring our message to the Assembly.
We'll be calling you to action soon - be sure to be signed up for our email alerts and to check back here often for updates!
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