From our friends at the North Carolina Arts Council:
Last night the Senate released its Biennium budget for 2013-2015. We are profoundly disappointed and concerned that Senate leadership has disproportionately targeted the North Carolina Arts Council for debilitating cuts of $1.78 million to the grants programs and administration.
This recommendation represents a 8% reduction in support of the North Carolina Arts Council for the Biennium budget and is significantly more than any other agency in the Cultural Resources budget recommendations. This reduction follows a pattern of dismantling the North Carolina Arts Council as the agency has experienced a 37% reduction in per capita funding over the past six years. We must speak up and voice our outrage at these recommendations.
It is evident that this action was intentional. The North Carolina Arts Council was the agency in Cultural Resources most affected by the Senate’s budget proposal. Some agencies received no reductions at all.
Today the Senate General Government will meet at 4pm. It is imperative that we ask the Senate budget leadership to go on record explaining this targeted and devastating cut to arts funding that reaches all 100 counties while some single institutions and other grant programs were left unscathed. Staff will be on hand to hear their responses and will report back to the field.
By 4pm today, Monday May 20, please call Senator Pete Brunstetter’s office at 919-733-7850 and leave this message:
We are very disappointed in the disproportionate cuts in the Senate budget to the North Carolina Arts Council which represents an 8% reduction in agency support over the two year budget. We respectfully request an explanation of this action.
It is unlikely that the Senate General Government Committee will meet again after today. The Senate budget is scheduled to pass without amendment this week and move to the House. Advocates should expect intensive Call to Action requests restore the funding in the House budget. Please TAKE ACTION NOW so that Senate leadership must go on record for their actions.
Ok loyal blog readers, go grab your telephone!