A heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you who took time over the past few months to call or e-mail your state representatives and stood up for the arts in North Carolina. We received some good news today—the fruit of our labors. Please consider thanking your representatives for listening to those of us who value the arts in our great state.
From Arts North Carolina:
The Biennium Budget (2013-2015) is expected to pass the House and Senate today, and arts advocates across the state should take a moment to relish a very good piece of news. In spite of recommended cuts to the grants programs of the North Carolina Arts Council ($96,000 recommended from the House, $1,250,000 recommended from the Senate), THE FINAL BUDGET DOES NOT REDUCE GRANTS AMOUNTS FROM THE CURRENT YEAR’S FUNDING OF $5.6 MILLION IN STATE FUNDING!!!!!!!!
This is the result of your having established and deepened relationships with Legislators, a core group of arts Legislative Champions, hard work on the part of DCR staff, and the new relationships established in the Legislature through our lobbyist, Jimmy Broughton. Congratulations to everyone who believes and took action to ensure that all communities have the opportunity to prosper because of quality arts programs. The following link will give you specific names of Legislators who served on Appropriations Committees and should be thanked by all of us. Include a thank you to your own Representative and Senator if they are different from the Appropriations list. A word of appreciation is the most effective advocacy.
On the not so good news front, the budget also calls for a $250,000 administrative cut to the North Carolina Arts Council and a $150,000 Management Flexibility cut to DCR. One of our challenges going forward is to articulate the value of our state agency beyond the grants making functions. We believe that once the Legislators understand the programs and services that are not directly related to grants, we will find more support and affirmation of the agency. Top of the list for next year’s messaging!
As always, there’s more work to do…