From our friends at ARTS North Carolina:
As the NC General Assembly closes up shop for the 2015-2017 Biennium Session, we turn our attention to you, our stalwart advocates, to express our admiration and respect for your diligent, intelligent, and passionate arts advocacy that carried the day for our industry.
Counting the $500,000 increase in Grassroots Arts Funds for 2016-2017, the Biennium budget included a total increase of $800,000 non-recurring funding for Grassroots Arts. These funds are distributed to all 100 counties and helps provide a diverse menu of arts opportunities and impact: festivals, arts in schools, administration overhead, sub-grants to community agencies, concerts…the list goes on.
In addition, the Legislature allocated a total of $715,422 for A+ Schools. All total, the NC General Assembly increased arts funding in the 2015 – 2017 Biennium budget by $1,515,422 or a 14 percent increase in funding for grants and programs at the North Carolina Arts Council.
Pat yourself on the back, and then let’s get started on what’s next!
Your Thank-You Notes Make a Difference.
Throughout the years, we have often heard that arts advocates do the “best” job of thanking their Legislators. The last time we heard that? From a House Sub-Committee in the current session that initiated the recommendation for this year’s successful $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts Funding.
Help ensure next year’s agenda, which is already in the making–one that will be the most ambitious in Arts North Carolina’s history. Here’s how:
- Express your appreciation to the House/Senate leadership listed below.
- If your own Legislator is not on this list, write to that person as well.
- Communication can be short.
- Hard copy letters have a much longer shelf life and are actually read, even if they do not come from a Legislator’s district.
- If you must email, be sure and put “Thank You” in the subject line or if the person is your Legislator, indicate “Thank you from your district.”
- Tell the Legislators what this money means to your place and people.
- Tell them you will invite and keep them informed of programs made possible by the funding, then make sure you do so.
- Always, thank them for their service to North Carolina.
The primary recipients of appreciation should be the following:
- Senator Phil Berger – President Pro Tempore (Guilford and Rockingham Counties)
- Senator Harry Brown (Jones and Onslow Counties)
- Senator Kathy Harrington (Gaston County)
- Senator Brent Jackson (Duplin, Johnston, and Sampson Counties)
- Senator Andrew C. Brock (Davie, Iredell, and Rowan Counties)
- Senator Bill Cook (Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Pasquotank, and Perquimans Counties)
- Senator Trudy Wade (Guilford County)
- Representative & House Speaker Tim Moore (Cleveland County)
- Representative Nelson Dollar (Wake County)
- Representative Linda P. Johnson (Cabarrus County)
- Representative Donny Lambeth (Forsyth County)
- Representative Chuck McGrady (Henderson County)
- Representative Jimmy Dixon (Duplin and Wayne Counties)
- Representative Pat McElrath (Carteret and Jones Counties)
- Representative Roger West (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, and Macon Counties)
Click here to find your legislators (if not on the above list) and write to them, too.
As always, thank you for being a part of our action network.