May 24, 2004
Take Action to Stop Funding Cuts In Michigan!
$10 Million Cut From ARTS Budget for Arts and Cultural Organizations
Arts Action Alert - Immediate Advocacy Needed!
Immediate attention is needed to address the current situation in Lansing, MI, concerning the Michigan state ARTS budget. A proposal by the House Republicans proposing a $10 million cut to the arts grants (in addition to other cuts) was approved on May 19, 2004, according to the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies
The House rejected Governor Jennifer Granholm's proposed 75-cent per pack cigarette tax hike Wednesday and then in a startling move passed $266.6 million in spending cuts - including $10 million for grants to arts and cultural organizations. Michigan faces a deficit in the current fiscal year of up to $300 million and for the 2004-05 year that begins October 1 of more than $1 billion.
It is imperative that you take the time TODAY to send a letter or fax to your State Senator, House Member and Governor Granholm expressing your indignation that arts grants are again being targeted for elimination. We implore you to state that no reductions be taken from the arts budget while outlining all that you do to impact the economy and improve the quality of life in your communities. It is essential that we reach our elected officials now.
We've included MACAA's talking points below, along with web links to find contact information for your state senators and state house of representatives. Please forward this e-mail to your friends, fellow actors and stage managers, theatre board members, arts patrons and others who will help make sure that our legislators hear from us about this issue.
Please forward a copy of your correspondence to us at MACAA, 107 Miller Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104 or email@example.com
Find and connect to your state officials by clicking the links below:
We encourage you to use the CAPWIZ program to take action. This program is supported by Artserve Michigan, our state arts advocacy organization. For more information visit www.macaa.com.
- We strongly urge that no reductions be made to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Instead, we hope you will look to the arts as a dynamic investment towards economic recovery and growth.
- We recognize the State faces tremendous challenges, and the arts community has shared the burden and have worked hard to make strides forward despite the impact of the current financial situation.
- Arts and cultural organizations experienced a significantly disproportionate reduction during the establishment of the current year budget and we are concerned about the field's ability to continue its positive momentum if those challenges become even greater.
- The reductions to arts and cultural organizations that have already been implemented are affecting the priorities and initiatives through education and economic development that are the cornerstone of a strong and vibrant Michigan.
- Arts and Culture activities are part of the integral fabric of the overall quality of life for residents and visitors in the State of Michigan. The arts and culture industry:
- Contributes to the educational process in schools, colleges, universities and continuing educational programs;
- Is an engine in economic development activities and growth of cities, townships and villages across our state;
- Enhances the potential for success in community development initiatives
- Is a stimulating and magnetic force for activities in creative communities;
- And creates full and part-time jobs for thousands in the state.
- Investment in the arts helps communities enhance their appeal to current and future residents alike.
- Arts and culture programs and experiences are essential to developing lively environments in which people want to live and work-places where creative thinking, adaptation and problem-solving skills can be valued and nurtured.
- The Governor's "Cool Cities" initiative describes places where arts and culture thrive and young people want to stay or return to help forge a new future for Michigan. We concur that these benefits, as well as the ability to generate civic engagement and support economic development, make arts and culture primary assets for the State of Michigan.
- We stand united with the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Michigan League for Human Services to urge you to investigate and achieve sufficient state and federal revenue bases to mitigate harmful budget reductions in the areas of the arts; K-12 education; higher education; environment and natural resources; and health and human services; and to support reasonable growth over time.