State Budget vs. WSAC
Please read the attached statement and supporting documents from the Washington State Arts Commission below that relate to the Governor’s proposed 2011-13 biennium budget. This is just the first step in the budget process, “Act One” so to speak, but her budget does include plans to eliminate the Washington State Arts Commission as a separate agency, and to move arts functions – at a much smaller scale - to the Department of Commerce. For many reasons, we need to maintain a state arts agency structure. A very important point is that our state receives federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, over $900,000 annually, on a matched 1:1 basis. Without a state arts agency in place, these additional federal funds would not be available for distribution through our state. While we recognize that funding will be reduced in the next biennium, we cannot lose our state-recognized arts agency or we lose NEA support and possibly other private support. How can you help?
· Contact your elected officials and tell them how important WSAC is to you and your community. Share the following key messages!
· Contact five of your friends and ask them to do the same.
· Become a member of the Washington State Arts Alliance now at http://www.wsartsalliance.com/
enable the advocacy work necessary to keep our state arts agency!
· Follow WSAA and WSAC on their Facebook pages. Key Messages:
1. Share with elected state officials that you know that they face tough decisions and understand that funding will be reduced during the next biennium.
2. Washington’s small investment in the arts is necessary to leverage federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and other private sources. Even if WSAC is restructured, it is important that the agency can be efficient in advancing the arts and retaining federal and private
3. Every state in the nation has a state arts agency.
4. State Arts Commission dollars support jobs, tourism, economic vitality and opportunities for people to come together.
5. Parents support arts education in schools, and WSAC advances this effort throughout our state.
Get to know your state district representatives. Use the link below to find your district and their e-mail addresses. Let them hear from you how important WSAC is to our rural and urban communities, and that WSAC serves as a conduit for federal funding for Washington’s vital arts & heritage organizations. We need to make sure that a structure is in place in Washington State to receive NEA and other private source funding.
If you have any questions, ideas or comments, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are currently working on strategies for the upcoming legislative session, and we need YOUR stories!
Please plan to join us all-day on Wed. Feb. 2
for Arts & Heritage Day in Olympia
. Meet with your district representatives and senators regarding support for important cultural issues during the 2011 session. Let Tracy Schreiber in our office know if you plan to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 206.448.1909. You are also invited to attend a special legisator reception on Tues. Feb. 1 from 5-7pm at Olympia's State Capital Museum (211 21st Ave), sponsored by the Washington Museum Association and WSAA, as a kick-off for the day to follow. Additionally, we hope to see you at the 7am Heritage Caucus meeting in the Cherberg Building on Feb. 2. It's a great way to start the day, hear about various arts/heritage projects throughout the state and meet/greet cultural colleagues. Afterwards, we will have coffee and donuts ready for you in the Columbia Room under the dome in the Legislative Building
Best wishes for 2011. There's a lot of work ahead.
WSAA Executive Director
Statement from WSAC (http://www.arts.wa.gov/news/budget.shtml
WSAC Facts (http://www.arts.wa.gov/about/index.shtml
WA State Legislature - Senate (https://dlr.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx?Chamber=S
WA State Legislature - House (https://dlr.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx?Chamber=H