Friday, November 14, 2008

Stop proposed budget cuts for the arts

As many of you know, New York is heading into some perilous financial times. The financial crisis has hit this city and state quite hard as it is overly dependent on Wall Street. Big cuts are in the making across the board from fire station closings, police cuts and so forth. As you might expect, the Arts are front and center when cuts are needed. The following if from CAA. Take some time and call or email your rep.

Governor David A. Patterson proposes emergency budget cuts to the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Send an email to your senator, assembly people, and the governor today to oppose these reductions.

We only have a few days to make our voices heard because the special legislative session convenes on November 18, 2008.

The New York State Senate and Assembly will consider the governor’s proposed cuts, including an additional $7 million reduction to the current arts budget. This could mean that almost four hundred grantees in the October cycle and a similar number in the December cycle would receive almost nothing. The inequities are staggering.

Governor Patterson’s proposal comes after $2.6 million (6 percent) already cut from the NYSCA budget a short time ago—thereby potentially decreasing the council’s total budget by about 20 percent, from $49 million to $39 million midyear.

The governor called the special legislative session to deal with the additional shortfall in the current year. His proposed plan is a comprehensive, two-year $5.2 billion deficit-reduction plan that he says will entirely eliminate the state’s $1.5 billion current-year shortfall.

The legislature can alter the “cut list” and make different recommendations. The governor proposed significant cuts to all sectors, so let your legislators know that the tiny savings they gain from the arts cut pales in comparison to the resulting social and economic losses in communities across the state.

Send an email now. It takes only two minutes to do so.

Thank you,

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