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Volunteers Needed for Arts Advocacy Day in downtown Phoenix

[Source: Boy Meets Blog]

Arts Congress 2011: Monday, February 7th

The Arts Congress is coordinated by the Arizona Action for the Arts and is the official advocacy day for the arts here in Arizona. The event draws attendees from across the state representing large arts organizations, arts administrators, artists and community leaders. The event consists of training sessions, face-to-face meetings with state legislators, networking, caucuses, and representation in the House and Senate galleries. (If you don’t want to volunteer but would prefer to go as an attendee, click here to sign up.)

The Arts Congress is this Monday, February 7, 2011 at the State Capitol on the Senate Lawn and is is an all day event beginning at 7:30 am and ending at 3:30, but volunteers can sign up for 4 different shifts.

The Arts Congress organizers are looking for volunteers to work at the registration booth, volunteers to set up the coffee and muffin table and coordinate with the catering company for the lunch order, volunteers for the event check out, and volunteers to work as ambassadors. The ambassadors will be staged throughout the State Capitol and will be pointed out to the event attendees to answer questions, etc. The ambassadors are asked to work from 9 am to 3, but the organizers can be flexible. And if you can give a minimum of 3.5 hours, you’ll get lunch.

To sign up or if you have questions, contact Michelle Peralta at info@azcitizensforthearts.org or call 602-253-6535

 

Phoenix arts advocates scramble to protect at-risk groups

[Source: Arizona Citizens for the Arts] — Phoenix arts advocates, like supporters of numerous other programs facing the spectre of significant budget cuts, have expressed concern for the following programs “on the chopping block:”

Pueblo Grande Museum is facing proposed reductions including elimination of a museum curator, museum assistant, two museum aides, a secretary and a semi-skilled worker.  Special events, summer programs and lectures will be reduced by 50 percent; and school tours will no longer be available, and maintenance of landscaping and surrounding grounds will be reduced.

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture grants budget of $890,000 will be cut by 50-75% or more. These grants along with grants from the state arts commission are typically the only source of unrestricted funds these organizations receive and have been the only source of stable funding they could count on for years to help provide affordable programs to the community.  The city’s grants budget over the last 20 years has never been lower than $460,000.  These reductions will take us well below that number — and with the growth of the city population and inflation over these 20 years, the support given to arts organizations will be dismal, at best. (Imagine how long it would take to rebuild to the current level of support.)

The Heard Museum, which relies heavily on sales made at its famous gift shop has seen a significant reduction in sales, forcing huge budget cuts and program reductions mid-year.

The Shemer Arts Center, a community arts center and Phoenix Point of Pride, is facing closure.

The Phoenix Center for the Arts, an affordable arts education facility, serving local emerging artists and arts organizations and located in the heart of the city is facing budget cut of 70%, essentially shutting down most of its programs serving students and artists.

Many large and small arts organizations have begun staff reductions and layoffs including the Phoenix Art Museum, the Phoenix Symphony, Ballet Arizona, and Free Arts of Arizona which serves young children, among others.

Due to these drastic budget shortfalls, grant guidelines have been rewritten at the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.  These will result in elimination of funding to any organization that is not producing arts or located within the city will be cut.  Organizations who’ll see no further grants from Phoenix include Free Arts of Arizona, Herberger Theater Center, Boys and Girls Clubs, Habilitation Center, Artability, Childsplay, and local arts agencies such as the North Valley Arts Council and the West Valley Fine Arts Council.  [Note: For more information from the Arizona Citizens for the Arts, click here.  For City of Phoenix budget hearing information, click here.  For related Arizona Republic article, click here.]

Things you can do to support Phoenix arts & culture

[Source: Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture] — Every member of our community deserves to have opportunities to discover and enjoy a diversity of arts and culture offerings.  Access to the arts for individuals and families depends on community support and action.  Fortunately, there is a great deal you can do to help, and most of it is fun!  Here are some ideas of how to get involved and help keep arts and culture a vital piece of our quality of life.

  • Attend an event – visit www.ShowUp.com to find the surprising variety of offerings available every week in the region.
  • Take a child to a museum, the zoo, or a live performance for kids.
  • Encourage your employees to attend and support arts and culture organizations and events.
  • Advocate for arts education experiences for young people.
  • Advocate to your peers nationwide that Greater Phoenix is emerging as a worldclass, 21st Century region.
  • Integrate arts and culture support in your company’s business plan.
  • Sign up for the MPAC eNewsletter to stay informed on MPAC’s activities.
  • Use your influence to ensure that your elected officials understand the critical business case for a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture community.
  • Sign up at Arizona Citizens for the Arts for information and updates on legislation that impacts the arts and cultural sector.
  • Support efforts to secure funding for the region’s non-profit arts and culture organizations.
  • Speak up for arts and culture as a vital piece of our economic prosperity and infrastructure.
  • Share your thoughts and ideas at info@mpacarts.org

Stop SB1192 revised to cut state arts funding

[Source: Brenda Sperduti, Arizona Citizens for the Arts] — The sponsors of Senate Bill 1330 have attached the language dissolving the Arts Trust fund to an unrelated bill Senate Bill 1192.  The procedure, called a “strike everything” amendment allows the original bill which stalled in the Senate, to gain new life and will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

The new bill, SB 1192, would cause a permanent reduction to the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA) grants budget of 40% (approx. $1.6 million annually).  SB 1192 proposes the transfer of Arts Trust Fund receipts that ACA has received since 1989 to the Department of Mines for safety issues surrounding abandoned mines.

NOW it is time to let every member in the House of Representatives know how strongly you feel about this attempt to decimate arts funding in Arizona.  The programs funded by the ACA are crucial to every community in our state and there is no justification for sweeping money from the arts as an answer to the public safety issue of abandoned mines.

Contact your Representative and tell them to vote NO on SB 1192.  Use the automated e-mail message AzCA has prepared by clicking here or, better yet, send your own message or make a phone call today!  Phone numbers and other contact information can be found by clicking here.

Please share this ACTION ALERT with other art advocates you know.