Tuesday, May 19, 2009

PA Arts Funding!

Dear National Guild Member:

The Pennsylvania Senate recently passed a state budget that
eliminates all funding ($14 million) for the arts. It also eliminates the state arts council, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA).
As a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the
Arts, you know how important the arts are to your students and their families. Many of you receive support from the PCA to help make your programs more robust and more accessible. Many have received support from the PCA to attend our conferences and meetings.The PCA has hosted our national conference twice in
recent years, once in Philadelphia and once in Pittsburgh.

You may not know that the PCA has been more supportive of community arts education than any other state arts agency in the US. As a grantmaker, convener and advocate for the public value of the arts, they demonstrate extraordinary leadership and innovation. In fact, the PCA's innovative grant process was recognized by the Kennedy School of Government as one of 50 finalists in its "Innovations in American Government" competition.

The Guild has worked closely with the PCA's staff to help you build strong and sustainable programs. They have been steadfast in their commitment to supporting community arts education.

Now they need our help-and they need it now.
Go to the Citizens for the Arts website and do two simple things:
  • Sign up to receive action alerts.
  • Contact your state senator and state representative to urge their support for state funding for the arts in the budget for next year. It is quick and easy to do. Consider sending personal letters as well, from your staff, your board and your students and parents.
Then, spread the word to your board, staff, parents and students.
  • Put a message on your website with a link to Citizens for the Arts in PA: www.citizensfortheartsinpa.org
  • Have your staff and board add a message to their email signature with a link to Citizens for the Arts.
  • Make sign-up sheets available at classes and events to register people for Citizens for the Arts.
Be Creative
  • Arrange to have your students play for legislators and their staff. Go to their district office and play for them and leave the message of the importance of the arts. Leave behind a painting or print as a reminder.
Don't let this happen in Pennsylvania. By advocating for public support for the arts, you not only help yourself but all community arts education providers across the United States.

Sincerely,Jonathan Herman
Executive Director
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts
520 Eighth Avenue, Suite 302
New York, NY 10018
(212) 268-3337 ext. 15