The service organization NYS Arts has issued a formidable challenge to the Empire State cultural community: flood members of the New York State Assembly and Senate with 10,000 emails by Apr. 9 demanding a restoration in public arts funding.
Given the dimensions of the arts community in the state, this should be eminently achievable.
Here at the Clyde Fitch Report, today we received an email blast from the organization, and it included the following language:
The Legislature will be in session starting April 7. Our message MUST be in front of them this week when they get back to Albany. Let’s blitz the Senate and the Assembly at this critical time with 10,000 messages by April 9!!!!
Both Houses have printed their budget resolutions. Now they will negotiate to determine the final State budget. The arts can still LOOSE or GAIN ground. It is up to you!
The Senate restored $3.25 million or 50% of the $6.5 million cut to NYSCA local assistance (grants) funding proposed by the Governor. The Assembly restored $1.6 million or 25% of the cut proposed by the Governor.
This is the time to send our legislators the following message:
1) To your Senator: Thank you for your support. Please be vigilant and make sure that the 50% rtaestoration of $3.250 million to NYSCA local assistance is maintained.
2) To your Assembly members: Please increase the restoration from 25% or $1.6 million to 50% or $3.250 million, matching the Senate support of NYSCA local assistance funding.
Remember, we only have resolutions from each House. So we MUST to be heard during this step in the process, which is perhaps the most important time to make our voices heard.
Numbers can and do change in the final hours. Send your message NOW. Protect what we already have and help get us what we need.
This is the link to click on if you want to find a boilerplate letter all set up for you to lobby members of the State Senate Assembly — to be one of the 10,000. Curiously, the content of the boilerplate letter is arguably more compelling than the information contained in NYS Arts’ email:
I am asking for your support to increase the restoration of NYSCA local assistance from 25% or $1.6 million to 50% or $3.250 million, matching the Senate budget resolution.
The arts are really an answer in an economic crisis. As you know, the Arts have an economic impact of $25.7 BILLION in New York State and employ more than 340,000 people. There are 54,000 arts related businesses in the state – and did you know that almost 62% of spending by cultural organizations support JOBS?
Please increase the restoration to 50% for NYSCA local assistance.
While the CFR continues to maintain that the nonprofit business model for the arts is fundamentally dysfunctional and almost hopelessly outmoded, the economic-impact argument is essential and unquestionable. Let’s start lobbying!