The annual attack on state arts funding is under way at the Capitol and arts supporters are urging residents to let elected officials know the cuts are not welcome.
Louisiana Citizens for the Arts, a nonprofit formerly known as the Louisiana Partnership for Arts Advocacy, is calling on Louisiana voters to urge members of the state House Appropriations Committee to restore arts funding, which is slated for draconian cuts threatening to hobble the local, parish-based arts organizations that contribute to our state’s vibrant culture — a culture that has long made Louisiana a preferred destination of tourists and conventioneers.
Louisiana Citizens for the Arts argues that lawmakers and the governor fail to consider the return on investment in arts funding:
Both the Decentralized Arts Funding and the Statewide Arts Grants programs have been targeted with crippling cuts. In the current bill all that’s remaining for DAF is $1 million and only $959,000 remains for SAG, which represents a 60% reduction in funding levels from fiscal year 2009. Louisiana Citizens for the Arts is requesting that the Legislature restore both grant programs to the 2009 funding level by adding $1 million to each program in the Division of the Arts budget. It is extremely important that you contact the members of the House Appropriations to show your support.
Louisiana Citizens for the Arts is urging the full restoration of $1 Million of funding to the DAF program to remain funded at the $2,000,000 level. The DAF program supports organizations in each parish on a per capita basis and creates cultural projects with an economic return of $11 per $1 spent in your communities.
Louisiana Citizens for the Arts is urging the full restoration of $1 Million of funding to the Statewide Arts Grant program to remain funded at the level of $1,959.000. The SAG program provides stabilization, capacity building and arts in education grants to our major arts organizations and local arts agencies, with a $28 return per $1 spent in your communities.
If these cuts come to pass, the cultural-economic engine and tourism industry of Louisiana will become crippled by a severe ripple effect. These cuts affect artists, teachers, non-profit organizations, festivals, libraries, museums and theaters alike. No community will remain untouched and the economic loss will rank second only to the loss in social profit, community and quality of life. Culture is Louisiana’s finest natural resource. We need to nurture and protect it for it to flourish.
For details on how to help save arts funding from short-sighted, short-term fiscal solutions, click here.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 12 Until recently, it seemed like NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu was going to skate to re-election. But John Maginnis writes in this post that he may face some unexpected opposition, from Michael Bagneris, who currently serves as a civil court judge for the city. The judge isn't saying he's thinking about it, because then he would have to step down, but let's just say Maginnis won't be surprised if Bagneris turns up to qualify for the job.
DEC 12 Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has dumped the RSC's director, this post on Politico tells us. The director, Paul Teller, is accused of leaking conversations with lawmakers, the post says, and "actively working against" strategies that committee members had come up with. Hmmmm....
DEC 12 Jeremy Alford gives us the latest on David Duke in this LaPolitics post. Duke is back in the headlines because he was expelled from Italy recently, accused of trying to start a Neo-Nazi group there. Alford's pulled some interesting bits from the recent media coverage and some older pieces as well about this state embarrassment.
DEC 12 So Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the nation, we've known that for a while. But this Picayune story tells us about a new report by Human Rights Watch that says our laws and law enforcement practices are to blame. Those practices impact two routes to infection: unprotected sex and shared needles, the story says.
DEC 12 Jim Brown blogs about a book, "Dumbest Generation," and bemoans our inability to attain a more positive adjective. Jim wants to know: with our constant, unfettered access to information, why aren't we greater? He may be answering the question himself, urging more focus on community service and less on self-enrichment.
DEC 12 Here's an interesting post from DIG Baton Rouge about the proposed City of St. George in Baton Rouge. This piece focuses on the school district the organizers want to create. They're confident they won't need to raise taxes (because, of course, they'll be grabbing huge chunks of tax dollars -- or at least they think so) to build new schools, the story says.
DEC 12 After weeks of "political gimmicks" aimed at trying to force a vote on something most people really don't understand, Sen. David Vitter has decided he will do exactly what Sen. Mary Landrieu already has done for his own Congressional health insurance, the Advocate reports here. Senate leaders offered him a vote, but he didn't want it -- some say because he hadn't milked all the political juice out of this alleged issue yet.
DEC 12 The fact that "amateurs" are running the education system in Louisiana is hurting our children, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. In support of his argument, he goes through the recent vote on Common Core in Baton Rouge, and explains what the data showed. It's not a pretty picture.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly