Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Most Important Call to Action

Congratulations to every single individual who wrote a letter or e-mail, talked to a Legislator, attended ARTS Day, or engaged in any advocacy strategy. The arts continue to be recognized as an essential value proposition in North Carolina because of your efforts.

However, the most important action you can take to ensure continued arts support is to voice your appreciation to our Legislators and Governor. You won't need facts and statistics; you will need heart and sincerity. We cannot stress how important this communication will be to future advocacy.

Our state leadership MUST BE thanked for unanimously passing Senate Bill 66 requiring a Task Force to create a comprehensive arts education plan for North Carolina and for sustaining recurring grant funds (less a small percentage held back for possible Medicaid issues) for the grants programs of the North Carolina Arts Council. Between arts education and public funding, there is virtually no sector of our industry unaffected by these successes.

The electronic program you enter when you click the Take Action! option at the bottom of this post is nothing short of a miracle in technology. It will allow letters from across the state to go to Governor Perdue and it will also select your Representative and Senator from your Legislative district. The entire process will take you no longer than five minutes to complete, and that includes stamping and putting your letter in the mail. We want them to see your signature, the personal note you may write on your letter, the first class stamp, the return address, and the postmark from their district.

Make a difference today. Think how fortunate we are to live in North Carolina where leaders understand that the arts are essential to economic development, educational excellence, and civic pride. We must never take enlightenment for granted and must be passionate and creative in expressing our appreciation and support. Take Action! no later than Friday, July 30.  Instructions on how to complete your letter are included.
Imagine shaping the future of arts support in North Carolina because you gave up five minutes of your time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Advocacy Update - The Budget

On Wednesday Governor Beverly Perdue signed into law the 2010-2011 state budget. ARTS North Carolina celebrates the leadership of the Governor, the Department of Cultural Resources, and the North Carolina General Assembly for their vision in sustaining recurring grant program funding of the North Carolina Arts Council for the second year in a row. The Department of Cultural Resources, under the leadership of Secretary Linda Carlisle, made the sustained funding their Number 1 Legislative Priority as the budget was in process.

The budget also calls for a contingency in the event $500 million in Medicare funding is not authorized in the federal budget. Some reductions across state government will be necessary, and ARTS North Carolina will keep you informed as DCR determines its share of minimal cuts.

We will send a Call to Action for appreciation next week after the July 4th holiday. Meantime, we affirm the leadership and commitment to the arts of General Government Chairs Senators Katie Dorsett and Bob Atwater and Representatives Susan Fisher and Alice Underhill.

It just doesn't get any better than to live in North Carolina.