Although 2010 is just underway, most states are in the process of preparing budgets for FY 2011 (and beyond). Coming into this year it was known that the next few budget cycles would be difficult for a large portion of states, and arts advocates would be in for a battle in many cases.

Unfortunately, so far that is the case if proposed budgets by governors are taken at face value; however, experts agree that if states can hang on for another year or two, the recession’s impact will finally end, and recovery will begin to advance at a more rapid pace.

Here’s a quick look at current proposed state arts budgets:

One of the most drastic cuts proposed so far was in Rhode Island where Gov. Donald Carcieri offered to eliminate the state arts agency’s entire $700,000 grants budget. In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer has proposed a $2 million allocation for the Arizona Commission for the Arts, down from $4.9 million just a few years ago. Also, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is not only proposing to cut the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism’s general fund in half, but he also wants to eliminate the position of Lieutenant Governor, who oversees the department.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm is bucking the trend this year, proposing a relatively-stable $2.36 million for arts grants in FY 2011. Of course, she eliminated the state’s Department of Humanities, Arts, and Libraries last year. In a similar light, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell offered a $1 million cut for the state arts council (down to $10 million), but a number of line items for museums, zoos, public television, and arts education professional development were completely cut.

Of course all of these proposals still need to be vetted through their respective legislatures and all of the numbers are likely to change. One way to help change the numbers in a favorable way for the arts is to lend your voice to your state arts advocacy and arts education organizations. Help them reach out to officials at all levels of government to ensure they understand not only the intrinsic value of the arts, but also the benefits of arts education in the twenty-first century workforce, and the economic impact of the creative economy in your state and community.

To find your state arts advocacy, service, and/or arts education organization, visit the roster page of Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network.

Although most budgets will not be finalized until early to mid-summer, it’s never a bad time to fight for the arts.

Do you have any pro-arts arguments that have worked in your state or city? Tell us in the comment section below!



3 Responses to “State-ing Your Case for Arts Budgets (from Arts Watch)”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  2. Rachel C says:

    I find that tying arts funding to jobs and the economy works particularly well these days. Do you know how many jobs the arts supplies in your state? Find out! In Maryland, it’s over 15,000. In Oklahoma, nearly 11,000.

    The majority of the operating budgets for arts organizations go to personnel. Staff and artists make up the lion’s share of their budgets, so when you cut funding…you cut jobs.

  3. Dinesh kumar says:

    “Face of art studies”

    Material science has got various many other subjects today like genetics science, nano-technology etc. But art subjects cannot grow or develop in right direction in today’s condition. Today our socio-political system is completely based on profit. And art has to be beautiful. Without any real beauty art cannot be created. A beautiful art can be great when it is social and society depends on truth. Now we can understand the objective problem faced by a developing study in art that there is a condition in art that if art has to grow in great then it has to be not only beautiful but also it has to be socially correct and profit making is at all not correct socially. That is why studies in art cannot grow and develop in right direction. Here we must understand that scientific social studies can never grow and develop in the right direction on the basis of untruth. Here we must understand that society never upholds lie in the sphere of knowledge.
    And secondly subjectivity of art studies is also in danger. Here reason is that art never exists without real pleasure and real pleasure can never come out of an ugly way. In today’s society where exploitation of man by man is there and the common men’s psychology is made for eat, drink and be married, which is totally ugly then how the real pleasure can take place in this profit motive nature of system of our society? It has vanished all the ways of development of art studies today.

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Alec Baldwin and Nigel Lythgoe talk about the state of the arts in America at Arts Advocacy Day 2012. The acclaimed actor and famed producer discuss arts education and what inspires them.