This in from Lisa Carnevale, head of RI Citizens for the Arts. If you like Bright Night, please respond. Our funding from the state has been cut 75% over the last 5 years. Don’t let us get cut out entirely!
The House Finance Committee’s recommendations for FY12 budget will come out tomorrow. RI CFA is hearing from legislators that the cut to RISCA funding will likely move forward. We need to send the message to our legislative leaders that this small saving in the overall budget deficit (0.03%) will have a hugely negative impact on the community at large.
Get this message to Chairman Melo and Speaker Fox TODAY:
Governor Chafee’s proposed budget included a $100,000 cut from RI State Council on the Arts’ discretionary grants – a 17% cut in this pool of funds. Combined with a cut to RI from National Endowment for the Arts, our creative community faces a 20% cut overall. Funding to RISCA is the only way the state invests in this growing economic sector. These funds produce a positive return on investment for our state: Every $1 spent through RISCA yields an additional $11 in additional funds, supporting over 13,000 jobs, creating nearly $500 million in economic impact, and plugging school budgets by providing arts education inside our schools.
Over the past nine years, arts funding has whittled away to what is now a concerning level. A cut this year will jeopardize this significant asset in the state of RI – causing loss of jobs, loss of social services and programming, as well as the cultural vitality that attracts many to live, work and visit in our state.
House Finance Chairman Helio Melo: 401-222-2738
Speaker of the House Gordon Fox: 401-2466
In addition, Chairman Melo has expressed that his committee need also weigh in on the issue. We’ve spoken to many who are supportive. Help them take this message to the speaker! Email the rest of the House Finance Committee members.
The arts and creative sector in RI is a strength and an asset. The state’s small investment in this sector has continued to reap high return and yet, has been whittled away at over time. To cut a proven economic asset is bad business and bad policy.