Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arts Alliance - Newsletter.

Up to $5 Billion Shortfall Still Exists

Fifteen days into the fiscal year, the Illinois General Assembly passed and Governor Pat Quinn approved a budget for FY10.

The budget slashes the State's allocation to the Illinois Arts Council to $8.5 million--a 46 percent cut from FY09. The Council is the state agency that provides financial and technical assistance to artists and arts organizations. - (Including Quincy Community Theatre)-dc

The Illinois Arts Council is taking a bigger hit than many arts agencies in other states. In a recently released report, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies estimates that while 30 states will scale back funding for the arts in FY10, the average decrease is 20 percent--compared to Illinois' 46 percent cut.

On the cuts, many members of the General Assembly and the governor himself have touted the budget as funding human and social services at 87 percent of FY09 levels. 87 percent, though, is an average--meaning some state agencies, like the Illinois Arts Council, will sustain much steeper cuts.

Impact on the Illinois Arts Council

The Council is expected to suspend some of its programs.
The Arts Council must also address how the humanities and public broadcasting will fare in FY10.
Impact on Arts Education Funding

Next Steps for Arts Advocates

Because the budget includes a shortfall of up to $5 billion, the governor and General Assembly will have to return to the table later in 2009 to continue the conversation.

Over the next few weeks, the Arts Alliance will continue to meet with legislative leaders and advance new tools and information to help make the case about the impact, assets, and needs of the arts sector in Illinois.

While legislators are on recess and in their districts, the Arts Alliance encourages you to:
Schedule a meeting with your state representative and state senator in your district to discuss the on-the-ground impact of these cuts
Tell your story to local media outlets
Keep the Arts Alliance informed of how state budget cuts and other factors are affecting your community
To identify your elected officials, visit the Arts Alliance's action center. The Arts Alliance has also developed resources to assist you in your advocacy efforts, including:
Key talking points about the arts and arts education
A guide for meetings with legislators
A guide for writing letters to the editor
A summary of findings from our survey assessing the impact of the draconian FY08 cuts to the Illinois Arts Council

Illinois Arts Council Stimulus Grants

The Illinois Arts Council is expected to announce its stimulus grants on August 18 and 19, 2009.

Of the $361,600 that the NEA awarded to the Arts Council, the Council will distribute $335,000 to Illinois arts groups in the form of $5,000, $10,000, and $20,000 grants.

At this point, 133 applicants are under consideration for a stimulus grant. According to the Arts Council, the total dollar amount requested by these applicants is $2,160,000--far beyond the $335,000 available. "All told, this means the funds going out will add up to less than 20 percent of what is needed," Terry Scrogum told the Arts Alliance.

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