Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tucson: Arts Action Alert


From: Az Action for the Arts [mailto:info@azcitizensforthearts.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:14 PM
Subject: Arts Action Alert


Arts Action Alert

Contact your Elected Officials Today!





Jan 27, 2009 - Arizona Action for the Arts has been actively working with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle to protect the Arizona Commission on the Arts' budget.


Today, we learned of a potentially devastating proposal to cut all state funding for the Arts Commission; Arizona ArtShare (the statewide arts endowment) and the Arts Trust Fund. This proposal threatens an already vulnerable nonprofit arts industry serving citizens in every Arizona community. If state funding for the arts is completely cut, we also lose our annual federal match and eligibility for federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.


The net effect: decimating the nonprofit arts industry that provides quality programming, educates our young people, brings tourism dollars into our state, creates jobs, generates taxes and encourages spending.


The Arizona Commission on the Arts has distinguished itself by working with leadership in making appropriate and reasonable reductions to its budget for 2008 and 2009 thus far. By continuing to work with legislative leadership, we hope to ensure that reductions to our funding would have the least impact in our communities and keep the arts industry in a position to be a part of the economic recovery.



At this time, it is most appropriate to send a PERSONAL message to your Legislators by CALLING or WRITING (preferred), or by emailing them to let them know that:

  • The Arizona Commission on the Arts is willing to do its fair share to help solve the budget crisis and that any proposal to eliminate all state funding would be short-sighted and unfair in this current crisis which will pass over time.
  • Given the small size of the total arts budget compared to the state's fiscal problems, eliminating the Commission would be draconian and would severely disable programs and services the arts industry provides for Arizona citizens.
  • A current analysis of nonprofit arts organizations statewide shows an already-stressed sector with 84% experiencing decreased contributions, more than half already having cut program and more than one-third instituting hiring freezes or starting layoffs.
  • Eliminating public funding for the arts will have a devastating impact on thousands of Arizonans who make their livings, pay their taxes, contribute to the well being of Arizona through the arts and make Arizona a great place to live.
  • The arts and creative industries in Arizona, which include 10,590 small businesses, employ more than 46,000 people. (ref: AFTA Creative Industries report)


Stay tuned for future alerts and messages.  We are very early in the Legislative session.


For additional information, please look at the new publication, Building Public Value for the Arts in Arizona: Advocacy, Promotion and Audience Engagement 



SIGN UP FOR ARTS CONGRESS TODAY! (Monday February 2nd)Your opportunity to personally talk with your Legislators is coming up next Monday - Click here to Register Today




1.At this time a personal phone call or handwritten message is best! These communications carry much more weight with elected officials who are being overburdened with hundreds of emails from every cause imaginable this session. Click here to find phone numbers and addresses.

2.If your only alternative is to send an email message, create your own - again, "stock" email messages are proving less effective.  Here are some good TIPS for writing your personalized email message:

 a.Your subject line should be simple, for example:  "Message from a Constituent" or  "Please consider my request" or "Special request" or something creative that will stand  out from other subject lines - possibly more personalized, ie: "Senator Jones - I have a  request. "

 b.Keep your message SHORT.  Get right to the point, the shorter the better - no more  than 200 words (one paragraph).

 c.Be sure to say WHO you are, WHERE you live and try to share one PERSONAL  story as to why you believe in the work of the Arts Commission or what impact drastic  cuts would have on you, your family, your neighborhood or community.

 d.Use one or two facts only from this alert.

 e.Ask that they be "fair" to the arts when considering budget reductions this year.

 f.Thank them for their service, or their time.

 g.Tell them you look forward to seeing them at Arts Congress on Monday, 2/2



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