Last fiscal year your 115,000 emails captured the legislators’ attention and, through our work with House and Senate leadership, we were able to restore $1,065,000 in arts funding to the state budget during this past session. But, we’re still facing a 65% cut to Statewide Arts Grants and a 13% cut to Decentralized Arts Funding Grants — a 34% cut from last year!
During the 2011 fiscal session, we absolutely must regain the ground taken from the arts over the past couple of years! Now, more than ever, your state arts community needs a strong advocate, and the Louisiana Partnership for Arts Advocacy (LPAA) is again ready to fill that essential role. The arts are vital to our state’s economy and quality of life, and must be restored.
Our most recent environmental disaster brought the Gulf Coast’s tourism and the fishing/seafood industry to a much-publicized halt, throwing Louisiana’s fragile economic recovery into a tailspin. Last year’s stock market crash that resulted in global fiscal havoc is still reverberating through every socio-economic level of the state. Within the past five years, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita threw our state into a serious fiscal crisis from which we’re still recovering. In the aftermath of each of these disasters, Louisiana’s cultural organizations – many operating on shoestring budgets – continue to provide a crucial “relief for the soul” that only a vibrant arts community can provide in times of anguish.
While we rebuild lives and communities across the state, we must also work to recognize and protect the traditions and expressions that define our collective identities. The LPAA advocates for the interests of artists, arts professionals, arts educators, arts organizations and agencies and all those who produce, present, serve and treasure the arts in our state. The LPAA’s year-long education and advocacy efforts are designed to help convince the Louisiana Legislature that restoring funding for the arts at higher levels results in more money in the state tax coffers.
The LPAA uses a grassroots approach, keeping the arts community informed about the legislative process and urging legislators to recognize the importance of the arts in their communities. How has the LPAA done it? Simple! Individuals and organizations who care about having a healthy and growing arts community in our state have made donations to support this economic catalyst that promotes the cultural economy in Louisiana. Your support and involvement is vital now more than ever!
The arts community throughout the state is still reeling from the devastation wrought by these natural and man-made disasters and many artists and arts organizations are struggling to make ends meet. Your contribution of any size will make YOUR voice heard through our ongoing advocacy efforts on your behalf. Thank you in advance for your support of the Louisiana Partnership for Arts Advocacy. With your contribution, we’ll be able to ensure that the arts in Louisiana remain an essential part of the lives and economy of the people of Louisiana.
Please remember to support your local arts organizations during this challenging time as well!