Monday, August 11, 2008
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2009 City Arts Funding Update
Mayor Ballard has proposed an allocation for arts funding of $1 million in the 2009 budget for the City of Indianapolis. This is a $543,500 reduction from the current 2008 city arts appropriation and represents a 35 percent reduction.
City funding supports arts outreach and education programs and many other community activities to 75 different arts organizations. Reductions in 2009 funding will directly affect, reduce, and potentially eliminate the number of arts programs for the community and will reduce the number of citizens reached with the arts - including those underserved by other programs.
While we understand the critical financial issues the city is facing, we are disappointed that the arts will face substantial cuts, more than other areas supported by the city. Public investment in the arts is critical to continuing not only the education and outreach programs supported with this funding, but also in leveraging private funding, generating economic activity and tourism, attracting and retaining younger people to our community, and providing a strong message that the arts are an important part of our city.
The Arts Council of Indianapolis is supportive of our elected officials' efforts to increase public safety and manage the city's financial challenges. However, with the discussion of the possible elimination of city arts funding, we are concerned and opposed to the elimination of public support of the arts for the future of our city. We will work to continue the city's critical investment in the arts.
Today's announcement is the starting point of the budget process. We will be sending communications to all of our elected officials and will let you know the dates and times of all budget hearings.
Over the next six weeks of the 2009 budget process, we will demonstrate how critical the arts are to the city and the importance of the city's support through budget presentations, meetings with the administration and elected officials, public hearings, and other information.
Now more than ever, your voice must be heard. To get the latest updates, find out more information, and how you can help, go to www.indyarts.org/whattheartsmean.