February 21, 2012

Governor Malloy’s Budget Trims Arts Funding

On February 8, 2012 Governor Malloy released his FY13 proposed budget.

The Governor has recommended cutting by 8% the Arts, Culture Tourism and Marketing grants “to achieve efficiency through competitive procurement” for a total reduction of $2,356,311. The second significant change proposed is to eliminate all individual accounts for discrete arts & culture organizations and the two grant accounts (Basic Cultural Resources and Culture, Tourism, and Arts grants) and transfers the funding into a “Statewide Marketing” account funded at $25,039,982. This reflects an increase of $10,039,981 added to the pre-existing $15 million.

CAA Board members testified at the Appropriations Conservation and Development Subcommittee Hearing on February 15th.

Connecticut Arts Alliance Position on the proposed budget:

1. The $14 million in arts culture funding (as originally allocated in the bienniale budget) needs to be segregated from Statewide Marketing. We advocate return to the approved FY12-13 budget breakdowns.

2. In July, the Commission on Culture and Tourism was moved into DECD. Under Economic and Community Development, the Office of the Arts has defined a new direction, with the arts at the heart of an economic development strategy to create vibrant communities that will attract new talent and businesses. To build this strategy, arts organizations need financial resources.

3. To qualify for National Endowment for the Arts funding, Connecticut must have dedicated funding for the arts, a designated arts agency and an independent arts commission. The proposed budget puts this funding in jeopardy.

4. Arts and culture events and institutions are the key attractions for visitors. The state must invest in these institutions. Without strong, healthy cultural institutions, there will be nothing to market.

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Connecticut Arts Alliance

The Connecticut Arts Alliance (CAA) was founded in 2005 as an advocacy organization to ensure that the arts remain central to life in Connecticut. The organization strives to promote and underscore the value of all achievements of the arts industry and all of the ways in which the arts improve daily life for residents of the State. Among its most visible programs are assisting with workshops for the annual Connecticut Arts Day at the Capitol organized by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and providing advocacy guidance and resources in concert with the Office of the Arts and regional arts service organizations. The organization works to foster public education and awareness of the arts, to increase funding for the arts, and to influence public funding decisions and actions that affect the arts.