We’re down to the final stretch of the legislative session and the Appropriations Committee is making decisions right now on their budget priorities. We need to be sure arts and culture is one of them!
The committee is working on two budgets:
The 2022/2023 state budget currently calls for the Tourism Fund to be replenished from the General Fund to its pre-pandemic level. This means that our community won’t be hit with cuts due to shortfalls in the Tourism Fund caused by the pandemic. We need legislators to sustain that commitment.
Connecticut is also slated to receive $2.647 billion in State Financial Relief Funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). We are urging legislators to allocate $20 million of those funds specifically to the Connecticut Office of the Arts.
Here’s What You Need To Do
Reach out to your legislators now with a phone call or email (phone call is best!), especially if they are members of the Appropriations Committee. Reach out to the co-chairs and ranking members of the Appropriations Committee, too. You can find a membership list and contact information at https://www.cga.ct.gov/app/.
Contact your legislators even if they aren’t on the committee. They need to know that the arts are important to you when it comes time to vote on the final budget.
- Thank them for making sure the Tourism Fund is replenished to its pre-pandemic level. This funding is critical to museums, theaters, community arts spaces, teaching artists and others who are an important part to our state’s economy, the vibrancy of cities and towns, and the education of our children.
- Urge your legislator to allocate $20 million in ARPA funds over 2 years to the arts commission/CT Office of the Arts line item. This number represents less than 1 percent of the $2.647 billion in State Fiscal Relief Funds coming to our state and supports a sector that employs more than 23,000 workers and returns $7 for every dollar invested by the state.
The funding will ensure that arts and culture organizations will have the resources they need to be an essential part of Connecticut’s economic recovery and the return of community life:
- A vibrant, thriving arts and culture scene directly benefits the recovery of restaurants, lodging, tourism and hospitality industries
- Arts events this summer and fall are vital for reviving downtowns, restoring jobs, and renewing our social connections
- Access to creative activities improves mental health and educational outcomes for students.
Distributing the funds through the Connecticut Office of the Arts ensures they are directed to where they are needed most and reach all parts of the state.
ACT NOW! Decisions are being made as you are reading this and the session ends in just two weeks.