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Arts and Citizenship

The Pennsylvania House of Representative passed HB 2279, commonly referred to as the budget bill, on March 23, 2010. This bill includes $10 million for arts grants through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. The bill now sits in the Pennsylvania Senate chamber for consideration. .


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The budget process is far from over. Revenue projections are down and the economic crisis still looms over us. As arts and culture advocates, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to insure a place for the PCA and PHMC in the FY11 budget. This is what you can do to help:


1) Contact your state legislators today. If you’ve already sent them a fax or email in the last few weeks, send them another one and follow it up with a phone call. Even though the State Senate has already passed their version of the budget bill, they can still assist us in the fight for arts and culture funding when the two budget bills are discussed in conference committee (likely in June).


2) Rally others to action. Ask your staff, board of directors, donors, funders and others associated with your organization to take immediate action on this issue. Distribute the call to action through your email lists, web site and social networking ventures. Engage your audiences through curtain speeches, program inserts, gallery cards and other means. Harrisburg needs to hear from more than just the employees of arts and cultural organizations.
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3) Submit written testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations public hearing . Testimony will be accepted through Tuesday, May 26, 2011.

For facts and figures about the economic impact of the arts, samples of letters and testimony, tips for communicating with legislators and other information visit the Save Arts and Culture in Pennsylvania! page of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council website. THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW. Unless we keep up the pressure on the legislature, we may lose the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Please alert the Arts Council about any action you decide to take by sending an email to rfreytag@pittsburghartscouncil.org