On May 19, the North Carolina Senate released its 2013-2015 state budget recommendations, which included debilitating cuts to the North Carolina Arts Council. In addition to administrative cuts, the Senate proposed a $500,000 cut to the grants program in 2013/14 and a $780,000 cut to the grants program in 2014/15. What is even more unsettling is that the potential acceptance of this recommendation by the North Carolina House of Representatives will represent a 37% reduction to the North Carolina Arts Council’s state funding since 2008.
If you think that doesn’t sound like it hits close to home, then think again. The North Carolina Arts Council’s grants program reaches organizations in all 100 counties in North Carolina, and in 2013, it provided $937,000 solely to Mecklenburg County arts organizations. A reduction in that type of funding will definitely be felt by everyone in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
It is imperative that the North Carolina Arts Council be funded at its current annual level of $7,413,423 to ensure no county (especially Mecklenburg) loses arts programing due to budget cuts. Therefore, it is time to make our voices heard by the Mecklenburg representatives that will be responsible for shaping appropriations for general government. Those individuals are Speaker of the House Thom Tillis and Representative Carla Cunningham who is on the appropriations subcommittee for general government.
Keep the budgetary heat off of the arts. Please call or send an email to these representatives, and tell them to keep the North Carolina Arts Council funding at its current level so that all residents of North Carolina can continue to enjoy and benefit from the many facets of the arts.
Click here for more information and talking points.
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