Streams

Arts on the Chopping Block: Your Town

Ongoing battles over state and federal budgets have put arts funding on the chopping block across the country. How will the proposed cuts affect you? Are any creative institutions in your hometown — local theaters, galleries, after school programs, etc. — under threat? We want to learn the potential impact of budget cuts to the arts in your community. Take our survey.

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July 15, 2011 02:15:23 PM
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Kansas City, MO

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Our urban core school district has had to make serious budget cuts due to a shrinking student population. One of the areas hardest hit is arts education. I am of the opinion that education in the arts supports academic achievement and future success. I am seeking intelligent and well-researched evidence for or against my opinion.
While my husband and I believe in the importance of arts education to the extent that we will find a way to provide it to our children, I would like to see it return to public education as a respected component of a decent education.

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I really just have a question: What is the evidence that arts education supports academics? Is there any?

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Elizabeth

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Yes

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My children are students in this district.

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March 23, 2011 04:44:47 PM
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Scottsdale, AZ

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My son's high school is roughly the size of our old high school, Kurt (Westside) There is currently 1 instrumental music teacher due to budget cuts. She handles all of the following: Marching band, concert band, wind ensemble, 2 jazz bands, 2 combos, 2 string ensembles. Nine groups. She is at school by 6:30am and often doesn't leave until 5:00pm. She is also committed to weekend competitions, Friday night football games and trips to perform for a variety of events. Music is the soul of education, provides many students in a large school an outlet that many of us need.

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Our state legislature, like others around the country, seem to feel that investing in public education is less important than giving huge corporate tax breaks. I work tirelessly to elect candidates who feel this way but, unfortunately, the conservative sweep did not spare us either.

Laura Schory Copple
Westside, 1974, UNL Bachelors and Masters of Music

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Laura

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Yes

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My son attends this school, is a talented percussionist and A student. He takes 2 private lessons a week and has poured many hours into perfecting his skill as a musician.
Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, AZ

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March 23, 2011 04:23:19 PM
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Phoenix, Arizona

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General budget cuts, public art.

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I have made suggestions and written proposed legislation and have not received a thumbs up or "it stinks" comment back. Making suggestions seems like throwing ideas down a hole. I really believe that art committees are out of touch with political realities related to funding.

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Mike

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Yes

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Minimally, I tried. In fact trying to be associated with the state art commission here in Arizona ends up being on their mailing list and receiving no comments back on proposals and concerns. The Tucson association seems to be more active.

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March 13, 2011 12:22:53 PM
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NY, NY

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As we all know, schools have cut or limited their art programs

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I wanted to bring to your attention a nonprofit group that has recently entered a few schools (including mine- Washington Irving HS) to introduce students with disabilities the art of photography. The students' reactions, and abilities, are wonderful- opening a whole new vista.

The organization is RTP- Rehabilitation Through Photography. It was started during WWII, to help veterans deal with the post war emotional and physical injuries. Over time it has evolved to reach out to those in our communities who has special needs.

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Susan

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Yes

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very tangentially in that I helped bring RTP's program to my high school- Washington Irving HS

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March 13, 2011 12:01:35 PM
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Brooklyn, NY

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I am fairly new to Brooklyn and therefore unfamiliar with the arts landscape. But if it's anything like my old home, San Jose, CA, arts funding at the local level, at least for my favorite non-profit, Works/San Jose, is half of what it was in the '90s, and now the gallery is moving once again.

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First of all, can we get the Obama administration, most importantly, Arnie Dunchan, to include arts in the push for better education? There is recognition of math, science, languages, but nothing said about the arts.

The arts are completely underrepresented when discussions about the success of American exports comes about. For better or worse, it is the 'creatives' that 'sell' what consumers around the world buy.

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Jack

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Yes

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I am a former board member of Works, now teaching at Pratt Institute and NYU Poly in Brooklyn.

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March 12, 2011 02:59:43 PM
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Worcester, Massachusetts

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VSA Massachusetts works with our schools to improve instruction for all students, particularly those with disabilities and others who are not being well engaged now, by helping teachers use arts-integrated instruction throughout the curriculum.

The funding for this program affiliated with the Kennedy Center along with a network in nearly every state and 60 countries is slated for elimination in both the CR and the President's DOE Budget

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Contact your Senators and members of Congress and ask them to support the Arts In Education program at the DOE and encourage 5 friends and relatives to join you. Learn about your local VSA through www.vsarts.org. Need help with the message or who to contact? Reach VSA at 800-933-8721 or go to Americans For the Arts http://capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/alert/?alertid=13158246

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Charles

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Yes

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I am the Executive Director of VSA Massachusetts

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March 09, 2011 10:44:28 AM
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Pittsburgh PA

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Public Libraries. Libraries are taken for granted as part of a community landscape yet the value they provide to ALL members, without bias--especially economic, is unparalleled. Libraries are usually the only remaining FREE provider of materials and services and yet continually face funding distress at all levels (federal,state, local).

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An understanding of the services that libraries provide is badly needed--from employment help, computer access to entertainment for those who cannot afford other alternatives. Libraries need to be viewed as the educational institutions they are--but accessible to all--as well as the keepers of our history. Sustainable funding needs to be found.

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Beth

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Yes

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I have worked in public libraries for a total of 15 years--as a children's librarian, in circulation, as a Communications Director and currently as the Manager of Customer Services for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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March 07, 2011 03:43:41 PM
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Philadelphia, PA

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Not aware of any immediately threatened, but much of the City's cultural community needs consistent assistance from public funding.

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Let's get rid of the Federal election "checkoff". The projection for the next Presidential campaign will see one billion raised by the cnadidates/parties. Change the federal tax "checkoff" to social and cultural program support choices - let us vote via the "checkoff" for programs we want to support since the Supreme Court has decided corporate money can go to elections unfettered.

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Chris

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No

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March 07, 2011 01:53:11 PM
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Brookport, IL

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NPR, both at WKMS, Murray State University in Murray, KY, and WSIU, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. Both depend on Federal dollars. We have very little in the way of "Arts" in our area on this side of the river, other than NPR news and programming. The local newspaper and media are controlled by one family and it may as well be Fox news owned by Rupert Murdoch as far as their "reporting" goes. Without NPR, we have nothing!

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Don't cure the budget ills by removing arts money from it. And citizens should think about for whom they are voting -- really think about it and the consequences of how it will affect them personally.

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Janet

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No

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March 07, 2011 10:48:42 AM
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Overland Park KS

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everything

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write and call your state legislators and other electedofficials and site all the research that shows how the arts help improve math scores, cut down deliquency rates and make us a civilized people!

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Ruth

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No

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March 07, 2011 09:39:36 AM
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Olathe, KS

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Hidden Glen Arts Festival, held for the last 22 years in Cedar Creek, Olathe, KS

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Hidden Glen is a 100% volunteer run arts festival that is supported entirely by grants and sponsorships. The festival lost the City of Olathe art foundation grant three years ago when the economy went bad, and now the KAC grant has been put on hold. We can no longer sustain the festival with only corporate sponsorships. The juried festival draws 6000-8000 attendees a year, as well as 87 tax-paying artists. Unlike most art festivals, HGAF is not sponsored by a neighborhood association, or a merchants organization, or by any government entity. It is an independently run 501(C)3 nonprofit run by a board of directors solely to provide visual and performing arts to the Johnson County community and their families. In addition, the festival offers three $1000 scholarships to three Johnson County high school seniors. HGAF is now sidelined for the year 2011.

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Meg

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Yes

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I am on the board of directors for the Hidden Glen Arts Festival. I have volunteered several years and am currently the Chair of the Visual Arts committee for the festival and the secretary to the Board.

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March 06, 2011 11:52:15 AM
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Pittsburgh, PA

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Declining Arts funding threatens all of Pittsburgh's small art's programs and facilities. Rather than wait for the economy or attitudes towards the arts to improve, I decided to put my "money" (time, equipment, connections and knowledge) where my mouth is. I wanted to be part of the solution.
I have developed a grassroots micro-business that provides sound, lighting, instruments, rigging, technical labor and other support services to the Pittsburgh arts community for prices that the market will bear. This is a FOR profit model serving NFP arts organizations.

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Here's a sample weekend: Grand piano rental to the Andy Warhol museum, PA and two way radios to the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, Projection equipment to City Theatre Company, Rigging assistance to Prime Stage Theater, Truck rental to Attack Theatre, 20 Wireless mic rental to Carnegie Mellon, Projector donation to WQED Pittsburgh, Built solar powered sound system for Childrens Museum of Pittsburgh. I employ hungry, talented young people and pay good wages. Win Win.
I think this is a model that could be replicated elsewhere.

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Dave Bjornson

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Yes

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I try to use the NPR "ability to pay" paradigm as a business model. Almost no one takes advantage of the system. I'd be glad to provide more information if you feel other arts communities could benefit.
Heck, since we have an in house recording studio, we could produce our own little 360 spot! :)
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
From the technical trenches of the arts,
Dave Bjornson. 412-759-6188

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March 05, 2011 07:41:21 AM
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NY, NY

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To my knowledge, only those that depend entirely on federal funds, which I think aren't that many, New Yorkers being smarter than that. We enjoy the largesse of many philanthropic organizations and individuals, from our generous Mayor on down, left and right. Even the Koch brothers of Oil Patch, swift-boating, climate-change-denying fame have been most helpful.

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Marshall the economic argument -- the arts give back three dollars to every one invested, or whatever the number is -- but Republicans as constituted don't care about reason or reasons. This is political for them and all they want is power. So we simply run them out of office, and fast. I mean really: These idiots know what's best for our beloved country?

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Tom

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No

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March 05, 2011 12:27:59 AM
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Lawrence, KS

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Lawrence Children's Choir. See blog post at http://www.lawrence.com/news/2011/feb/24/lawrence-childrens-choir-celebrates-20th-anniversa/

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I wish I knew!

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Susan

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No

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March 04, 2011 11:19:03 PM
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Minneapolis

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Many. But most importantly Arts Schools. Arts education is an integral part of everyday learning. Just reading your book, "Spark; How Creativity Works' shows the importance of teaching arts so we get more innovative thinkers to move America forward not backward.

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Minnesota has a "cultural' tax amendment in our constitution and the money goes specifically for arts and environmental needs. Every state should be willing to look at what Minnesota has. This tax is meant to cut funding already invested in the arts but it looks like our new legislature is starting to spin what that means here Minnesota

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Tory

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Yes

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I am a Arts teacher at the Perpich Center for Arts Education and wok closely with educators at the Guthrie Theater and Walker Art Center, all places hurt in arts funding cuts.

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March 04, 2011 03:59:11 PM
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Staten Island, New York

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Art programs, NPR, local libraries, you name it.
I constantly get eblasts from Art Advocacy, telling us how much trouble we're in. The lack of arts programs in schools particularly disturbs me. The Arts are NOT a secondary subject.

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I would pay higher taxes to support arts programs in schools. I know many artists who would like to do residencies in schools.
And, people making over a certain amount SHOULD pay higher taxes, not less!
If WE can't keep all our money (hello, IRS!), then THEY shouldn't either!

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gary j.

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Yes

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I am a resident of Stapelton, Staten Island, a teacher and a musician.

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March 03, 2011 10:53:57 PM
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Chicago, IL

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Chicago's primary PBS station WTTW, and many art museums and school programs have warned that they may lose at least some of their government funding.

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I am a major supporter of the arts, and I do so VOLUNTARILY. Those of us who care enough about these programs and institutions should demonstrate our commitment by donating money, time, and other resources to the causes we feel most passionately about. Taxes should NOT ever be used to fund the arts! Taxation is equal to theft, and I am tired of having my money stolen right from my wallet!

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DJ

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No

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