No Place for Arts & Culture in a “Plan C” BudgetSep 11th, 2009 | By | Category: Action & Advocacy
While a state budget is still to-be-determined, Philadelphia’s arts and culture hangs in the balance of pending legislation in the General Assembly. If the city budget approved by Mayor Nutter and City Council cannot be satisfied by changes in pension payments and a temporary city sales tax increase by the General Assembly, the deficit will not be closed and ALL funding for city cultural programs would be completely eliminated.
At risk are…
Staff and funding for the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; Support for city-owned museums such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Atwater Kent Museum, and African American Museum of Philadelphia; City support for the Mural Arts Program; The Public Art Office and Art in City Hall; City funding for the Avenue of the Arts.
If a decision on this legislation is not reached by September 18th, all cuts and layoffs will will become effective by close of business on October 2nd.
Many other City departments and programs are also slated for sharp cuts or elimination in “Plan C,” including several that are also directly related to culture and quality of life, such as virtual elimination of the Art Commission and the Historical Commission; cultural programs and support that take place through the Department of Recreation; libraries; and Fairmount Park. Today, patrons of city libraries and recreation centers were greeted with fliers at the door announcing closures going into effect on October 2nd.
While most city departments will face severe cuts with no action from Harrisburg, we’re set to lose our city cultural voice COMPLETELY.
With the city’s annual Live Arts and Fringe Festival in full swing, cultural organizations opening their doors for the fall season, and after-school educational programs captivating a new crop of students – there’s never been a better time to tell our state senators and representatives that the arts and culture in Philadelphia are one of our greatest assets – and that we need a resolution in Harrisburg, NOW.
We need as many voices as possible. An email and a phone call are simple, but important steps in saving our city’s countless cultural organizations. Are we really going to let the city cultural funding we fought so hard for cease to exist?
To contact your legislator, use the Legislator Lookup: http://philaculture.org/action/legislator