Monday, April 27, 2009

City Arts Budget Facing Huge Cutbacks

A little birdie forwarded this email to me and  I felt it was worth sharing:

Please come to support the arts on Tuesday, April 28th - 7 pm at City

Hall on Dekoven Drive.

The more people that come out especially wearing red to show alliance

with the Arts - the better the chances for the survival of many of our

local arts organization, and for other artists as well. Those

supporting Oddfellows Playhouse will also be wearing red noses. Thanks

for your efforts, and even if you can't make it in person, a letter to

the Common Council WILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT - and your good thoughts

will help too!  Thank you!

The Mayor and the Common Council have some tough decisions to make in

deciding where our limited tax dollars and will be spent in these

economic times.

1) The Mayor has recommended cutting the Arts "support services"

budget line from $70,000 to $35,000. This is the line item for all

GRANTS to groups and individuals, matching funds, Oddfellows outreach,

North End Arts Rising  and Challenge Grants to support events like

ARTFARM's Shakespeare in the Grove. In addition, the Mayor's budget

recommends that all grants must be matched 4:1. So a young artist

applying for a $500 grant would need to come up with $2000 additional

dollars. That's a tough challenge for an individual artist or a small


2) For Kids Arts the Mayor's budget recommends tripling the current

fee and abolishing the sliding scale for low and medium income

families. This would effectively destroy programs like the Children's

Circus and NEAR's Summer Arts programs that have been a vital part of

the City's cultural life since the 1980's. Kids Arts exists in this

town -- and is a national model for town/non-profit partnership --

because it makes arts experiences available to all kids in the


3) Community Cultural events line cut from $19,650 to $7,000 --

eliminating everything except Fireworks!

See the City Arts department online for more information.

If you can't make this meeting, your letters to the Common Council

members will help them know how many people believe that Middletown

Arts are important to the health and well being of our community. The

arts bring in many more dollars than they receive.

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