This came in the e-mail today and showed why budget cutting in Maryland is going to be hard – everyone thinks someone else’s budget should be cut but not theirs. So the local arts community will spend the money to feed those who carpool in the hopes of descending on Annapolis to get support.
February 10, 2015 is MD Arts Advocacy Day at the Capital. This important and productive day at Annapolis needs your leadership voice and action.
HOW ARE WE SUCCESSFUL? The large number of attendees with their passionate plea! Every year SWAC arranges a carpool to take as many of us there as possible. It’s more important THAN EVER for a large attendance as we have a brand new Governor and Wicomico County Delegate to influence. Speakers presentation & individual sessions with delegates from our area are on the agenda and SWAC is urgently asking for your participation as a strong showing support from Wicomico County.
WHAT? This is where arts advocates from all over the state gather to speak directly to our Senators, Delegates, and Governor about the importance of the arts. We must reach our elected officials from the entire state with the important mission of funding for the art.
WHY? Exactly because of the number of attendees & their strong voice, great achievement has been made in the past resulting with MD being one of the top three states in the nation for the highest arts funding in the Governors budget of 16 million dollars earmarked for the arts! (Emphasis in original.)
Granted, $16 million is just a drop in the bucket for a $40 billion budget, but cuts have to be made somewhere. Perhaps the arts will be trimmed to $14 million this time as the state faces a massive shortfall for the next fiscal year.
Yet there will be an entire day of artisans and non-profits from around the state beseeching the state to keep their revenue stream going. It’s interesting to me that they stressed the new governor and Delegate (presumably speaking about Carl Anderton, whose district lies entirely in Wicomico County) – it would be my guess that a large percentage of those who would make the trip voted the other way when it came to that portion of the ballot.
In the case of the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council (or SWAC) who put out this missive, it’s certain they will stress the influence of the arts in trying to revitalize Salisbury’s downtown, pointing to the success of 3rd Friday and the hopes that the new Headquarters Live will be a hit. But each of these events has to sink or swim on its own merits. It took a few years for 3rd Friday to gain momentum, but the window for success may be a little bit shorter for Headquarters Live.
It may only be about .04% of the state budget, but my suspicion is that the arts will have their share of cuts, too. Yet the dirty little secret is that simply level-funding the budget would take care of most of the problem, so if the arts can live with what they have for a year or two the state may be able to grow its economy out of the problem. My advice to SWAC and the others in the arts community: make do with what you have.