Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Putting Artists to Work for Cultural Recovery

Okay, from a StageSource tweet I followed a link about some legislation pending in the Masschusetts' Senate for funding. And I wrote to my senator asking him to support an amendment. This is important to me, not only because I'm trying my darndest to make a living in the arts, but because I truly believe in the positive influence and power artists have in our society.

Here's what I wrote:

On May 18, the Senate Ways & Means Committee released a proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year that would significantly cut state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the MCC.

Senator Eileen Donoghue of Lowell will file an amendment to restore MCC funding to this year’s levels.

The Senate Ways & Means Committee recommends $7.45 million for MCC for fiscal year 2012. That would cut $1.65 million, or 18 percent, from the agency's current budget and would represent a cumulative cut of 41 percent to arts and cultural funding since 2009.

sen. keene...i strongly feel that cuts to the arts and cultural funding is detrimental to our society...of course i understand about the dire condition of the economy for schools. roads, infrastructure, etc...but i also strongly believe that in times like these, we need to bond together's what will keep us pulling together as a group, as a's not a feel-good thing i'm talking's about a real necessity for community that will get us through these tough times...

thanks for listening...

That's it. (Feel free to use the text when writing to your own senator; of course you will.) Then from another tweet from StageSource, of which I'm a member, I found this.

Funny that Julie Hanus and I came up with the same reason for artists in our society. I think most artists realize their value in society (even though they are usually so bad at articulating it,) while I think there is either a misunderstanding or a lack of appreciation on the part of the general public for the contribution of artists and the arts in society.

The arts bring us together, and in my experience they do it much better than any promise from some politician who make standard campaign promises to unite the country. Artists and the arts generally don't have the agenda that you get from politics and politicians.

The arts promote dialogue, as opposed to politics which usually promotes debate.

The arts bring people together usually in a celebratory way: theater, painting, dance, music. Think of all the times you've been to something like a concert, and what a positive feeling you left with.

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