January 25, 2012

New Hampshire Arts Under Fire

New Hampshire State Capitol | March 2011 | Courtesy New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts

Last year, when the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources (counterpart to the Oklahoma Arts Council) was at risk for major budget cuts, 250 arts supported joined a crowd of more than 4,000 to protest. Persuasive arguments in support of the arts were shared by the Master of Ceremony and a fiddler provided an inspiring close to the rally.

Fast-forward to January 23, when once again, New Hampshire's arts supporters showed up at the state capitol to show support for government investment in the arts. From the New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts website: 
"We heard testimony from a range of people opposed to HB 1274 (to abolish the Department of Cultural Resources) and HB 1285 (to repeal the State Art Fund–Percent for Art Program). There was standing room only in the committee room, with at least 100 people attending and dozens of people speaking against the bills; excellent testimony was presented from the business community, artists and arts professionals, librarians, historians, students and engaged citizens. The committee chair, Representative Carol McGuire, graciously allowed all the testimony to be heard, greatly extending the time allotted for each hearing."
Click here for more information.

Are you prepared to show as strong as support for the Oklahoma Arts Council and government investment in the arts in your town or city? 

Three Things To Consider
  1. The arts are an economic driver in local, Oklahoma communities. 
  2. Arts education enriches youth and promotes citizenship
  3. The arts promote individual skills – creativity, imaginative thinking, personal enrichment. 

Two Reasons We Need Government Investment in the Art
  1. Government support leverages private dollars and multiplies the impact of public investment
  2. Government funding is non-partisan and creates broad access to arts education and arts programming for all populations.