September 16, 2012

Fort Worth Arts Council Pres Calls City Manager's Arts Cuts "Sad"

Judy Ulrich, President of the Fort Worth Arts Council, has penned an opinion editorial in the Fort Worth Star Telegram calling the actions of City Manager Tom Higgins sad. Higgins recommended a 25 percent cut to the council's budget citing shortfalls. If City Council approves the budget on Tuesday, the Fort Worth Arts Council's budget will have been cut nearly 50 percent since 2009.

The following is an excerpt from her editorial.
"In a city that prides itself on its culture and arts, it is incredibly sad that City Manager Tom Higgins has recommended a 25 percent cut in funding to the Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County. If the City Council agrees, it will have chopped funding to the Arts Council by 45 percent since 2007.
This in a town that calls itself 'The City of Cowboys and Culture.'
...In addition, the arts mean big dollars. According to a study commissioned by Americans for the Arts and endorsed by the National League of Cities and the Conference of Mayors, the arts provide more than $84 million in economic return to Fort Worth annually. This money pays for real jobs, rings the cash registers of local businesses and boosts tax revenues. The study also found that, if arts events were not offered in Fort Worth, residents and visitors would travel elsewhere to enjoy other offerings."

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/09/15/4262014/cowboys-and-culture-in-fort-worth.html#storylink=cpy

Fort Worth arts advocates have turned to Change.org to help their efforts. They've created an online petition asking the mayor to continue funding at the Fort Worth Arts Council at its current levels. They're also using social networks like Facebook to help generate support for the Arts Council.

Oklahomans for the Arts wishes the Fort Worth Arts Council the best of luck in advocating for this important cause. When one source of public funding for the arts is at risk of being cut it can increase the vulnerability for all sources.

Other Arts Funding News
From Indiana Public Media: The Indiana Arts Commission and Indiana Coalition for the Arts in Columbus hosted a candidates' forum on the arts last week where candidates for Lieutenant  Governor disagreed on arts education funding. Read more. 

Check out coverage of the forum in the Indy Star.