Monday, May 24, 2010

Save the Arts Campaign

We have written to you previously about the Governor’s plan to cut the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) budget by 40% and we want to thank all of you who have written to and called your legislators. NYSCA is the glue which holds the state’s rich cultural community together and such a cut would be devastating. It would be devastating for NYFA and for museums, theatre and dance companies, film and literary festivals, after-school and education programs and other cultural initiatives and institutions throughout the state. The email below outlines a number of actions you can take not only as an artist, but as a taxpayer.

NYFA is here to help. It you can make it to our office at 20 Jay Street in DUMBO Brooklyn, we have postcards available and you can stop by, fill them out, and we will take care of the rest. Wherever you live, we can also help you find the information for your local officials, simply email your zip code to us at and we will get you the information. Then you can just print and mail the postcards below.

We will be posting the Save the Arts logo on our Facebook page and urge you and your Facebook friends to do the same.

Hopefully, by working together, we can make out voices heard.

Thank you and thanks also to Judy Weiner and NYS Arts for providing the vital tools below.

Michael Royce
Executive Director
New York Foundation for the Arts

SAVE THE ARTS starts MAY 20 and continues until we have a state budget.

Here are examples of what YOU can do:

  • Send the SAVE THE ARTS logo to your constituent organizations and artists so they can take action. Of course, take action yourself.
  • Download and Print out the SAVE THE ARTS IN MY COMMUNITY postcard. Ask your constituents to do the same.

click image and use it on your website and social networking pages

Distribute the postcards at every performance, exhibition, class, reading, meeting, to your board and to your staff. Then mail the postcards to the appropriate legislators.

  • Download and customize the press release so it describes what your organization will be doing to demonstrate the impact of the 40% cut.
  • Post the SAVE THE ARTS logos to your facebook page.
  • Facebook and Tweet the 40% cut message.
  • Continue to send emails to your legislators and to the leadership in Albany, Assemblyman Silver and Senator Sampson.

We already have more than 16,000 emails in their inboxes. BUT we must keep up the pressure. So forward the email to everyone you know.

Our campaign strategies were developed in collaboration with your colleagues, NYS ARTS' Regional Captain Network. The Regional Captain in your area will answer questions and help coordinate media coverage in your region. Here is the quick overview of the budget numbers: The Governor's proposal slashes the NYSCA grants budget from $41.6 million to $25.2 million, making it the largest state agency cut. He also proposes a 12% cut to state operations, reducing it from $5.29 million to $4.84 million.

We are told that there is little or no movement on the budget in Albany, although we are already almost two months past the budget deadline.....and the state continues to operate on weekly continuing resolutions. If the legislature does not approve those weekly resolutions, then the state government grinds to a halt. Chaos reigns.


Judith K. Weiner

Executive Director
NYS Arts