Write or Tweet to:
Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Jim Cooper, chairs of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees asking for their commitment to $10 million in increased permanent funding the California Arts Council (CAC).
We have provided a letter template below.
Please send separate letters to Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Jim Cooper. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the their contact info.
Dear [Chairwoman Durazo] or [Chairman Cooper] (send as separate letters)
Introduce yourself and/or your organization. If you are in their district be sure to mention that!
We first want to thank you for your incredible efforts over the past few years to bring California out of last place in per capita arts funding among the states. We are grateful that Governor Newsom is a champion for the arts and has proactively allocated a $10 million increase in permanent funding for the California Arts Council.
Today we are the 5th largest economy in the world with over $500 billion in total creative economy output including 2.6 million jobs and $227.8 billion in labor income (Source 2019 Otis Report). We know that an investment in the arts and arts education will serve as a pipeline for the creative economy workforce for which California is known. California has a vital interest in furthering innovation and creativity through the catalyst of the arts. As one of the most demographically diverse societies on the planet, we need the bonding power of the arts to build understanding and bring us together as a people. With increased capacity, the state arts agency would be set to ensure that every Californian in every California community has access to arts and culture that are both our legacy and our future.
We know the arts are not only an impressive and important agent for economic development, the arts impact societal issues including mental health, corrections, housing, aging, early childhood education, homelessness, veterans, transportation, education and much more. We know the success of the Arts in Corrections programs which are designed to prepare incarcerated individuals for success upon release, enhance rehabilitative goals, and improve the safety and environment of state prisons. We are witness to the impact arts programs have on providing community for isolated seniors, wellness for people suffering from mental health conditions and programs such as Street Symphony bringing world class musicians to historically disenfranchised communities has brought about cultural change through community engagement. And we know that artists are often the “second responders” to communities ravaged by climate change bringing a sense of healing and community when it is most needed. Studies also show that students with an arts rich education have better grade point average, score better on standardized tests in reading and math and have lower dropout rates.
We believe California should be known worldwide as the “Leading state of Creativity" but we need the public investment to make this happen and so we respectfully ask you to please vote in favor of this appropriation. With the proposed increase we are just under $1.00 per capita per Californian where the current national median for state arts agencies is $1.10 per capita. California, with this new funding, would rank in 20th place among all the states with all line items included.
Please continue the momentum we’ve achieved over the last five years and approve the allocation for $10 million in permanent funding. We respectfully suggest that the California Legislature become the national standard bearer for arts, culture & creativity as we determine our budget priorities.