Arts funding was cut five times in the four years between 2009 and 2012, from over $14 million FY09 down to under $4 million FY12. We in the arts community thought we had finally gotten through the worst when last year the budget of the DCCAH got a great rebound — back to $11 million.
But the budget proposed Thursday by Mayor Gray cuts arts funding back down to $6 million. Once we factor in ballooning agency expenses, including the cost of maintaining and staffing the Lincoln Theater, the Mayor’s proposal includes less than $4 million for what we all really care about: grants to support artists, arts organizations, and arts programming.
All DC residents deserve arts opportunity, and District residents need DCCAH grants to provide it.
While the Mayor’s proposal cuts the arts, this budget isn’t like the budgets submitted by Mayor Fenty, where everything was cut. In fact, this budget proposal includes significant funding increases in many places, while it cuts arts funding. There is an additional $9.8 million for our streets, an additional $11.7 million for DC schools, an additional $1.1 million for cable television, and an additional $9.8 million for UDC.
The Mayor’s budget will be considered by the City Council over the next six weeks. The Council will make some changes to the budget proposal in that time, and with your help one of those changes will be restoring arts funding to the FY13 level – at least $11 million dollars.
Register now to take action on DC’s Arts Advocacy Day, April 17, to help save funding for the arts: http://artsadvocacydayapril17.eventbrite.com/#