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Please write to Raleigh City Council BEFORE TUESDAY

Please write to Raleigh City Council BEFORE TUESDAY

Dear friends and fans,

The Raleigh City Manager has proposed a $.50 reduction (from $4.50 to $4.00) in the per capita funding for the arts in fiscal year 2010-2011. If this occurs, then it means more than a 10% reduction to grant monies offered via the City of Raleigh Arts Commission (CORAC). This would be a steep cut to Raleigh arts organizations that depend on this funding for operations, and which are already struggling in the current economic climate.

THIS TUESDAY, June 1 at 7:00 p.m., the City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget. Please show your support by attending the meeting, and/or by sending the following note to EACH MEMBER of the City Council, including the Mayor, to ask them to reconsider this proposal. This will only take a couple minutes of your time, but it will be a tremendous help to Raleigh arts organizations.

A sample letter is below – you are welcome to use it as is or add your own personal comments and observations. Arts supporters throughout Raleigh and beyond want to send a clear message to the City Council that arts create jobs and significant economic impact in Raleigh.

**If you do not live in Raleigh, please pass this information along to anyone you know in Raleigh.

Here are the names and e-mail addresses for the Mayor and the City Council members:
Mayor Charles Meeker     charles.meeker@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Nancy McFarlane            nancy.mcfarlane@ci.raleigh.nc.us
John Odom                     john.odom@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Mary-Ann Baldwin           mary-ann.baldwin@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Russ Stephenson           russ.stephenson@ci.raleigh.nc.us
James West                   james.west@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Thomas Crowder             thomas.crowder@ci.raleigh.nc.us
Bonner Gaylord               bonner.gaylord@ci.raleigh.nc.us

Sample letter (please use subject line “I Oppose the Proposed Cuts to Raleigh’s Per Capita Funding for the Arts“):

Dear Mayor/Council Member (Enter full name here),

I am writing to thank you for the support you have shown the arts in Raleigh. The Raleigh Arts Grant Program, funded through a per capita allocation for the arts, has been critical to the development of many of Raleigh’s cultural organizations, helping to bring stability, vibrancy and diversity to our city’s arts community.

Investing In Raleigh Arts Is Good Business!  Wake County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $105.76 million in local economic activity in 2006; additionally, arts organizations employed 3,983 full-time employees, making it the 10th largest County employer. While arts spending in the City budget represents just 7% of aggregate spending; arts groups’ budgets exceed $21,000,000.  With daily news of arts organizations nationwide shutting their doors, Raleigh needs to consider what will happen to our City if our arts organizations begin joining the ranks of the now defunct.

We implore City Council to maintain CORAC’s current funding at $4.50 per capita. I recognize that the City is facing a very challenging economy, but the nonprofit sector is seeing similar cuts at the county, state, private, corporate, and foundation support levels.

I enjoy many of the programs these organizations present, and in the current economic climate, I hope that the City will continue to support the important work these organizations are doing at a time when they are facing severe economic challenges across the board. Toward that end, I am writing to strongly oppose the proposed cuts to the City of Raleigh Arts Commission’s funding for the upcoming 2010-2011 fiscal year. The dramatic cuts that would result from these reductions could have devastating effects on these organizations and their employees, many of whom live in Raleigh themselves.

Many arts organizations have already taken steps to rein in costs in light of reduced funding at the City, County, and State levels, in addition to shrinking pools of corporate and foundation support. These additional cuts threaten the programs and services that our arts organizations provide to the community, including educational outreach and many programs that are offered free to the public. In these trying times, we cannot afford to not support the organizations that inspire and challenge our communities through creative endeavors.

I implore you as a member of the City Council to please maintain the City of Raleigh Arts Commission’s current funding. I realize that the City and its leaders are facing many difficult decisions in planning next year’s budget, but making these cuts to organizations that depend on the City to provide their programming for Raleigh’s citizens will be a disservice to our city in the long run.

Thank you for your hard work, time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Your Name

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