By: The Louisiana Partnership for Arts Advocacy & Louisiana Partnership for the Arts
With the close of the session yesterday afternoon, the House passed HB76, an amendment to the budget that appropriates ancillary funds.
The LPAA was able to get the following funds reinstated in this bill:
1. $750,000 was added back to Decentralized Arts Funding, putting total funding at $2,194,557. 2. $250,000 was added back to Statewide Arts Grants, putting total funding at $589,745. 3. In addition, $65,000 was also placed into arts funding but with direct spending stipulations.
This means that yesterday we regained $1,065,000 in arts funding! We should celebrate this as a small victory for the arts during a time when programs and budgets across the board are being slashed.
This also shows that the LPAA and its lobbyist — with your support from the field — has been able to convey the importance of the arts to our state. Thanks to all who have given time, energy, and money to support us.
On behalf of the LPAA, we also want to thank ALL OF YOU for your help in getting the message across loud and clear. In a year when it was within the realm of possibility to be completely stricken from the budget, your voice helped protect some level of funding for the time being.
Since the session began, YOU have sent 86,430 individual messages — 45,955 in this month alone. Just yesterday morning, you answered our call to action with 4,282 emails to both chambers, making sure that we were amended back into the budget. Again, thank you from all of us!
HOWEVER, at present we are left with a total of only $2,849,302 in Arts Funding – down from $4,831,602. This represents a 42% cut overall from last year. It is particularly important to note that Statewide Arts grants alone took a massive 72% cut!
Perhaps more importantly, $1,600,000 of this funding is one-time federal stimulus money that will not be available again next year!
Please click here to take a minute and send a final message to your legislators, thanking them for their hard work on our behalf, but also letting them know that a bigger battle lies ahead of us.
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