I'm looking for...



Happening:
Anytime
to
Near:
Anywhere
That is
Anything

Lessons Learned at Arts Advocacy Day


by Stephen Becker 17 Aug 2010

About 60 local arts leaders gathered at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas this morning for Arts Advocacy Day. The event is designed to help arts leaders more effectively lobby city government officials for funding.

CTA TBD

About 60 local arts leaders gathered at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas this morning for Arts Advocacy Day. The event is designed to help arts leaders more effectively lobby city government officials for funding.

Ray Perryman, a Waco economist who authored an oft-cited study of the arts’ economic impact in Texas, was the keynote speaker.

He told the crowd that cutting arts funding actually stalls the creativity needed to drive other areas of the economy.

PERRYMAN: “Unless you have a dedicated effort to make sure that the arts are invested in, they’re going to lag behind everything else. The paradox is that if that happens for a long enough period of time, then you’ve choked off the creative process that allows all those other great things to happen.”

Next year’s city budget calls for a 17 percent cut for cultural funding. A series of budget townhall meetings will be held over the next several weeks before the final budget is adopted in late September.

Check back later for a Q&A with Perryman, in which he passes along some tips for arts advocates.

SHARE
  • Jac Alder

    Perryman’s study, originally motivated by needs of the Texas Cultural Trust, has been used in some 42 states to increase funding for the Arts. Countless cities have heard his economic argument and increased Arts funding because the study shows THE ARTS MEAN BUSINESS. So far, though, this study hasn’t worked in Texas — certainly not to the extent it has in other states — and it currently seems to be off the radar for those unelected staffers at City Hall who have produced a budget that cuts program funding for the arts between 53% and 100%. At this same Dallas Arts Advocacy Day, Margie Reece, former director of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs, correctly observed that what we have going here is not a simple budget debate-negotiation, but a more fundamental policy debate that the arts are currently losing. She made it clear a day of advocacy must expand to be an every day appeal to those who devise city budgets. We must argue the unarguable: that arts uniquely able to provide not only a cultural vibrancy, but an economic vibrancy that make cities livable.