I'm embarrassed at how late I'm rallying the call but you need to know something important:
4Culture, one of Seattle's most important sources for public art/individual artist funding is in grave trouble. The legislative session ends 11 March, and if they don't get a bill passed this year 4Culture will lose the majority of their funding. 2011 will be spent downsizing from roughly $15,000,000 to $1,500,000, they will have to close the office and the gallery, cut the staff, and suffer considerably reduced granting capability. Organizations and individual artists will be affected. Artist/advocate/activist Anna Callahan says in an email:
email your legislator and/or forward this on to people you think might be willing to email their legislator (I just emailed my representatives and it only took 10 minutes to do all three!) It is especially important to email legislators in other parts of the state so if you know of anyone outside of King County that would be willing to send an email it would be great if you could pass this information along.
All of the information on what to write and who to write to is below (and at advocate4culture.blogspot.com). It still helps even if you've written a letter before because the bills have changed.
I plead alongside her. Please, please, please -- if the arts mean anything to you at all no matter what your roll: artist, connoisseur, passerby, critic, wallflower, boisterous socialite, naysayer, collector, patron, friend-of-a-friend; please donate a small fraction of your day to either write your own letters or fill out one of these templates to save a critical piece of arts funding in Seattle. Even if you think it doesn't affect you, it does. This is important. This funding employs and pays living, working, local artists. YOU benefit from local public art, maybe even more than the artists do. This is a gift for everyone. Let's help it live on. Please scroll down the page to read about the impact and to copy/paste a letter to send to your legislator.
What other people are saying:
Here’s how to find your legislator
Note: when you fill out the email form, leave the section asking for a bill number blank (the numbers often change)
Legislators who voted YES
Representatives Anderson, Appleton, Blake, Carlyle, Chase, Clibborn, Chopp, Cody, Conway, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Finn, Flannigan, Goodman, Haigh, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Jacks, Kagi, Kenney, Kessler, Kirby, Linville, Maxwell, McCoy, Miloscia, Moeller, Morrell, Nelson, O'Brien, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Priest, Quall, Roberts, Rodne, Rolfes, Santos, Seaquist, Sells, Simpson, Springer, Sullivan, Takko, Upthegrove, White, Williams, Wood
Senators Benton, Berkey, Delvin, Eide, Fairley, Franklin, Fraser, Gordon, Hargrove, Hatfield, Haugen, Hobbs, Jacobsen, Kauffman, Keiser, Kilmer, King, Kline, Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, McDermott, Murray, Oemig, Prentice, Pridemore, Ranker, Regala, and Shin
Legislators who voted NO
Representatives Alexander, Angel, Armstrong, Bailey, Campbell, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dammeier, DeBolt, Driscoll, Eddy, Ericks, Ericksen, Fagan, Green, Haler, Herrera, Hinkle, Hope, Hurst, Johnson, Kelley, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, Liias, McCune, Morris, Nealey, Orcutt, Parker, Pearson, Probst, Roach, Ross, Schmick, Shea, Short, Smith, Taylor, Van De Wege, Wallace, Walsh, and Warnick
Senators Becker, Brandland, Carrell, Hewitt, Holmquist, Honeyford, Kastama, Marr, Morton, Parlette, Pflug, Roach, Rockefeller, Schoesler, Sheldon, Stevens, Swecker, Tom, and Zarelli
(Brown and McCaslin were absent)
Dear (Senator or Representative) XLAST NAMEX,
(if your representative voted yes) XXXXAs a constituent living in your district, I am writing today to thank you for your support for legislation that continues funding for arts and heritage in King County through King County lodging taxes.XX
(if your representative voted no) XXXXAs a constituent living in your district, I am writing today to urge you to support legislation that continues funding for arts and heritage in King County through King County lodging taxes.XX
Add personal example of how your organization/self is served by 4Culture and what the loss of 4Culture would mean to you (see examples below or write your own)
The agency 4Culture has stewarded lodging taxes for cultural programs in King County for over 20 years. If a bill is not passed this year to secure their funding, they will begin planning to cut programs and services as early as January 2011. XXXX Personal note here about how this would have a negative impact on you, your organization, your family, etcXX.
EXAMPLES OF IMPACT
As a XXARTIST, PATRON, MUSEUM EXECUTIVE, MUSICIANXX I have benefited from 4Culture in the following ways XXXXXXX. For example:
I’ve been gainfully employed in the arts/heritage industry since moving to King County seven years ago – having a strong cultural community is about job security for me and thousands other in King County. 4Culture’s support provides stabilizing support for over 200 organizations County-wide
I attend dozens of cultural events a year, and I see 4Culture’s logo on attached to most of these projects, not to mention on hundreds of posters and emails for events I can’t possibly make it to. If 4Culture funding goes away, many of these events will go away from our community. I can't imagine living in a neighborhood that didn't have vibrant social events to connect me to my neighbors
My museum received critical support from 4Culture in a difficult time when our rent was doubled and we were forced to move to a new facility. Were it not for 4Culture's facilities programs, we might not have made it through this difficult transition
My summer theater program is an important part of the South King County community. We employ several South King County residents, and provide hundreds of youth opportunities to participate in the arts each summer. Living outside of Seattle, 4Culture is the only source we are able to turn for ongoing operations and facility support, if this funding we to go away, we'd have to cut our program significantly
4Culture's Site-Specific program has brought fun, family-friendly, free performances to our local park each summer the last several years -- my kids now look forward to our annual tradition and come home and enact the performances
I received a grant from 4Culture that helped me create a performance in Seattle that was so successful we were invited to tour to four different cities in the US. The tour enabled me to pay my company members for their performances. Our jobs as artists are real jobs, and touring and performing is how we create a livelihood and take care of our families. Our work also provides community benefit by allowing an opportunity for people to come together, express their ideas, learn, communicate and to be challenged. On my tour I felt like I was able to be an ambassador for King County and was able to garner contacts and support on a broader level through some national presenters and funders. As a professional artist, I am proud to come from a community that values art and who has an agency that is able to provide seed money for creative projects
As a board member of a small non-profit arts organization in King County I know the value of 4Culture's funding. Our organization is able to pay rent for a full year with funds received from 4Culture. The simple fact is that we would literally not be able to keep our doors open without 4Culture's support
4Culture's technical services enable our organization to reach beyond our local community, and make us competitive and respected on a national scale. Though our work, aided by 4Culture, we draw visitors from around the world to King County. As you know, these tourist dollars reach deeply into our community, supporting a range of businesses from local cafes to high-end hotels and restaurants
4Culture's support has helped me leverage funds not only from the very few offerings in King County, but from foundations and corporations around the country. The 4Culture "Seal of Approval" demonstrates to national funders that my organization is valued and encourages their investment in our programs.