Prez Says – Jan 2010
The rush to year end shopping and gift giving is over. The holy days have past and a new year has begun. As Winter Solstice came and went on December 21st, the shortest day of the year, we entered into a new season. It is the beginning of a new journey; a journey back to the sun’s longer days and warmer days. However, it will get colder before it gets warmer. The climate is changing, so they say.
The climate in the arts world is pretty chilly these days as well. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are down. Foundation grants are becoming less available. Arts organizations are closing their doors for good at an unprecedented rate. These can be looked at as some dreary days. However, I would like to say that this is a time of great opportunity. Let’s put our collective chin up and make the best of it.
Things are actually looking up.
- In October, the U.S. House and Senate passed a budget increase for the National Endowment for the Arts and for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Interior Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2010 sets budgets for each agency at $167.5 million, up $12.5 million from last year
- The California State Assembly is working on passing AB 700 which will funnel an estimated $25 Million dollars annually in current sales tax dollars into a fund to provide grants to municipalities and arts organizations.
- ArtsLIVE is in it’s second year of providing grants totaling over $120,000 on a local level to individual artists and arts organizations who are engaged in Performing and Traditional & Folk arts.
- ACCV Membership is up over the past two years. Patrons continue to join and support the Voice of the Arts as we partner with arts organizations, artists and individuals to strengthen the cultural community of the Conejo Valley region.
Now is a great time for all of us who are engaging culture, to speak up and renounce the tide of pessimism. If we stand together and hold fast, we can continue to rally support for the important arts organizations in our community. We must continue to attend events and donate our time and money to the efforts of those that continue to thrive and others who are struggling to survive.
Please continue to the hard yet fulfilling work. Find an event to watch or participate in. Simply go to our website at http://conejoarts.org/events to find many upcoming events to be inspired by.
Rich Brimer President and CEO Arts Council of the Conejo Valley [email protected]