These are coming in from all over. Here is another call for action from the Lowe Art Museum. Are you getting the impression this is a big issue, yet?
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Dear Lowe Art Museum Supporters,
The Lowe and our cultural colleagues in the community need your help NOW! Michael Spring, the Director of the Miami Dade Department of Cultural Affairs, sent out the following email notifying arts organizations and supporters that the current proposed 2009-2010 Budget for Miami Dade County would reduce the Cultural Affairs Grants Budget by $11 Million Dollars, which would void any funding for the Lowe Art Museum and all other non-profit arts groups.
Please call and email your commissioners NOW and let them know that the arts support our economy, tourism, and enrich our lives. The Lowe Art Museum’s operating budget is critically dependent on continued funding from Miami-Dade County.
Provided below is a sample email for you to use. Please modify it and add your own points. A list of Miami Dade County Commissioners with a direct link is attached for your convenience. I urge you to write to all the commissioners and add a personal note to your district commissioner. A link has been attached so that you can identify your commissioner. Time is of the essence; please e-mail your note TODAY in time for Tuesday morning’s commission meeting. Many thanks for your support.
Brian A. Dursum
Director and Chief Curator
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami
Michael Spring, Cultural Affairs Executive Director’s Letter to Cultural Groups
(Sample Letter & Commissioner email addresses follows)
Mayor Alvarez released budget recommendations for the County’s FY2009-2010 budget today. This proposal includes substantial service cuts and workforce reductions to fill a $427 million projected budget gap.
If the budget is adopted as proposed, the Department’s budget will be reduced by more than $11 million dollars, requiring the elimination of nearly all of the Department’s grants for cultural organizations. Grants to all social service “community-based organizations” and “mom and pop” small businesses are slated for elimination also. All county departments and services are impacted significantly.
The next step in the budget process is for the Board of County Commissioners to set a preliminary millage rate next Tuesday, July 21. This will determine the degree to which the Commission can address and expand the budget priorities over the coming weeks, before the final budget is adopted. It is critically important to let the County Commissioners know the impact that County funding has on providing great arts and cultural programs and services for the citizens of Miami-Dade County. For contact information for the County Commissioners, please go to
Historically, the County Mayor, County Manager and the Board of County Commissioners have been very supportive of the Department’s budget. In previous, difficult budget years, they have consistently appreciated the impact of the cultural industry on the local economy, the importance of culture on the quality of life and the competitive advantage of our community, and have been mindful of the extraordinary return generated by the County’s investment in the community’s cultural assets.
We are scheduling a town meeting in the coming weeks to provide more details on the County’s cultural budget reductions and recommendations. We strongly encourage you to participate in the budget discussions that are taking place from this point on.
PS-To see the entire proposed budget, please go to http://www.miamidade.gov/budget/
Who is your Commissioner? Click here to find out
I am very concerned about the proposed cut to the county arts budget. Your past support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs has helped make the arts in Miami-Dade County a very important part of our quality of life, development of tourism, and overall benefit of the economic well being of our community. In addition, there is a concern that the previous investment in the arts could be lost entirely for many arts organizations without continued funding.
The current proposed budget to eliminate more than $11 million to the Department of Cultural Affairs would have an enormous detrimental effect on Miami-Dade County. Our arts organizations, from small to large, contribute greatly not only to the economy of our region but also to its quality of life. If passed in its current form the loss of jobs alone resulting from this proposal will be huge, let alone the impact on tourism and the general economic and cultural health of our community. Since a funding loss of such magnitude would have a rippling effect, it is likely that thousands of jobs and services would disappear overnight. Tourists who are increasingly seeking cultural programming to augment their visit to Miami would retreat to an image of the area as a cultural desert, a view that all of us have fought hard to change.
I strongly urge you to vote to continue current support for the arts and community-based organizations.
Please pass this on to your email list!
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