Letter to Mayor Gray, March 2011

Text of sign on letter created by Partner group planning DC’s Arts Advocacy Day 2011:

Mayor Vincent Gray
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
March 5, 2011

Dear Mayor Gray,

We are writing to ask that you maintain the FY 11 local funds allocation
for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The District’s local funds contribution to the arts and humanities is less
than $5 million dollars this year, and those funds were distributed in
over 300 grants to artists and community groups providing access to the
arts for District schoolchildren and residents. We know that you are an
arts supporter – with some serious hand dancing skills, to boot – and that
you face tremendously difficult choices in the FY 12 budgeting process.
With such a small allocation for the arts and humanities already, deeper
cuts will have no discernible impact on the overall budget, and the arts
have already been disproportionately cut: from over $14 million in FY 09
to under $5 million in FY 11.

Government arts support has been cut four times in the last three years,
and further cuts will also jeopardize the recovery of this important
contributor to our local economy and community. The city has invested
wisely and heavily in the arts over the last 30 years, and we’re not
asking for a bailout. The creative economy can be part of the solution to
the current economic and community crisis. We urge you to maintain local
arts funds for the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities at FY 11


{your name, your organization name}

1. Robert Bettmann, Day Eight
2. Sarah Browning, Split This Rock
3. Naomi Ayala, Poet
4. E Ethelbert Miller, Board Chair Institute for Policy Studies
5. Lisa Pegram, Author/Performer
6. Joy Ford Austin, Humanities Council of Greater Washington
7. Laurenellen McCann, Sunlight Foundation
8. Scott Stadum, Sunlight Foundation
9. Jon Gann, DC Film
10. Randall Pyles, McKenna and Long
11. Polly Thibodeau, Joy of Motion Dance Center
12. Doug Yeuell, Joy of Motion Dance Center
13. Kelli Shewmaker, Social Justice Camp
14. Andy Shallal, Busboys and Poets
15. Andrew Wright, Grasshop
16. Amber Robles Gorgon, Black Artists of DC
17. Laura Smith, Yola
18. Michael Gipson, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts
19. Philippa Hughes, Pinkline Project
20. Dan Silverman, Prince of Petworth
21. Jim Graham, Ward 1 DC Councilmember
22. Peter Krsko, Albus Cavus
23. Gregory Luce, Poet
24. Jill Strachan, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
25. Sam Simon, Actor/Improvisor
26. Joseph Ross, Folger Shakespeare Library
27. Sandra Beasley, Author
28. Rose Solari, Publisher
29. Ricardo Ortiz, Associate Professor Georgetown University
30. Jag Bhalla, Author
31. Elizabeth Bruce, CentroNia
32. Luis Alberto Ambroggio, Author
33. Amy Pastan, Writer/Editor
34. Tim Clark, ANC 5c
35. Adele Robey, H Street Playhouse
36. Jeff Herrmann, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
37. Dafna Steinberg, Artist
38. Amy Melrose, Free in DC blogger
39. Judy Byron, Artist
40. Jason McCool, Riot Actors of Washington

Author: Robert Bettmann

Founder of Day Eight, and the DC Arts Writing Fellowship.

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