Monday, September 21, 2009

Help us Save the Arts in PA!

 Here we go again, trying to save government support for the arts!

I got an email from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance regarding the PA State Budget.

It starts out:

"Dear Jeanne,
After an 80 day impasse, Governor Rendell and leaders in the General Assembly announced a budget deal Friday evening. Great news, right? Not so fast....
It seems that Governor Rendell and the General Assembly think they can balance a budget on the backs of our region's arts and culture. For the first time in Pennsylvania, the state sales tax will be applied to tickets for theater, dance and performing arts events, concerts, museums, historical sites, zoos and parks. The word from Harrisburg is that this revenue generated from these taxes could result in long-term funding for our sector. However, sports and movies - which we all know to be big revenue generators - can keep their tax exemptions in Pennsylvania. Why are nonprofit cultural institutions being singled out?..."

They go on to explain it more and ask that we call get involved and call our state reps and express our disagreement with this plan.

Here is a sample scrip they suggest....
"Hello, my name is ________, and as a resident of _______, I'm calling in opposition to an expansion of the state sales tax on the backs of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in order to balance the FY10 state budget. In these tough economic times, increases on ticket prices only taxes out working families out of theaters, museums, and zoos. Interestingly, sports and movies - which are huge revenue generators for Pennsylvania - remain exempt from the tax. This doesn't seem right. I think that those of us who work in, or support these nonprofit institutions in our region should be a part of the conversation on long-term solutions for cultural funding. I ask that Senator/Representative _________ brings this message to caucus leadership before the budget is signed into law."

Let's be a nation of "movers and shakers" and move on this, folks!

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