Pennsylvania FY 2011-12 Budget Maintains Investment in the Arts

Statement from Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance President Tom Kaiden

June 30, 2011
Media Contact: Karim Olaechea
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; 267-971-9716

Facing the possibility of another year of steep cuts, arts groups and cultural leaders around the state breathed a collective sigh of relief on Thursday, June 30th, as Governor Tom Corbett signed a FY 2011-12 budget that maintains nearly level funding for the state’s arts agency. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ (PCA) budget will stand at $9.065 million, with $8.179 million for its granting program, and $886,000 for administrative costs. This is a 2.7% combined reduction compared to the FY 2010-11 budget, but represents a reversal to the nearly 70% cut to the agency that had been proposed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in a prior version of the budget.

“The cultural sector had been hit by several years of deep cuts and eliminations. Now, there is a growing understanding in Harrisburg that arts and culture are crucial to Pennsylvania’s economy, our tax base, community engagement and preparing our kids to compete in the 21st century”, explained Tom Kaiden, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. “Ultimately, I hope that economic recovery will spur significant investment in the arts so that it can help generate even more financial and community growth for Pennsylvania.”

Even as arts managers recognize that they face another year of budget trimming and program cuts, there is hope that this year represents a nadir in government support for the arts. Over the past two fiscal years, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has seen steep cuts in its grants to the arts line item. This line enables the PCA to broaden the availability of the arts to residents across the state through a combination of several granting programs to individual artists and arts organizations.

At its peak, the PCA’s grants to the arts were funded in FY 2007-08 at $15.2 million. After several consecutive years of cuts, by FY 2010-11 those grants had fallen 45% to $8.4 million. Those decreases led to the elimination of one of the PCA’s most sought after funding streams, its individual artist fellowships.

About the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
1322 grants awarded in FY 10-11
596 Arts Organizations were supported by PCA grants
726 Arts Projects were supported by PCA grants
PCA funded programs in all 67 counties

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts supports programs in all 67 counties. These programs have profound impacts on our economy, our communities and the lives of individuals throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Through its Arts Organizations & Arts Programs (AOAP) granting program, the PCA funds organizations such as the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, the Brandywine Conservancy, the Allentown Art Museum, the Perry County Council of the Arts and the York Jewish Community Center, and events such as the Mayfair festival, Endless Mountain Music Festival and Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. This funding directly supports thousands of jobs throughout the Commonwealth and thousands more by encouraging cultural tourism.

Another of its granting programs, the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Program (PPA), provides community based grants and supports local arts and cultural programs and projects across the state. Locally, PPA supported programs include art and music classes for school students, art therapy classes that help seniors fight the onset of Alzheimer's, and outreach programs that rehabilitate and give troubled youth a second chance. For a full list of 2010 southeastern Pennsylvania PPA project grant recipients, visit [LINK]

About The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance
The Cultural Alliance’s mission is to make Greater Philadelphia one of the foremost creative regions in the world. The Cultural Alliance believes that Greater Philadelphia grows stronger and more vibrant by growing its arts and culture. The Alliance’s work promotes that mission through initiatives that leverage arts and culture to inspire individuals and build community and civic engagement. These efforts include connecting cultural resources to community needs; providing direct services for nonprofit cultural organizations; leading cultural research, advocacy and policy work; and producing direct marketing programs for cultural consumers.

The Cultural Alliance’s work reflects these key principles: Arts and culture is an engine for economic growth. It has the power to elevate lives. It has the power to educate. We own it, as residents of the Greater Philadelphia region, because it comes from us. It helps individuals come together and grow as a community.

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