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Arts Programs on Chopping Block in Senate Budget Proposal

Contact: John McInerney
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Antony Tanzi
Citizens for the Arts rally

Arts Programs on Chopping Block in Senate Budget Proposal
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance Urges Public to Join Rally Against State Arts Cuts

  • On Tuesday, July 14, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance will join advocates from all across Pennsylvania in the state capitol to rally to save arts and cultural programs, jobs and services from elimination.  The rally, sponsored by Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, will begin at 11 AM in the Main Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA.   
  • Gov. Rendell has proposed a $500 million cut to his original budget, which would slash administrative funding for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) – the primary supporter of nonprofit organizations all over the state.  The proposal would also cut the state’s library subsidy, and completely eliminate funding for grants through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).
  •   PCA and PHMC support museums, theaters, historical sites and countless other organizations in the Philadelphia area and all across Pennsylvania.   
  • If grants for PCA and PHMC are cut or eliminated from the final state budget, the programs and performances that draw 30 million people and generate nearly $2 billion each year, along with 62,000 jobs, are in danger of disappearing.

“By cultivating the arts we enhance the future of the commonwealth, and by ignoring it we risk losing iconic institutions that help define Pennsylvania,” said Peggy Amsterdam, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.  “This is not just a decision about entertainment—it’s a decision with dire societal, economic and educational consequences.” 

WHAT:      Press Conference & Public Rally

WHO:     Citizens for the Arts, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Invited       Speakers: Gov. Rendell, PCA Council Chair Diane Dalto, State Senator Antony Williams, Mayor Peter Lagiovane.  Available representative of the Cultural Alliance: Julie Hawkins, VP Cultural Policy

WHEN:      Tuesday, July 14th
                 11 AM

WHERE:     State Capitol Building, Main Rotunda
                 Harrisburg, PA

Action Center Alerts

Arts and Culture Support Pennsylvania’s Economic Bottom Line

  •   Arts and culture has an economic impact that benefits all of Pennsylvania and its residents. 
  • In Southeastern Pennsylvania, arts and culture is a $1.3 billion industry generating close to $160 million in state taxes.
  • In Greater Philadelphia alone, there are 15 million visits to cultural organizations each year.
  • The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Southeastern Pennsylvania also employ 40,000 people. Take many of those jobs away, and you will get a negative domino effect felt in municipalities statewide.
  • Under Gov. Rendell’s budget proposal, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts would be cut by 12.1 percent; the state library subsidy would lose $7.5 million; and funding through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission would be completely eliminated.
  • 43 percent of arts and cultural organizations offer free admission,
  • 35,000 school groups visit Greater Philadelphia's cultural organizations each year
  • Devastating cuts would force admission fees to rise and eliminate opportunities for the state’s youth to experience arts and cultural programs.
  • Tourism is the 2nd largest industry in the commonwealth, due primarily to the wealth of iconic cultural institutions. 

The Bottom Line

Pennsylvania's budget should reflect sound investments in community programs and services that support its residents.  The budget cannot be balanced at the risk of surrendering that which brings character and meaning to our communities. Please remember that museums, theaters, libraries, and other cultural organizations have vital societal, economic and educational impact on Pennsylvania’s bottom line.

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is a leadership organization of over 375 nonprofit arts and cultural institutions located primarily in the five counties of southeastern Pennsylvania.  Its mission is making greater Philadelphia the foremost creative region in the world.  For more information on the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, visit