PA Senate Votes to Eliminate Cultural Funding Despite Increasing Public Demand for Arts
May 7, 2009
Contact: John McInerney
According to TempCheck, a periodic survey released today by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, public demand for arts and culture is growing just as resources to provide it, like state funding, are drying up. And cultural organizations are doing everything they can to survive in the face of this adversity.
Cultural managers are noticing the trend, and working hard to increase access without reducing quality. Noted one TempCheck respondent, “We try to offer events at various price levels to serve the entire community at all economic levels.”
Findings of the survey include:
Yet cultural organizations are struggling to meet this public demand with fewer resources.
Arts organizations are cutting production costs, but not frequency.
Cultural organizations are pursuing collaborations, consolidations, and mergers, with almost half reporting that they are considering this or have already done so. But as one cultural manager noted, “We're looking more aggressively for partnerships that can help us to defray the cost of some event production - unfortunately, no one else has any money either!”
Large cultural organizations (those with budgets between $1-10 million) are particularly vulnerable at present.
Despite dire prospects, cultural organizations appear well-managed and are preparing to weather the recession. Cultural managers have always operated under the framework of doing more with less, so while the recession presents a daunting challenge, it is not an entirely unfamiliar one.
These results reflect the experience of eighty organizations representing a wide range of budget sizes and disciplines who responded to a questionnaire assessing the effects of the economy on their fundraising, programming, and other activities. The Cultural Alliance plans to field TempCheck on a regular basis to measure shifts over time. The survey will next be administered in October 2009.
The public can learn more about the Cultural Alliance’s research and advocacy efforts by signing up to receive advocacy alerts from the Cultural Alliance’s Online Action Center at www.philaculture.org
For more information about the results, please contact John McInerney, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, at 215-399-3515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 to make Greater Philadelphia one of the foremost creative regions of the world. More information at www.philaculture.org
On Wednesday, May 6, in its latest budget proposal, the Pennsylvania Senate moved to eliminate cultural funding.