Governor Martin O’Malley, a long time supporter of the arts in Maryland, proposed his Fiscal Year 2012 budget last week, and he held the funding for the arts level at $13.3 million dollars. As we all know, the state is facing major cuts this year due to the tenuous financial situation, so level funding for the arts this year would be a big win.
While this is an important first step, the arts budget is by no means safe, as now the Governor’s budget will move to the Maryland General Assembly. Your help is needed to make sure the budget does not take a hit in the General Assembly. There are several things you can do to participate. First, go to the Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) website, and click on the “Get Involved” tab to become an arts advocate. This way you’ll be informed of the latest news, and receive all of the calls to action sent by MCA. At some point this week, MCA will be sending around a sample “Thank You” letter to Governor O’Malley, to thank him for his support of the arts, so make sure you sign up today.
The second thing to do is register to attend Maryland Arts Day on Wednesday, February 9 in Annapolis. On that day, hundreds of arts advocates like you from across the state will descend on the state capitol for meetings with legislators, professional development sessions, and networking. Be a good Cultural Citizen, and make attending on February 9 a priority. Staffers, ask your supervisors to let you take the day to go to Annapolis. Supervisors and directors, take more than just your Development Department down with you and make sure your voices are heard. GBCA is organizing a carpool with BOPA to leave from our offices in Station North at 7:30am on February 9. If you’d like to join our carpool, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and indicate if you’d be willing to be a driver that day. I hope to see you all there!
Onward and upward–