Recently our Board President attended the Legislative Finance Committee Meeting in Santa Fe. Since we have mentioned before that we want your voice to support our Advocacy efforts we wanted to share the letter he delivered to Committee members. It is below:
November 12, 2018
Patricia A Lundstrom
Legislative Finance Committee
State Capitol, Room 307
Santa Fe NM 87503
Dear Madam Chair:
Creative New Mexico is a statewide organization devoted to building the awareness of arts and culture for our quality of life and economic well-being. Our organization supports preserving the New Mexico Arts grant fund budget. NM Arts overall level of funding is 27% below the level it was 15 years ago. While the level of funding is down, the number of organizations funded has increased.
The organizations receiving these grants from around the state deliver important programs to their communities in arts education, performances and exhibits, and arts-based economic development activities. The most recent UNM Bureau of Business & Economic Research report indicated that broadly, employment in the arts and cultural industries in New Mexico was equal to nearly one in ten jobs, more employees than the construction and manufacturing industries combined.
While the Department of Cultural Affairs has a budget for the New Mexico Arts grant fund, the budget has not seen significant increases for many years. It should be noted that a vast majority of the organizations with grants are non-profits working for the public benefit and over 60% of these have revenues of less than $300,000. So even a small reduction in funding will significantly affect them. A majority of the organizations with NM Arts grants provide some youth programming and a quarter of these provide dedicated programs for children and youth.
In the past, we have advocated that the New Mexico Arts grant fund should be increased to restore the levels provided historically. We strongly support this initiative, since arts and cultural industries generate close to $150 Million in revenues for state and local governments in New Mexico. Plus, importantly they are a primary attraction for statewide tourism. No increases in the New Mexico Arts grant funding could have more than just negative economic consequences.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.
Jim Patterson - President
Great gratitude to Jim for getting that done! We also want to share the impressive hand out distributed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and New Mexico Arts at the same meeting. Click here to see thand out on our blog post on our regular website. https://www.creativenewmexico.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/LFC-Nov-Hearing-RevisedReduced.pdf