I’ve been studying the California Arts Advocates’ website. I was surprised to see that since a 97% budget cut to the California Arts Council in 2003, the state has ranked 50th in the nation in the public investment for the arts, spending just three cents per capita from the state’s General Fund. Georgia’s fiscal year 2009 budget allotted 40 cents per capita, ranking 47th. Hawaii ranks first in the US, with a per capita investment of $5.63.
If you remember from my last blog post, CAA hosted a “Vision Retreat” to discuss how to revitalize public interest and government support for the arts. On Fact Sheet #2 of their Legislation AB700: the Creative Industries & Community Economic Revitalization Act of 2010, you’ll read that “California’s last place status in state arts investment limits California’s ability to” among other things, “Leverage the arts to attract more tourists”, “Utilize the arts to spur the economies of local communities – from rural towns to major metropolitan areas”, and “Renew and revitalize local downtown developments as well as neglected neighborhoods”. AB700 is a source of funding for the California Arts Council to be able to partner with economic developers and tourism to move toward solving real world needs.
CAA’s recent “Vision Retreat” and AB700 are action steps to incorporate art as a working partner in “economic stimulus conversation”. Don’t we need to consider this in Georgia? Isn’t this worth dialogue?