Based on the emails I get, one of the best-organized lobbies in South Carolina is the one that promotes the arts. Of course, they need to be if their favored programs are to survive, since it appears that each year that Nikki Haley is governor is going to be a battle for existence for the state Arts Commission and related recipients of state funding.
Following up on the governor’s State of the State address last night (which I missed — anyone have anything to share about that?), they’ve sent out the following release. There will be many more, of last year is any guide:
STATE ARTS FUNDING:
Governor Nikki Haley has now given her State of the State Address and presented her Executive Budget. She has once again recommended NO state appropriations for the South Carolina Arts Commission. However, the agency will continue to move through the budget process which is now in the S.C. House.
Sub-committees of the House Ways & Means (HWM) Committee – the budget writing committee – are holding budget hearings from the various agencies and will later make recommendations for state agency funding in their own version of the state budget. The Arts Commission is scheduled for a budget hearing on Thursday afternoon, January 26th. Their HWM sub-committee consists of:
Arts supporters should continue to thank their legislators for their past support and request that they continue to support state funding for the Arts Commission – especially if your Representative serves on the above Subcommittee. Don’t forget that many legislators have their own web site, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The state’s web site has been redesigned making it easier to locate and contact your legislator, follow the House and Senate meeting calendars and legislation at: www.scstatehouse.gov
ARTS EDUCATION FUNDING:
There is some GOOD news regarding arts education funding within the Governor’s Executive Budget. Governor Haley has reinstated approximately $1.2 million for the Arts Curricula Innovation Grants Program within the Department of Education’s budget, which Superintendent Mick Zais recommended for elimination.
Arts advocates should thank the Governor for her support of these critical funds that are not only used for initiatives that support innovative arts education programs that improve student achievement, but provide quality professional development for arts and classroom teachers.
Governor Nikki Haley
Office of the Governor 1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, SC 29201
SCAA’s ARTS ADVOCACY DAY is Tuesday, February 7th!
Join us at the Statehouse in support of continued state funding for the arts and arts education. Attend the Legislative Appreciation Luncheon in honor of the Legislative Arts Caucus. Join your legislators over lunch and be informed about the latest issues affecting the arts in our schools and in our communities. Reservations are a must and please consider being an “underwriter” of the event! Registration information can be found below. A form is also attached for your convenience.