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June 28, 2016

Increase in State Arts Funding Approved!

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Sacramento - Yesterday, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed a state budget that includes a $10.8 million funding increase for programs of the California Arts Council.

This investment will extend the capacity of the California Arts Council to meet the needs and demand for arts programs benefiting diverse communities across the state. The budget includes a $6.8 million one-time increase for the Arts Council and an additional $4 million ongoing allocation for the state's Arts in Corrections program.

The funding increase for the Arts Council will expand the reach of the agency's competitive grant programs. These programs serve California communities by funding nonprofit arts activities with a focus on arts learning and engagement; equity and access; cultural and community development; and technical support and resources for the arts field. 

The total fiscal year 2016-17 state support for the California Arts Council will reach approximately $21.1 million, inclusive of designated funding for Arts in Corrections. 

"We are grateful to Governor Brown for his leadership and vision, and for his continued support of the arts and creativity in California since founding the California Arts Council in 1976," said Donn K. Harris, Chair of the California Arts Council. "Creativity and the arts are a central part of our identity as Californians and are key factors in our state's global success. Investing in community arts programming is a cost-effective means to support the growth of healthy, safe, and vibrant California communities." 

"Our legislators have demonstrated growing bipartisan support for the arts over the past several years," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "They have responded to their constituents' calls for increased culture and creative expression opportunities in their communities, and to proven results that demonstrate how wise investments in the arts boost local economies, stimulate community development, raise student achievement, and increase public safety, along with many other critical state priorities. We express our deepest thanks to the people of California and to the elected officials who champion the arts in our state."

The state budget supports the growth of California's Arts in Corrections Program as a part of the state's multi-tiered investment in public safety. The California Arts Council's Arts in Corrections Program provides critical rehabilitative arts services to California's incarcerated population and is made possible by an interagency partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Currently in its third year, the program has become internationally renowned for its high-impact, innovative work in addressing the state's critical public safety needs and priorities.

Momentum for increased state arts funding began in 2013-14, when then-Speaker John Perez allocated $2 million in one-time Assembly funds to the California Arts Council. In the ten years prior, the Arts Council received just $1 million in state funds annually after state arts funding was cut by more than 96% in 2003. The Governor's 2014-15 budget included a $5 million one-time increase to the Arts Council and the 2015-16 budget included a $7.1 permanent increase to the agency. According to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, California ranked 46th out of 50 states in per capita state arts funding for 2015-16.  

The overall California Arts Council budget also includes $1.1 million in annual federal support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and approximately $2.5 million in annual funds from sales and renewals of California's Arts License Plate and voluntary state tax return contributions to the Keep Arts in Schools Fund. The Arts Council's total 2016-17 budget will be approximately $18.7 million, with an additional $6 million state allocation for Arts in Corrections. 

An official press release from the Office of Governor Brown can be found at this link: https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19463

For more information on the California Arts Council, visit www.arts.ca.gov

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.


- See more at: http://arts.ca.gov/news/prdetail.php?id=233#sthash.jrXNr7ew.dpuf

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