A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Help Save Oakland Arts

A Message from the Oakland Cultural Trust:

SAVE OAKLAND ARTS NOW! Stop the 50% Arts Cut!

The Council needs to hear from us again! The community prevailed when we raised our voices against similar cuts in October 2008. WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!

The Oakland City Council considers a 50% Cut to Oakland Arts at a special budget session on Thursday, April 1, 2010, 7pm. This is one move closer towards the elimination of the Cultural Funding Program, the long-established, competitive City program to provide arts and cultural services with attendance over 1.4 million.

3 STEP CALL TO ACTION:

1. Get the Word Out! FORWARD this alert to constituents, colleagues, students, friends, families, neighbors, friends-of-friends-- Cut & Paste this alert or Send Facebook Alert

2. CALL, EMAIL or WRITE your Council Member NOW! You can make the difference- Cut & Paste sample text or write your own message (See Sample below); Remain Positive and Respectful in your communications. We need the Council's support!

3.
Be There April 1 at 7 pm! TAKE ACTION & MAKE A DIFFERENCE during the special City Council BUDGET MEETING at
City Hall, Sign-up for speaker cards at the meeting or in advance online -Agenda Item tba.

***Strategy & Info Meeting at Pro Arts, Tuesday, March 30, 6:30 pm 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza at Oakland Art Gallery
Learn about public comment at Council, sign-up for a speaker card, review talking points, and get your message to Council!

What's at Stake: The City Council faces an unprecedented budget challenge. The additional proposed 50% cut to the Arts 1) is disproportionate to other City program cuts, 2) stands to cripple the arts sector, and 3) significantly reduces City tax revenues. Oakland is currently 13th in the nation for Arts Businesses per capita.

For every $1 the City invests in arts and culture, the City gets back $4 in fees, licenses and taxes. Nonprofit Arts in Oakland generate over $103 million in total gross annual economic activity and provide more than 5,000 jobs. The proposed cut means less revenue, more arts organizations closing their doors, loss of jobs and irreversible damage to the sector's infrastructure. The Arts are a means of economic investment and renewal for Oakland! STOP THE 50% ARTS CUT!

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Supporting Documentation & Resources:

A. SAMPLE Letter/Email:
Dear Council Member ________________,
Oakland Arts are the means to Oakland's economic renewal and are fundamental to our quality of life. It has come to my attention that the City Council is considering a disastrous and disproportionate 50% cut to the Cultural Funding Program.
As a concerned citizen, I understand that difficult choices need to be made to ensure that essential services and infrastructure remain in place. I also understand that there are no easy solutions to our budget crisis. However, I believe a disproportionate cut to the arts exacerbates the crisis, cripples Oakland's nationally ranked arts sector, and undermines our economic competitiveness, the compassion within our communities, and our investment in our future. I call upon you to mitigate the Arts cuts through a lens of equity and proportionality. Thank you for your leadership in investing in a better Oakland.
Sincerely,

B. Council Contacts:
District 1, Jane Brunner, jbrunner@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7001;
District 2, Pat Kernighan,pkernighan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7002;
District 3, Nancy Nadel, nnadel@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7003;
District 4, Jean Quan, jquan@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7004;
District 5, Ignacio de la Fuente. idelafuente@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7005;
District 6, Desley Brooks, dbrooks@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7006;
District 7, Larry Reid, lreid@oaklandnet.com, (510) 238-7007
At-Large, Rebecca Kaplan, rkaplan@oaklandnet.com (510) 238-7008

Not sure who your council member is? Click here to find out: http://gismaps.oaklandnet.com/councils/

C. Key Talking Points - Nonprofit Arts in Oakland:
  • 13th in the nation for Arts Businesses per capita.
  • Generates over $103 million in economic activity
  • Provides more than 5,000 jobs.
  • Produces more than $ 4 million in revenue to local government
  • Arts funding is a Low Cost Investment with High Economic and Cultural Return
  • Arts are a means of community and cultural development
  • Art serves public safety, violence prevention and saves lives
  • Arts education contributes to academic success and increased skill development for youth
  • Art generates revenue; If the arts decline then other businesses decline in a ripple effect.
  • Oakland benefits from one of the largest artist populations in the country
  • Art Cuts = Bad press for the City and undermine national and regional marketing campaigns

Additional Resources and References available online: http://www.proartsgallery.org/oaklandCulturalTrust/artsAction20100401.php


Community Organizing is our best option for ensuring the survival and sustainability of Oakland Arts. Please forward this email to friends, colleagues and mailing lists; the arts have strength in numbers.

Thank you for your support,
Margo


Chair, Oakland Cultural Trust

Mission: The Oakland Cultural Trust advocates for a vibrant, safe and sustainable Oakland by policies and action that support and nurture the vitality of Oakland artists and cultural organizations. More Info: http://proartsgallery.org/oaklandCulturalTrust

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