Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yes, even the nonprofit sector is losing jobs...or will soon

The economic recession hits jobs in all sectors, including the arts and should be included in the National Economic Recovery Plan which is going before Congress now.

The arts are essential to the health and vitality of our communities. They enhance community development; spur urban renewal; attract new businesses; draw tourism dollars; and create an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and builds a robust 21st century workforce.

I'm sending this email to my congressmen. You should, too. Go here now.

As Congress considers the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, urge them to include the arts and culture so that they can continue to help revitalize America's economy.

(Besides, should the banks get all the money so they can save their own butts?)

January 28, 2009

The Honorable Maria Cantwell
United States Senate
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4705

Re: Support the Arts in the National Economic Recovery Plan

Dear Senator Cantwell:

As Congress considers the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, I hope they will include the arts and culture sector. It is thoughtful economic policy to invest in our nation's arts infrastructure.

There are approximately 100,000 nonprofit arts organizations, which spend $63.1 billion annually. Without an economic stimulus for the nonprofit arts industry, experts expect about 10% of these organizations (ranging from large arts institutions like museums and orchestras to small community-based organizations in suburban, urban and rural areas) to shut their doors in 2009 - a loss of 260,000 jobs.

For those arts organizations that do not go out of business due to the poor economy, it is expected that, on average, the remaining arts organizations will experience up to 20% in budget cuts in 2009, resulting in losses of approximately 468,000 jobs.

Then-NEA Chairman Dana Gioia issued the following statement prior to his departure, "Arts organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession. They've seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs, and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will support this important investment."


Dennis Schebetta

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