Be part of the movement to guarantee healthy arts funding and arts education in America. Join the Arts Action Fund
In November 2011, New Hampshire Citizens for the Arts (NHCFA) announced that there were new legislative threats to the state’s Department of Cultural Resources and State Art Fund. In less than a month, the legislative threats were realized. December marked the release of two House Bills that, once passed, would make New Hampshire a very unfriendly arts state. House Bill 1274 would abolish the Department of Cultural Resources and consequently the state arts agency, the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, which granted $695,421 to 157 arts organizations in New Hampshire during FY 2011. House Bill 1285 would repeal the State Art Fund – a program designed to increase public art near state owned buildings.
Without hesitation, NHCFA called their community volunteers to action! January 20th the public hearing for both bills was held in the Legislative Office building with over 100 arts advocates in attendance. New Hampshire artisans, Portsmouth and Rochester business leaders, and local economists were all in attendance. The New Hampshire House Finance Committee was given a number of written testimonies and 3 hours worth of spoken testimony in favor of retaining both the Department of Cultural Resources and State Arts Fund.
On Wednesday, March 28th the House voted on the bills. After an amendment that protected the Department of Cultural Resources in House Bill 1274, “The House voted 253-40 to adopt the Finance Committee's recommendation that the bill ought to pass,” reported NHCFA. The State Art Fund was put aside for interim study - meaning the bill may or may not be taken up next fiscal year. Connie Rosemont, from NHCFA wrote about her thoughts on the three month long arts campaign in the Concord Monitor celebrating the efforts arts advocates displayed when rallying for arts funding.
Even after this arts victory, NHCFA urges people of the state to “continue to talk to friends, colleagues and elected officials about the importance of a publicly acknowledged role for public arts funding -- in support of arts education, in support of cultural tourism and in support of making New Hampshire a meaningful place to live and raise families.” The Arts Action Fund congratulates NHCFA in this victory which underscores the importance of strong arts advocacy. It’s your turn to join the movement by becoming a citizen advocate of the Arts Action Fund today. Help us reach our goal of mobilizing one million arts advocates!
The Rally for New Hampshire as seen on nhcfa.org