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ACR-46 Arts Council: funding.(2015-2016)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 46

Relative to the Arts Council.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 03, 2015. ]


ACR 46, Calderon. Arts Council: funding.
This measure would declare the importance of the arts to the state and the essential role of the Arts Council in promoting the arts throughout the state, and urge a unified effort between the Legislature and the Governor to provide a substantial increase in the General Fund appropriation to the California Arts Council in the 2015–16 Budget Act.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Since the 1970s, the Arts Council, also known as the California Arts Council, has served the state by strategically promoting increased access to the arts for all Californians, particularly for residents living in communities that lack sufficient and convenient opportunities to experience the benefits of the arts in their lives; and
WHEREAS, In the past, the state appropriated funds that could meaningfully support the programs of the Arts Council. However, beginning in 2003, the annual funding of the Arts Council from the General Fund drastically dropped, and since that time, the funding has remained essentially flat at a $1,000,000 annual appropriation, making California one of the lowest ranked states to invest in the arts on per capita basis. The programs of the Arts Council that once reached rural towns, underserved urban neighborhoods, prisons, and schools have either been depleted or discontinued entirely; and
WHEREAS, The arts invigorate the state and national economies. The creative sector has become one of the state’s most important drivers of economic growth. The 2013 OTIS Report on the Creative Economy, analyzing the economic impact of the creative economy in the state, concluded that 9.7 percent of jobs in the state are connected, directly or indirectly, to the creative industries. A recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis concluded that the arts and culture sector represent 3.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2011; and
WHEREAS, The arts bolster small and large businesses and the nonprofit sector. Local merchants directly benefit when people attend art events in their community because attendees make purchases related to the event, including, among other things, meals and parking. Nationally, in 2011, exports outside the United States of art-related goods, including, but not limited to, movies, paintings, and jewelry, substantially increased and resulted in a trade surplus within the arts industry. The national nonprofit arts industry annually generates billions in economic activity and provides millions of jobs; and
WHEREAS, The arts increase tourism and travel. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences than other types of travelers. Reports show that the percentage of international travelers visiting museums and attending concerts and theater performances has steadily grown since 2003; and
WHEREAS, The arts spark creativity and innovation in the workforce. Creativity is recognized as one of the top five applied employee skills sought by business leaders. Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists; and
WHEREAS, The arts enhance our society. A recent study demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates. A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to experience their society through a pop culture and tabloid marketplace; and
WHEREAS, The arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and staff on the basis that art programs promote healing in patients, resulting in shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication; and
WHEREAS, The arts are fundamental to our human experience. The arts inspire us to see our human potential by fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring people together, regardless of perceived differences in ethnicity, religion, or age. As a well-known idiom reminds us, “[w]hen times are tough, art is salve for the ache;” and
WHEREAS, The arts improve academic performance. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher grades and standardized test scores and lower rates of dropping out of school. Students with four years of arts or music in high school average 100 more points on their SAT scores than students with just one-half of a year of arts or music. While art education is mandated by state law, California is failing to provide a sufficient arts education. For the past 30 years arts education in schools has been disappearing at an alarming rate. Between 1999 and 2004, student enrollment in music education declined by almost half. The state’s recent fiscal crisis has resulted in still more dramatic cuts to visual and performing arts education programs for students throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, The Governor’s currently proposed funding for the Arts Council in the 2015–16 Budget Act is a total of $5,000,000, a combination of $1,000,000 from the General Fund, $1,000,000 matching federal funds, and the remainder consisting of revenues from a specialty license plate supporting the arts; and
WHEREAS, By increasing the state’s investment in the arts through funding the programs of the Arts Council in the 2015–16 Budget Act, the Legislature and the Governor would strengthen the ability of the Arts Council to invigorate the state and national economies, including businesses of all sizes and the nonprofit sector, foster creativity in the lives of people in their workplace and communities, secure a more solid cultural and educational experience for our children, and cultivate healthy human lives, both physically and emotionally; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature declares the importance of the arts to the state and the essential role of the Arts Council promoting the arts throughout the state; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature urges a unified effort between the Legislature and the Governor to provide a substantial increase in the General Fund appropriation to the California Arts Council in the 2015–16 Budget Act; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit sufficient copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.