On February 12, 2014, the Alliance for California Traditional Arts joined dozens of arts organizations from around the state to participate in a hearing convened by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, to examine the role of the creative sector in the state’s economy. New statewide data on the Creative Economy published in the 2013 Otis Report was shared at the hearing.
During the hearing, Senator Lieu announced his intent to introduce legislation that would restore state funding for the California Arts Council to levels not seen in over a decade. Under Lieu’s bill, the Arts Council’s budget would be set at $25 million annually – or about equal to General Fund appropriations of 1982-83, when it was $11.5 million before adjusted for inflation. The intent of the bill is to maintain at least that level of funding.
This month, Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) also introduced Assembly Bill 1662, a measure that appropriates funding for the Arts Council and its grant programs and other efforts that increase access to the arts for all Californians.
As this legislation moves through the committees, we at ACTA will provide updates and will be joining statewide advocacy efforts with Californians for the Arts asking for specific action. However, it is not too early to talk to your legislator about your support of increased funding to the California Arts Council. For those of you living in Senator Lieu and Assemblymember Calderon’s districts, we encourage you to contact them to thank them for their efforts thus far.