Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shreveport City Council hears from arts organizations: "extremely positive" attitude, notes Atchison

Pam Atchison, head of Shreveport Regional Arts Council, reported that "On Tuesday, the Shreveport City Council met to review the 2009 budget for the non-profit organizations that are funded through the Riverfront Development Fund. The meeting was extremely positive with many non-profit organizations sharing their achievements of the previous year and their plans for the future. The City Council welcomed this opportunity to hear from the non-profit arts organizations. It was an honor for me to share many of the victories of our arts community, as well as to hear very positive reactions from the City Council Members.

What was clear in this meeting is that at this time the City’s financial resources are both reduced and stretched. It is possible that non-profit organizations will receive a funding cut; however, the depth and breadth is not apparent.

The City Council has indicated that it would be helpful to see the impact of the Sales Tax Revenue at the first quarter of the year in order to make effective decisions about funding of the non-profit organizations. As the Shreveport Regional Arts Council receives its funding on a quarterly basis, there is interest in waiting until the first quarter to determine if the allocation can be increased. As we do not receive funding until the first quarter, this situation would have limited impact on your grants and services from SRAC, before April 1.

While funding conversations that involve the words “cut” and “reductions” are very difficult and frightening, I believe - as I have said in every monthly Arts Administrators and Roster Artists meeting - that this is not the time for the arts community to take aggressive action. As always, I would encourage you to invite City Council members to your events and programming and to express your gratitude for the continued, historic, support of the arts in our city.

As we move through this process, I will keep you apprised of the progress that is made and I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have. Thank you for your continued support."

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