Add your name to encourage the 2018 General Assembly to sustain funding for the arts at $250,000 in 2019 and $1,500,000 in 2020 as introduced in Governor McAuliffe’s biennial budget. This is the first time in eight years that funding is being increased for the arts!
Arts have had a 40% cut
Since 2008, state funding of the arts has been cut by over 40% in Virginia, from $6,182,750 in 2007/08 to $3,422,554 in 2017/18. It’s time to reverse the decline!
Virginia 40th In Arts Funding
Over the last 10 years, Virginia has fallen to a low of 40th in the nation in state arts funding, at $0.43 per capita. By comparison, West Virginia stands 38th at 47c per capita, North Carolina 25th at 75c and Maryland 4th at $2.91. Virginia, we can do better to invest in arts and culture for our citizens and our children!
Investing In Arts Pays For Itself
Every $1 the government invests in the arts is returned to the public purse many times over, in state and local taxes and economic activity: arts organizations are anchors for urban revitalization. The Commonwealth’s contribution of $3.4 million for arts grants leveraged another $38 million in FY15 in funding from individuals, corporations and private foundations. In 2015 Virginia was home to over 17,000 arts-related businesses that employed over 68,500 people throughout the Commonwealth.
A Well-Rounded Education With The Arts
New Federal law, the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), now requires the States to provide “a well-rounded education” for every child, including access to the arts. Virginia’s arts organizations can help meet that responsibility. VCA grantees served more than 1.4 million youth in FY15, in every district of the Commonwealth.
Arts Bring Tourism Dollars
Arts and Culture travelers spend 1/3 more and generate more revenue for Virginia than the average visitor to our Commonwealth. Tourism in Virginia generated more than $23 billion in revenue in 2015 and provided more than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes. In FY15, nearly 4.9 million people attended 32,776 arts events made possible through VCA funding.
We ask the Governor and the General Assembly to increase VCA grant funding by $1,500,000 in each year of the new State budget, to a total of $4,933,554.