New York State

2020 Petition | Dear Governor Coumo, Please maintain funding to the NYSCA budget!

From May 1 through May 22, 2020, ArtsNYS lead a petition asking the Governor to maintain current funding levels to the New York State Council on the Arts has be prepares his budget. We collected over 1200 signatures!

Below is the beginning of the letter that links to the complete letter and list of petitioners.

We thank all those who took a moment to have their voices heard.

Dear Governor Coumo:

We, the undersigned arts organizations, from across New York State, urge you to maintain funding to the New York State Council on the Arts.

There is no doubt that the COVID crisis has deeply impacted New York State’s budget, and that our state is facing a fiscal emergency.

However, cutting the Arts Council’s budget is not a practical solution.

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The language in the 1960 legislation establishing the New York State Council on the Arts is both telling and aspirational. The agency was established

 … to insure that the role of the arts …will continue to grow and will play an ever more significant part in…maintaining the paramount position of the this state in the nation and in the world as a cultural center…  

Today, NYSCA’s grants support arts and cultural activities in all 62 counties. As public demand for the arts increases, however, funding for NYSCA’s has not kept pace with demand. In fact, in 1989, NYSCA’s budget exceeded $50 million. In 2018, NYSCA’s allocation was $41,639,000.  

New York State needs to invest more heavily in the arts.

The Budget Process

As a state agency, NYSCA’s is included in New York State’s annual budget. (NYSCA also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, currently approximately $40,900).

New York State operates on an April-March fiscal year, and by state law, the budget must be adopted by April 1st.

The Governor releases a proposed budget early in the year, generally in January. Legislators have an opportunity to amend the budget before bringing it to a vote.

Governor Cuomo has paid special attention to the arts and culture as being part of the rebuilding process which has in turn benefited the arts, culture, and heritage industries and communities through more robust attendance and donations. ~ Americans for the Arts

Governor Cuomo launched Round IX of the initiative, officially kicking off the 2019 competition for more than $750 million in state economic development resources.

New York State Photo: Eric Riquier