You should advocate because your voice shows legislators the strength of Oklahoma’s statewide arts community. By communicating with your legislators, you demonstrate that arts and culture leaders are watching and care how the State invests in our communities. Advocate because your story will help Legislators understand the value of arts and culture in your own community.
Last week the legislative leadership passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) .
The budget proposal reduces the Oklahoma Arts Council’s budget by 4.87%. This will reduce the ability of arts and culture organizations to improve our state’s communities and economy.
This was an incredibly hard legislative session for all. Past financial decisions and a slumping economy combined to create uncertainty for every part of our state government. While arts and culture advocates cannot be satisfied with this reduction of funds, we can be relieved to keep our state art agency more stable.
The State Legislature struck a late-night budget deal last night, parts of which are being debated today. Assuming it moves forward, there are two possible outcomes for the Oklahoma Arts Council's funding:
Thanks for your advocacy and work so far! Obviously it helped us avoid serious disproportionate cuts. Neither budget proposal is ideal, but the Oklahoma Arts Council is in fairly close proportion to other cuts.