mnartists.org is voting YES.
There are legitimate reasons, both fiscal and philosophical, to resist public funding of the arts. And, certainly, in difficult economic times it is even more difficult to consider an increase, however slight, to our tax burden. After carefully considering the arguments, mnartists.org believes the benefits of The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment greatly outweigh the costs, even in this uncertain economic climate. This is an important and rare opportunity to substantially support areas of our society from which we all benefit, but that we often take for granted. For the reasons below mnartists.org is voting YES on November 4th.
mnartists is voting YES because natural resources and the arts are a civic priority.
Protection of our native landscapes and cultural heritage is a cause central to the common good. The endangerment of these civic resources raises important questions for all of us: How do we want to live? What resources do we want to have available to us? What do we want to preserve for future generations? For me, the priority Minnesota has placed on cultural enrichment and insuring that the arts institutions our state has nurtured for generations are still available to our children make for the most compelling reasons to support The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Minnesota offers a rare confluence of stunning national resources and plentiful, world-class cultural opportunities. Like the comforts of home, we take this abundance for granted, assuming our resources will remain strong, even without our vigilant support. Unfortunately this is not the case. The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment offers a firm infrastructure for that support, which makes the long-term stability and conservation of what we value about our way of living a shared priority.
mnartists will be voting YES to keep our natural resources clean and intact for future generations.
There is surprisingly little money set aside for the ongoing protection of our water supply and environmental resources. The funding provided by The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will help to assure long term protection of our drinking water, parks, trails, wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat. It is far cheaper to take steps now to preserve these resources than to attempt to restore destroyed habitat in the future.
mnartists is voting YES to be forward-thinking.
Politics are based in the concerns of the present; campaigns naturally tend to focus on immediately pressing issues rather than preventive action. The tendency to defer dealing with issues until some future point of greater urgency is natural. We often convince ourselves that someone else will step in at the last minute to provide funding or support. We are better served, in the long run, if we’re realistic and plan ahead to protect those things we value. Sustained support is the foundation on which thriving art communities are built; and it is that promise of support which attracts and retains top talent in the arts within our community. Passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is an assuring statement that our future will remain protected.
mnartists is voting YES to support programs statewide.
The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will support art organizations throughout the state, not just those serving the Twin Cities metro area. While support is needed at the larger institutions in the metro as well, the impact of this funding throughout smaller communities is especially dramatic. The funds provided by this amendment will keep the doors open at countless regional theaters, art centers, workshops, festivals and arts organizations. In tough economic climates traditional funding sources for the arts recede and many small regional organizations are forced to close or dramatically reduce programming and educational offerings. We need to provide arts opportunities to citizens residing throughout the state, not just to those concentrated in the urban centers. Statewide support provides a fairer balance of support, with equitable opportunities for residents in rural and urban areas alike.
mnartists is voting YES because school arts programs continue to be cut.
With projected budget shortfalls into the foreseeable future, arts programs will continue to be cut in schools throughout the state. Many such programs have already been cut completely; once eliminated, those arts education programs rarely get reinstated, even after school district budgets recover. As a consequence of ever-decreasing funding for the arts at in public schools, regional and institutional arts organizations are asked to fill in for lost programming and missing arts education opportunities. Local museums and arts institutions have attempted to fill the void and continue to step in with efforts to bridge the gap in arts programming for kids and families. The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment would provide desperately needed support to those organizations, thereby insuring continued opportunities for a well-rounded education for every Minnesota child.
mnartists is voting YES because the arts mean business.
Support for the arts is a solid business investment. Over one billion dollars is annually contributed to the state economy by the nearly 1400 arts organizations statewide. There are over 20,000 artists working in the state who contribute $250,000 of their annual incomes to local businesses. What’s more, locales rich with arts and culture amenities are simply better places to live, attractive hubs for commerce and business drawn to the quality of life such culturally vibrant places offer both prospective clients and employees. A strong cultural base attracts long-term residents and business development and encourages talent to remain within the state.
mnartists is voting YES to support and enhance our reputation and quality of life.
Minnesota is known for is its lakes and beautiful natural resources as well as its rich cultural community. By strengthening funding to preserve our environment and cultural organizations we help to attract tourists, retain business and raise the quality of living for everyone who lives here. The arts, outdoors recreation opportunities, and even professional sports teams, all work together to create a well-balanced and thriving state economy.
mnartists is voting YES, but with an acknowledgement of its subsequent responsibilities as a citizen of the arts community.
With the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment also comes responsibility. With that sort of civic support, artists and arts organizations have an obligation to contribute to the greater cultural welfare of our state’s citizenry. Sometimes that will require us to challenge the status quo, or to encourage debate and create new dialogue. But, in the end, this vote of citizen support for the resources we share can only result in a greater sense of community and shared fortunes. A committee of eight members of the public and four legislators will make proposals about how the dollars are spent, but ultimately, the elected officials of the Minnesota Legislature will have to approve spending. This provides a valuable reassurance that there will be multi-tiered accountability as to where and how our tax dollars are allocated.
The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will appear this way on your 2008 election ballot.
“Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas.” Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to dedicate funding to protect, enhance and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game and wildlife habitat; to preserve our arts and cultural heritage to support our parks and trails; and to protect, enhance and restore our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater by increasing the sales and use tax rate beginning July 1, 2009, by three-eights of one percent on taxable sales until the year 2034?” Yes; No.
Remember! If you skip this question on the ballot, your vote will count as a “No” vote.
Mnartists urges you to weigh the issues and please vote on November 4th.