Arts Advocacy Day – March 20, 2017
Traverse City: The leadership of Traverse City’s cultural institutions have issued the following response to the preliminary Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal announced by President Trump, which calls for the elimination of multiple agencies that support the arts and humanities.
As Directors of Traverse City’s leading arts based cultural institutions we express our deep concern over the recommendation of the President to zero out funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. We have benefited with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts through direct grants or indirectly with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities Council who receive funding from these federal agencies to support portions of their grants directed to them on a yearly basis.
The budget of these three Federal agencies represent less than the cost of a few military aircraft currently being built. Yet they provide funds that enable cultural organizations in this area and across the nation to enrich the lives of our community, from kindergarteners to senior citizens, with quality programing in the arts while supporting thousands of jobs across the nation as well as here in the region.
We are fortunate to reside in a community that strongly supports the arts and recognizes its value and importance to both the emotional and economic health of our society. That support strengthens our position in gaining government grant funding and provides the match for the grants we receive.
The arts have always been a measure by which we know and judge past civilizations and how we help define our own. As the great defender of his nation, Winston Churchill said, “The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”
Eugene A. Jenneman, Executive Director, Dennos Museum Center (231) 995-1572
Phil Murphy, Executive Director, Old Town Playhouse (231) 947-2210
Krista Cooper, Executive Director, Traverse Symphony Orchestra (231) 947-7120
Diana Baribeau, Executive Director, City Opera House (231) 941-8082
Megan Kelto, Associate Director, Crooked Tree Art Center, Traverse City (231) 937-2377