Fulton County Funding for Arts & Culture Needs Your Attention

August 20, 2013

Due to a budget short fall, the Fulton County Commission is considering a 100% cut of funding for Arts and Culture. The APC has received funding from the Commissioners for more than 15 years to provided educational programming.

We ask that you contact the Commission and urge them to continue to fund Arts and Culture in Fulton County.

Following is a letter from the Fulton County Arts Council with further information and action items.

Arts and Culture are an important part of the lives of citizens throughout the County and Metro Atlanta.

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Dear Fulton County Resident,

As you may have recently read in last Sunday’s AJC,(attached) Fulton County is in a dire financial situation, looking at a possible $115m deficit.  We are reaching out to you to make you aware as a part of a proposed resolution to this deficit, the current Interim County Manager has proposed a 100% cut to the Department of Arts and Culture.  Long story short…We need your help!  As someone who is either in the arts or has a strong appreciation for what Arts and Culture means for this community, our Fulton County Commissioners MUST hear from you!

Over the past five years our budget has been cut an average of 14-20% annually, and since 2001 has been cut over one million dollars. Though these were difficult for the Arts in Fulton County, the cuts were proportionately aligned with all other departments within the County budget.  At this juncture, however, a 100% cut to the Department of Arts and Culture is in the County Manager’s top three recommendations!

Our plea to you, as someone who is connected to Arts and Culture in this community, is for you, your staff, board, attendees and friends to IMMEDIATELY let your Commissioner know of your concern.  To let our voices be heard, we ask everyone who wants this to continue to be a healthy cultural community to do one or all of the following:

1) Call your Commissioner and simply state that you are very concerned and not in favor of there being any cuts in the Dept. of Arts and Culture.  Leave your name, organization, numbers served by your group and the economic impact it could have  on your area of the County.

2) Send an email to your Commissioner stating that Arts and Culture is an important part of the quality of life for those of us who live, work and play in Fulton County and that you urge them not to support the County Manager’s recommendation to cut  the budget for the Dept. of Arts and Culture;

Note:  Email Addresses and phone numbers of Commissioners are below:

District 1 (At Large) Chairman John Eaves

Email: john.eaves@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8206

District 2 (At Large) Commissioner Robb Pitts

Email: robb.pitts@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8210

District 3 Commissioner Liz Hausmann

Email: liz.hausmann@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8213

District 4 Commissioner Tom Lowe

Email: tom.lowe@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8218

District 5 Commissioner Emma Darnell

Email: emma.darnell@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8222

District 6 Commissioner Joan Garner

Email: joan.garner@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8226

District 7 Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards

Email: commissioner.edwards@fultoncountyga.gov

404-612-8230

3) Attend the Board of Commissioners meeting (Wednesday, August 21st) where this issue will be discussed and voice your concern during the public comment section. The meeting will be held at the Fulton County Govt. Complex, 141 Pryor Street, Atlanta, Georgia.  At this 10AM called meeting, they are scheduled to introduce the recent recommendations to the full Board.  Please arrive at 9:30 if you would like to speak to the Commissioners to sign up. It is first come, first serve!  Your presence is critical and extremely necessary to ensure we maintain a healthy Arts environment throughout Fulton County.

Note: If you are an arts organization and wish to make some comments, please be prepared to share the impact of your organization (i.e. number of employees, number of attendees…especially if you can break those numbers down to number of seniors, youth/children, underserved, etc.)

We are encouraging all in attendance to wear green so our presence can be easily recognized by the BOC.  If you are speaking, please know the Commissioners will be impressed by the total impact your group has and will continue to make in Fulton County.  State your area of the County and how it improves the quality of life for the residents.  How many jobs will be lost by this move?

The Department of Arts and Culture, as well as the Fulton County Arts Council thanks you in advance.  This will be our only chance to communicate to the Commissioners the importance of Arts and Culture in our surrounding communities.

Our thanks, in advance, for all you have and will continue to contribute to  Arts and Culture.  Please ACT TODAY to help stop this action by the Commission and allow Fulton County’s quality of life for families, children, seniors and artists remain alive and vibrant!

See you on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 141 Pryor St. Atlanta GA, Govt. Complex-Board of Commissioners meeting room at promptly 10AM (speakers be her at 9:30).  We hope to have a good amount of press in the room, so be prepared to speak to them, as well. Channel 2-ABC affiliate is covering the story, and WAGA will be there conducting interviews with Arts Leaders, such as yourselves.

Warm regards,

The Fulton County Arts Council