Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Artless Wednesdays in PA

Pennsylvania is in day 70 of the state budget impasse. This impasse is hurting nonprofit groups all over the Commonwealth including arts organizations. It is so important for Pennsylvania’s arts organizations, arts patrons, and those who are touched by the arts everyday to continue to keep members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly informed as to what the arts do in our communities. We need to be persistent in delivering the message that, as their constituents, funding at $14 million for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) grants program and at $1.2 million for the administration for the PCA is a priority.
artless Wednesdays…what is it all about? Starting today and continuing each Wednesday until a budget is passed, we are asking for arts organizations to make a symbolic gesture to draw attention to what our communities might be like if there is no state support of nonprofit arts groups. Our hope is that your gestures will create opportunities for discussion on “Main Street, PA.”
How you might be artless…

Visit your legislators’ district offices and deliver your artless message in person. If you can’t make a personal visit, a telephone call will do.

❖Turn out your lights. Both the
Bethlehem Musikfest and the Westmoreland Museum of American Arts have received press coverage for their time of going “dark” in support of state arts funding.

❖Cover art. Cover artwork hanging on your walls and drape public murals or statues. People will be curious and ask “what happened to the art?”

❖Blacken out your windows. Include signage in your windows with messages like “This is what your downtown will look like without state arts funding” and “Would you pay 5 cents per week to keep the arts in Pennsylvania?”

❖Change your Facebook and Twitter image to “

badges and websitickers to your website.

The purpose of artless Wednesdays is to attract public and media attention to the importance of arts support on the state level and to promote greater participation in our advocacy efforts. If you have other ways to draw public attention to how communities will be impacted by major cuts to the PCA budget, please share them with
us and we will promote them.