Action: Thank Assembly Speaker Pérez for $2M Boost to California Arts Council

Mon, 07/22/2013 - 8:00am

Photo: John PérezThe California Arts Council announced last week it received $2 million in one-time funds from the 2013 State Assembly operating budget.  Assembly Speaker John Pérez made the allocation from his own discretionary fund. Pérez represents the 53rd Assembly District, covering much of Los Angeles (Boyle Heights, Downtown, Koreatown, Westlake)

“This investment in the arts shows that Speaker Pérez and a supportive Governor recognize the importance of the arts to our State’s economy and the needs of our creative workforce,” said Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council.

Speaker Pérez's decision is a historic moment for the arts in California. This is the first time in its history the California Arts Council has seen a funding increase from the discretionary budget of a single elected leader.  Mr. Pérez's allocation comes on the heels of a statewide push to increase funding for the California Arts Council; throughout the early part of 2013, AB 583, a bill to fund the Council with $75 million, made its way through the Arts, Sports, Tourism, Entertainment, & Internet Media Committee, but stalled in the Assembly Appropritions Committee before the end of the session.

All of the $2 million will be funneled into direct services for local communities in California "to produce the greatest possible impact for Californians" statewide, Aitkin added. “This is a positive first step to gain support for measures that will increase California’s arts funding and investment in future budgets.”

The California Arts Council will devote the funds to enhancing local creative economies, funding arts learning programs, and supporting the growth of the state's creative workforce.

Click here to send a letter of thanks to Speaker Pérez for his action on behalf of the arts! (via Californians for the Arts)