Arts Council conducts Listening Tour to seek input concerning proposed cuts

The current proposal for the state’s budget balancing plan includes a 50-percent reduction for the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Such a cut would seriously impact the agency’s ability to continue to provide the grants and services for artists, community organizations, schools, creative businesses and government agencies at its current level.

The agency has scheduled a Listening Tour through Feb. 10 to gather important public feedback regarding the critical areas in which state investment is essential to support our state’s creative economy. Public feedback is vital as the agency determines its future budget priorities.

Due to the budget uncertainty, the council has also decided to postpone its March 12 grant deadline for the 2009-10 Grants to Artists and Organizations (GAO) and Success through Art (StART Schools) grants.

Artists, community groups, creative businesses, educators and municipal leaders are encouraged to attend a Listening Tour session and to invite their colleagues.

A Listening Tour meeting has been scheduled in Durango. Elaine Mariner will be in Durango Tuesday, Feb. 10. The meeting will take place in the lobby of the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College and will begin at 5 p.m. Susan Lander will provide snacks and the lobby refreshment stand will be open for the purchase of beverages. Plan to attend and share concerns with Elaine.

The meeting is open to all who care about the arts and the funding of future art programs and grant programs by the Colorado Council on the Arts.

The council has also posted an online survey on the Web site. This will only take a few minutes and will provide important input regarding the role of state funding for arts activities and creative enterprises in communities around the state. If you have questions about the tour or the council’s budget process, e-mail coloarts@state.co.us. or, call Elaine Mariner at (303) 892-3870.