Recently the Arts Town Hall made the following statements (some of which were later retracted):
URGENT: PLEASE REACH OUT NOW!
We have heard reports from City Hall that there is a proposal to cut funding to Grants for the Arts by $1 million. The proposal would transfer these funds to the Arts Commission to fund cultural equity grants. Cultural equity is an extremely important issue that needs to be addressed and this isn’t the right way to do it.
A $1 million cut to Grants for the Arts (GFTA) would be devastating to arts organizations that depend on GFTA for operating funds. Arts organization and artists need more funding during these difficult times. Pitting arts organizations and City agencies against each other won’t help solve our bigger problems. We need to work together to find more resources for cultural equity grants – not cut funding for the arts to fund them.
Please help stop this devastating cut by emailing the Supervisors now! They are meeting this week to discuss this budget and we need to speak up on behalf of the arts community in San Francisco.
Just cut and paste the email addresses below and use our draft as a template.
Thank you for your help!
In the email template they wrote:
We write to strongly urge you to increase funding for the arts, specifically cultural equity programs. We do not support a divisive and damaging proposal being advanced by fringe members of the arts community that would cut funds from the arts in order to fund the arts.
Just who are the ‘fringe’? Those are the people who are on the outside, who don’t have access and equitable resources right? These ‘fringe‘ communities have been historically hurting, not only during these economic times for for generations. These ‘fringe‘ communities have not had access to Grants for the Arts – and this fact laid out by the City of San Francisco’s own Budget Analyst Office (which was not referenced in the Arts Town Hall email). By that definition, then yes these LGBT and communities of color are fringe. But if LGBT and communities of color population are ‘fringe’, who are the people who are casting the ‘fringe’ designation?
Pitting arts organizations and City agencies against each other – Just who is pitting? The issue the supervisors are addressing is cultural equity and accountability. If Cultural equity is an extremely important issue then why is this considered ‘pitting’? Shouldn’t all stand behind these decisions because the status quo has perpetuated racist results? Justice is only inconvenient to those who benefit from the status quo.
Do not get swayed by these arguments.