Some days are good days in Salem. This was one of them. The revenue forecast which will be used to determine the state’s two-year budget came in $271.5 million above prior forecasts. This could be enough breathing room to allow legislators the flexibility they need to broker deals and negotiate final budgets, to close down session by the end of June.
Renewal of the Cultural Trust tax credit is still moving through the process. Our $3.3 million budget item made it into the governor’s recommended budget, then into the Co-Chairs budget. Our legislation to renew the tax credit made it through policy committees in both the House and Senate. With less than two months left in the session, we are in the final stage of the committee process: the Joint Tax Credit Committee. We are not done yet, but we are making steady progress and that means it’s time to say thank you to those who have helped us get this far.
Thank you, Advocates & Members
Thank you to those who attended Advocacy Day 2013 and met with their legislators to discuss renewal of the Cultural Trust tax credit and the future of Culture in Oregon. Our supporters met with or sent advocacy messages to 58 out of 90 legislators! These communications give legislators an opportunity to hear directly from their constituents about the value of arts and culture and the importance of renewing the Cultural Trust tax credit this year. To those who joined us in Salem and those who sent emails to legislators—thank you!
Many of you have taken a few minutes to renew your membership in the Coalition this year—thank you! We couldn’t do this work without you. (Curious about who is funding statewide advocacy for arts and culture in Oregon? Check out the list.)
Many Thanks, to our Cultural Champions
We are fortunate to have a group of legislators in Salem who are Cultural Champions, based on their support of funding for arts, heritage and the humanities in Oregon; preservation of Oregon’s percent for art law; or renewal of the Cultural Trust tax credit. This year, three of those champions spoke with attendees during Advocacy Day: Representative Jules Bailey, Representative Bill Kennemer and Senator Lee Beyer. These legislators are outstanding supporters and we owe them our thanks for their commitment to arts and culture. Senator Betsy Johnson, who has been a stalwart cultural champion for many years, was not able to join us as she was still recovering from surgery after an auto accident. She will be back before the close of session and we are looking forward to her full recovery—and return to her Ways and Means Subcommittee!
Thanks to Committee Advocates and Statewide Partners
Finally, we would like to thank those individuals who have testified before a committee this session, performed in Salem in our first-ever Rotunda Concert Series, or supported the success of Advocacy Day 2013.
Roberta Lavadour of the Pendleton Arts Center; Maylian Pak with the Eugene Symphony; Diana Scoggins from the Metropolitan Youth Symphony; Kevin Lefohn Portland Youth Philharmonic; Steve VanEck of Yale Union; Patti Beardsley with the Oregon Bach Festival; David Lewis of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde; Bobbie Conner with the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, Armand Minthorn of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla; Tina Rinaldi on the CAC Board and the Lane County Cultural Coalition; JS May of the Portland Art Museum and the CAC Board; Steve Bass of OPB and the CAC Board; Greg Fitz-Gerald on the CAC Board; Georgia Harker with the Washington County Cultural Coalition; Neil Bryant CAC Board President; John Olbrantz with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art; Kristi Riedel with the Portland Children’s Museum; Stephen Marc Beaudoin with PHAME; Bob Speltz OCT Board Chair; Carole Morse PGE and OCT Board; Janeanne Upp of the High Desert Museum and CAC Board; Peter Bilotta with the Portland Opera and CAC Board; Kristin Solomon Portland Emerging Arts Leaders; Jill Hartz with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and finally, the talented, advocacy-minded artists who painted portraits of bi-partisan leaders on Advocacy Day this year: Rollie Wisbrock, Allison Bruns and Jeremy Okai-Davis.
We are very fortunate to be working alongside Kendall Clawson Arts and Culture Policy Advisor to the Governor, Kyle Jansson Oregon Heritage Commission, Carole Shellhart Oregon Humanities, Chris D’Arcy Oregon Arts Commission/Oregon Cultural Trust, Kerry Tymchuk Oregon Historical Society and Roger Roper State Historic Preservation Office.
The Cultural Advocacy Coalition is grassroots and ground-up. We lobby on behalf of arts and culture, primarily in Salem, to pass an agenda that is shaped by our members and adopted by our Board. We educate legislators, provide research and analysis for policymakers, communicate with affected groups and advocate for a thriving future for arts and culture in Oregon.
We are most effective when we represent the full range of our diverse statewide cultural community. If you care about Oregon Culture: we need you. Please join today and help us defend the culture; advocate for arts education and robust state funding of arts, heritage and the humanities.
Christine Drazan, Executive Director