acwr (acwr) wrote,

The city council meeting on the proposed budget is this evening.
It's not to late to still have your say.
Tell the City: DON’T CUT THE ARTS!
One quick call or e-mail can make a difference! Attend the budget meeting at 6:00 P.M. on Tuesday Feb. 26th at City Hall and let them know your care!

Phone: 311
Outside the city: 519-255-2489
Toll free: 1-877-746-4311
Fax: (519) 256-3311

Perhaps a 10% cut doesn't sound like much to you. However the truth is the proposed cuts would have a profound effect upon the arts in Windsor.

Excerpt from an email from Artcite:
The Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Arts Council - Windsor & Region and Artcite are all appearing before City Council for their budget deliberation meeting this Tues eve, Feb 26/08.

As you may be aware, the City of Windsor is planning a 10% cut in ALL Arts Agency grants for 2008, which will be a serious financial blow for each of these already-challenged institutions and organizations.

Over the past several years, grant assessors at the Canada Council have consistently rated Artcite as one of Canada's top artist-run centres (we are currently ranked 18 of 96 centres receiving funding--no small feat, given the much larger communities and budgets enjoyed by centres in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal).

Grant jurors at the Ontario Arts Council agree with the CC's outstanding assessments: again, and consistently for the past several years, Artcite is ranked among the highest-rated artist-run centres in Ontario.

Artcite is currently celebrating our 25th year of successful operations, and we have received hundreds of accolades from artists from Windsor-Detroit, Canada and around the world!

Unfortunately, we seem unable to garner this same recognition of our continued, direct contribution to the Windsor community (both culturally and economically) from Windsor City Council, and we are again being threatened with further cuts to our already extremely modest City Agency grant, which, after we pay our City property taxes, will leave us with $116 for our Programming and Operations.

Don't want to see big tax increases? It may interest you to know that, in the proposed 2008 budget, the direct cost to City of Windsor taxpayers is 1/21 of 1¢ of each of your tax dollars.

Does this represent how much you want your City to value Windsor's cultural life? Arts Agency funding also comprises .36% of the City's Operating budget. That's not a typo! Windsor arts groups support countless Windsor businesses (hotels, bars, hardware stores, print shops, stationary suppliers, grocery stores, etc., and the City of Windsor itself--with rentals, property taxes, Lottery licensing in excess of $25,000).

PLEASE HELP Windsor's Arts Groups in sending a CLEAR message to the City that its citizens DO support arts and culture in Windsor! A short call or e-mail will make all the difference in our fight!

Excerpt from an email from the Art Gallery of Windsor:
The City of Windsor is planning a 10% cut in funding to the Art Gallery of Windsor for 2008. This will have dramatic consequences for the institution. The AGW has been struggling for years. We have one of the highest levels of self-generated revenue for a municipal art gallery in Canada – but it is not enough. We are barely able to meet our needs. For instance, we do not have a Building Manager – because we can’t afford one. The Staff and Volunteers have been working full out for years believing that the improvements we’ve been able to make to the institution would translate into adequate municipal support. For years, we have been receiving municipal support at a fraction of the level enjoyed by comparable institutions in similar sized cities across Canada. And now a cut?

If the Art Gallery of Windsor receives a 10% cut in municipal funding the institution will have few options in terms of its survival. Some of the ramifications currently beginning considered in light of the proposed municipal funding cuts include:

Reduced Hours of Operation: The Gallery may be closed to the public on Wednesdays
(It is currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Limited Facility Use: With two full time staff members (coordination and housekeeping in a 72,000 square foot building) the Facility Rental function may be severally curtailed. One scenario could see only those individuals/interests willing to pay a premium making use of the facility.
(2007 saw 103 outside events take place at the AGW!)

Increased Admission Fees: Go to $5.00 per person (currently $3.00) + add $3.00 per child (currently free).

School Tour Fees to Double: Last year the Art Gallery of Windsor provided school tours to 4,000 children. The situation could necessitate a doubling of the school tour fee.

And finally, an article that was posted in today's Windsor Star; City arts backers fight cuts to budget.
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