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        Advocacy victory! Final California budget restores 75% of arts funding cuts.

        Press Release

        June 27, 2024 | California Arts Advocates

        For Immediate Release

        June 27, 2024

        Advocacy victory! Final California budget restores 75% of arts funding cuts.  

        SACRAMENTO — Governor Newsom, Senate President pro-Tempore Mike McGuire, and Speaker Robert Rivas have announced the California budget plan for 2024-25. An agreement was reached between legislators to restore approximately 75% of state funding for the arts that had been cut in the Governor’s May budget. The Governor has signed the final budget proposal which has restored $12.5 million to launch the long awaited Performing Arts Equitable Payroll Fund. The final budget plan also reduces the proposed cut to the California Arts Council to just $5 million for two years, restoring the agency’s budget for local assistance grants back to $26 million in 2026-27. The initial budget proposed a $10 million ongoing cut to the agency's funding. 

        Advocates submitted over 11,000 letters, as well as made phone calls, provided public comment in hearings, and met with their representatives. A number of legislators provided critical leadership and support. The author of SB 1116, Senator Anthony Portantino spearheaded along with Assembly Member Mike Gipson, Chair of the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, & Tourism Committee, to secure the signatures of twenty colleagues in opposition to the cuts. Additional leadership came from Senate President pro Tempore Mike McGuire, Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas, Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva, Chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on State Administration and Senator Steve Padilla, Chair of Budget Subcommittee #4 on State Administration.

        "We are grateful to Governor Newsom for restoring 75% of arts funding cuts in the final 24-25 budget. The Legislature and the people spoke, arts are essential and we need public investment to ensure access for all. The Governor has been a strong supporter of the arts and we remain committed to working with him and the Legislature to ensure California remains a leading state for creativity and innovation," says Julie Baker, CEO of CA Arts Advocates and CA for the Arts.

        “I’m grateful to Gov. Newsom for signing this budget that restores arts funding that will put thousands of union members across California to work in good-paying jobs,” said Al Vincent Jr., Executive Director, Actors’ Equity Association. “The legislature clearly understands that when people go to see live arts events, they generate economic activity and that investing in the arts is a positive return on investment for the state. My thanks to Sen. Anthony Portantino and Asm. Mike Gipson for their leadership in fighting to restore this funding.”

        Since 2020, a broad coalition of arts and culture workers, labor unions, producers, nonprofits, live entertainment venues, music, film, tv, and movie theater representatives have worked together on public policies and resources to ensure the recovery and sustainability of the creative industries. However, while some parts of the arts and culture ecosystem have recovered from the impact of COVID, many have not, most notably the nonprofit performing arts. The sweep of the $12.5 million intended for the Performing Arts Equitable Payroll Fund, a groundbreaking program to supports live arts workers at smaller, nonprofit companies, was approved just a few years ago with a strong, bipartisan support from the Legislature. This policy innovation remains critical to stabilizing the performing arts workforce and this funding has now been restored.

        The Governor’s May revision had proposed a $10 million ongoing cut to the California Arts Council’s budget for Local Assistance Funding which represented a greater than 38% reduction to the $26 million allocation level at which it has been stalled for the past seven years. The final budget allocates just $19 million to the agency for the next two years. While the projected budget deficit understandably demanded tough decisions on spending, the state arts agency was already functioning at cut level, having just 67¢ per person to serve the entire state. Advocates will be watching closely to ensure California increases this investment, which is needed to support the state's cultural sector and ensure equitable access to the arts for all.

        For more information, please contact:  Julie Baker, CEO, CA Arts Advocates | | 916-296-1838

        About CA Arts Advocates

        CA Arts Advocates (CAA) is a comprehensive lobbying organization for the arts, culture and creative industries, working to influence equitable and just systems change through public policy and public investment.

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